Sunday, December 15, 2013

Love Her or Leave Her ... Louver or Lever...


We've been busy-busy-busy at work, which always seems to be the case right around Christmas. 

We're building a show set in an 1830s New Orleans home.  The set itself will be two stories tall, so there are a lot of surfaces to paint. 

This first photo is taken from a viewing window, one floor above my studio.  We are working on a huge amount of custom-built "plantation shutters" and French doors.  The green things on sawhorses are the frames for the shutters.  The doors leaning on the wall on the right side of the photo are seven feet tall, which should give some sense of the scale of this project.

Here's a view from a few days later.  The doors are finished, work on the shutters continues, and we're also creating all the parts that will become a two level porch.

We are cranking out projects at a furious pace, partly to get the painted components to the carpenters for assembly, and partly so that we can take a break for the holidays.  In this photo, you're seeing newly milled planks painted to look somewhat old and worn.  There's a large swath of black flooring. Leaning up on the wall on the left side of the studio are custom-stained pine floorboards.  That's only a small part of the overall flooring. We had them leaned on the wall while they cured, to free up space in the studio.

Here's another view of the same thing. The black rectangle is made up of four-by-eight-foot panels, and will become the floor that surrounds the entire house.  We roll a black primer on our floors, and then spray the top coat.  That's why there are so many strange black shapes stenciled on my studio floor.

I often try to pre-paint the parts of the scenery we build.  In this case, you're seeing about half of the over five hundred slats that will make up the shutters for this project.  Anyone who has ever painted shutters will appreciate why I asked to paint the slats prior to assembly.

Each of the slats for the shutters was entirely custom-made by our carpenters.  The wood was milled, and the pivot holes were drilled in a specially-made jig. This is a mammoth project, nothing that could be purchased at the local home-improvement store.

Each of the slats has a special piece of staple-like hardware that attaches the individual louver to the shutter's central tilt rod.  This photo shows only a tiny amount of the slats that will go into the completed windows.


Anonymous said...

What happens to all this wood when the play is finished?

Stefaneener said...

I love these peeks into your life. It's so very very cool.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

After the show closes, it will be packed up for transport, and sent to New Haven Connecticut, where it will appear onstage at Yale. American regional theaters do a lot of co-productions in order to conserve resources.


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