Friday, July 2, 2010

Awesome Products to Keep on Hand, part 1

I thought I'd do something other than link(s) this time. Mainly because I'm bored and not at work. So, I'll expand on this- hence the part 1. I always find that I get taught cool handy tricks of various things to use to make props and then forget what the name of the product and only remember what it can do. I'll see if I can get a theme going here, but it'll probably be random. And I lied, there will be a link, but only to a product website.

1. Design Master Spray Paint- I learned about this 2 summers ago while working for Utah Festival Opera and fell in love with it. It's a craft spray paint that goes on in a thin layer. As long as you use it correctly you can do a dusting of color. This is great for aging and dirtying stuff. It's also made for fake flowers so it works better with fabric type things than regular spray paint.
Where to buy: The best part about Design Master is that you can get it at craft retailers. Michael's has a large range, but not all of the colors. I believe Hobby Lobby has some. I seem to remember that Joann's has a good range. I've been told that you can get it at floral shops, but I've never had the need to look. It's a little pricey at close to $7 a can, but it is GREAT stuff.
Hints with colors:
Glossy Wood Tone (it really isn't that glossy), is amazing for aging pretty much anything because it's a little more transparent than the other colors. If you need to tone down white paper- it's a fast and easy way to do so by lightly dusting the paper with the spray. On foliage it's a good "dying" color.
October Brown is another good color to have on hand at all times. It is best for "dirt" because it is a darker brown and a little more opaque than Glossy Wood Tone.
Flat Black is nice to have around because it goes on much lighter than regular black spray paint. It's good for when you need to tone down a metallic. It's also good to age/dirty stuff when combined with October Brown and Glossy Wood Tone. (btw, the flat white isn't much different from regular white spray paints.)
Moss Green another good aging color. I like to use it with October Brown if I need to do the bottom of a bag or basket or anything that would commonly go on the ground. Just use it lightly. It can also be good for toning stage money if the green is a little too bright.
Basil when you make stage money- use this color to tone it if it is too white. A dusting of this color lets the graphics pop through while making it about the right color of pre-super colorful American money.

2. Paperclay- Another product I learned about at Utah Festival Opera. LOVE THIS STUFF. It's made of water, paper, and volcanic ash. It's really easy to sculpt, you can smooth it out easily with wet hands, it drys hard and is hard to break, you can sand it, it takes paint of any kind like a dream, sticks to almost anything you'd like to use as a base (like wood or styrofoam)... I could go on, but I think you get the point. Seriously, I love this stuff. I've used it on numerous projects. You can add paint to it to give a different base color than the bright white if you want. If you know my portfolio link (hint: it's on my FB page), you can see examples of paper clay stuff.
Where to buy: I can usually get it at the regular craft stores. It's usually in with the clays next to the paper pulp stuff that you mix with water. It comes in a small black plastic package with white lettering and red trim around the lettering. It's also a little pricey, like $5 or $6, but a little goes a long way and it stores well in a ziplock.

3. Great Stuff- First off, that is really the name. Second, I totally just remembered this one when I was writing about Paperclay. In fact, I usually forget about it until after the fact when I should have used it. It is an expanding foam intended to be used to seal basements and stuff like that. You can sand it and cut it and it takes some paint, but it's not something you should use for heavy sculpting. One of the most common prop use is for fake pastries and breads. I think it's best for breads or rolls that will be about the same yellow-ish color as the foam. You can cut off an edge and it will have air bubbles on the inside like real bread. Another good use is to fill in vacuform pieces because you can cut off the back so you can attach the pieces to a flat surface and it won't distort the plastic. I feel like it might work with latex, but I have never tried it. I'm sure if you put the latex positive in it's plaster negative while using the Great Stuff with it, then it wouldn't be a problem.
Where to buy: Here's the awesome part- you can buy it at any hardware store. I don't think it's too expensive... I've never actually bought it, it's always been on hand when I need it.

Okay, I think that's a long enough post. I was going to add more, but I want to head off to my Friday Night activities soon. Keep an eye out for more posts next week.

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