Paint elevation showing the statues on the set of 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas.
Assistant Properties Designer
Lookingglass Theatre Company, Spring 2018
Adapted by David Kersnar and Althos Low
Directed by David Kersnar
Set Designer: Todd Rosenthal
Properties Designer: Amanda Herrmann
Featured Project: Carved Foam Statues
The three statues on the set were carved from styrofoam. I worked on the reclining lady and figurehead visible in the rendering to the left.
My coworker and I began by cutting away large pieces of our foam blocks using a hot wire, with wooden stencils at the front and back of the piece to guide us. Photo courtesy of Bronte DeShong.
After we took off the stencils, I transferred the statue’s outline onto the foam.
Carving in progress. I continued transferring the lines of the statue’s body onto the foam after removing each layer.
After I finished carving the statue, I coated it in a Jaxsan mixture and used cheesecloth to achieve a draped, textured look across the statue’s legs and reclining cushions. Further surface treatments were added by the Paint department.
The figurehead with its stencil still attached. Its left arm extended beyond the initial foam block, so it was cut out separately and added later.
I began by removing foam with a hot wire, then switched to a long snap-off utility blade and chef’s knife. Smaller areas were removed with a wire brush and metal files.
Here, the figurehead is fully carved. I used Great Stuff expanding foam to attach its hand and add extra mass to its arm and eye sockets.
I added a canvas skirt and cut a channel into the statue’s upstage side to hide the metal frame that will support a practical lantern. Then I coated the statue in Jaxsan to prime and seal the foam and fabric before final painting by the Paint department.
The finished figurehead on stage. I added a fabric bandeau to its torso after installation.