Friday, May 24, 2019

Light Apps: Fruit! - #FFFriday

Long time followers of the #FakeFoodFriday hashtag will recognize this week's fruit from when I posted them on instagram over a year ago!  For The Doppleganger at Steppenwolf, we had a three tiered tray of fruits to go with a spread of light apps. These pineapple chunks, orange slices and banana slices were used to fill have the trays to cut down on the amount of real food we put on stage.   I was lucky enough to work on this project with the lovely Emily Feder and Brontë DeShong and we spent A LOT of time making sticky jokes about epoxy.

Materials: Pink insulation foam, bead foam, tissue paper, flex glue, acrylic paint, epoxy
Tools: Olfa knife, paint brushes, acid brushes

For the pineapple chunks, I started out with strips of pink foam and cut them into generic pineapple chunk shapes.  I then covered them with yellow tissue paper and flex glue.

Once they were dry, I brushed a bit of light yellow paint on them for a bit of depth.  Once they were fully dry, they were completely covered in epoxy, because they were used by real food and we wanted them to be washable.  To do this, we used acid brushes and 5 minute epoxy on most sides, let it cure, and then repeated the process on the other sides.  Finally, we gave each chunk a light sand to get rid of any hard edges and knock down the shine a bit. 

The oranges are bead foam, artfully carved into wedge shapes.  We opted for bead foam so they would have a bit of texture instead of smooth sides.  They were then coated in white tissue paper and flex glue, allowing it to wrinkle in places, to form the 'juice sacs.'  (I just googled this and I don't really know how I feel about the name.  'Juice vesicles' also was suggested, but really, that's not much better).  

Once the tissue paper was dry, they got a coat of orange tinted flex glue, that was watered down just a touch.  As a result, the flex glue pooled into the lower areas, leaving white ridges, giving the oranges a great texture!  Shout out to Emily Feder for figuring these out!

They also got a light drybrush of white for highlights.  Then, like the pineapples, we coated them with epoxy and finished with a light sand.  

Mmm... juicy

Banana slices: 
For our bananas, we cut a bunch of circles out of 2" pink insulation foam using an olfa knife, and then sliced it like you would a banana.  They were sanded slightly for shape, then coated with white tissue paper and flex glue.  This was a two step process to get both faces and the sides.  

They then got painted with light yellow acrylic paint and allowed to dry.  Then their center detail paint was added.  We finished them up with a coat of epoxy (the most difficult of the three, in my opinion. Getting the sides was... difficult), and finished with sanding like the other two. 

Did I dig through the whole pile to find one that had a little face?  I sure did.

I almost finished this up with, "and that was that," but this project was quite time consuming due to the epoxy coating.  It's possible we could have coated them with a different sealer, shellac perhaps,  but we were worried that an 8 show/week schedule would be too harsh on them.  Our fruits were washed after every performance.  And of course I didn't get a picture of them all together on their tray, because tech.  There is some real pineapple in our fridge calling my name, and I think it's snack time.  Prop on!


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