Thursday, 26 May 2011

Health and Safety

Throughout the building of the set health and safety was considered. Steel toe boots were worn, when ladders were used they were held by another person, when necessary goggles and masks were worn. Fabrics had fire-retardant sprayed on them, and the foam used on the furniture was fire retardant.

Photos of finished set

All my own Photos


All the photographs from the wallpapering, making the love seat and the windows

My own photo of the stencil used in the Drawing room

Inspiration for the drawing room stencil, taken from 'The Art of Faux' by Pierre Finkelstein, 1997, published by Watson-Guptill Publications in the United States.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Laker

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Week beginning 16th May and week beginning 23rd May

Any stencilling left over was completed.
Rhyan made the frame for the love seat at home and brought it in. Rhyan, Vicky and myself then began to pad it out with foam. The frame had a base and legs made of wood, thin wood bent around the back to give it a curved shape and plastic tubing around the top to give it a curved edge. Foam was placed over the back of the inside and was cut to fit, before being fixed into place with a staple gun. this was repeated until all of the inside was covered. Any gaps were patched up with small pieces of foam and the space between the foam and the wooden back of the seat was padded out with excess foam and polystyrene. The foam was difficult to staple to the frame and it required several attempts.
We then began to upholster it. We started in the centre of the inside of the love seat, stapling the fabric to the plastic piping at the top, before making our way round the top edge and fixing the fabric to it. We then pulled the fabric taut down the inside and stapled it into the crease where the foam was stapled on the seat. The excess fabric was trimmed off. The front edge of the seat was covered in fabric, which was stapled both on the seat and underneath.
We then found that there was not enough length in the fabric to cover the back of the seat. To fix this we measured the outside of the back of the love seat and divided it by 3. We cut two sections of fabric long enough to cover 1 third each, and attached them to the top of the back of the seat (with the top folded over to make the join neater) using the staple gun. The fabric was then pulled taut down the back of the seat and stapled underneath the seat. the excess fabric was cut off of the bottom, and it was this that we used to cover the middle third of the back of the seat. This was attached in the same way. Where the legs got in the way, we cut a slit into the fabric and wrapped it around to the back of the leg. Rhyan bought some gold braid, which we used to cover the joins in the fabric. We attached it using a hot glue gun, and folded the ends over to make sure they didn't fray. Rhyan then stained the legs of the seat.

Vicky and I then began on the windows. We first made the frames by measuring the height and width of the windows. For each one we cut two lengths of softwood the same measurement as the height, and two lengths the measurement of the width minus the widths of the two height pieces, see diagram below.
The two vertical pieces were placed into the side
s of the gap, using another piece of pine facing the same way to mark how far into the window the frame would sit. The vertical parts of the frame were screwed into the flats at regular intervals. We had quite a bit of difficulty in screwing the tops in and we had to ask Simon for help. Abbie Whenary and Nicola McCue screwed two of these into place for us, but we had to re-screw the tops of these, as they were not flush with the neighbouring flats. The horizontal pieces then slotted in between, at the top and the bottom. They had to be fixed using small blocks of softwood which had two screws, one into the horizontal piece and one into the vertical piece. This was repeated for each window. Problems were encountered when measuring the wood, as none of the windows were of equal sizes, and the were different widths between the top and the bottom. However eventually we got the measurements correct.
We then measured up for the bars across the windows according to Vicky's design, with Simon's help. There were three verticals bars and 2 horizontal bars in each window. Thin pieces of softwood were used. The vertical bars were cut to the same measurement as the height of the window, plus 2 inches each end, and the horizontal bars were cut to the width of the window plus 2 inches at each end. The middle of the edge of each piece of wood had to be marked, so that notches could be cut into into them. These notches allowed the bars to fit together and fit onto the window frame. The notches we cut in the vertical bars are shown in fig. 1 and the horizontal bars are shown in fig. 2. The notches had to be at precise intervals so that they would match up correctly.

Fig. 1

Fig 2

The notches in fig. 1 are 46cm apart, and the notches in fig 2 are 19cm apart. The vertical bars were attached to the window so that every 19.5cm mark on the window frame matched up with the middle of each bar, these bars were then nailed onto the frame. The horizontal bars were slotted into place with the notches, which were glued in place, and were also nailed to the frame. Any apparent gaps were filled with car body filler by Rhyan, and once this was dry it was sanded down. We then used two coats of dark oak wood stain to stain each window.

The members of the group making the panelling changed its design in order to save time, using long strips of wood as the top and bottom horizontal parts, and shorter strips and the vertical. A dado rail was added along the top and a skirting board along the bottom.

Rhyan and Simon cut the wood for the floor and I helped to slot it into place.

We then carried all the furniture in and placed the knick knacks in their places. We were then taught how to light the set using lights, gels and various other things in order to animate the light. We learned how to used a video camera, including altering the aperture and ND filter.
We experimented with lighting the rooms. In the study we placed a large light outside the window, another that lit the room through the door, and a small one in the corner which was dimmed slightly to resemble the light from a candle. This looked effective. However, even when all of these lights were on and the aperture was fully open, the room was still a little too dark. Although this did make it seem more creepy, as was intended.
The drawing room was lit by two small lights from above, acting as chandeliers, and one large light through each window. This again made the room a little darker than was intended.

Overall I was very happy with the way the set turned out.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Week beginning the 9th of May

On Monday we finished wallpapering the rooms and decided on designs for the finished wallpaper. Rhyan found an altered a design for the study, and I found a very intricate Baroque-style design for the drawing room, and simplified it. Rhyan began to cut her design out of polyprop. However she found it very difficult, and when we tested it the paint bled. We therefore decided to make the stencils from acetate which, when tested, did not allow the paint to bleed and could be held flat against the wall more easily.
On Tuesday Rhyan drove us around various DIY stores to pick up the paint for the walls. Eventually we had to settle for buying the slightly more expensive colour mixed paint as we wanted very specific colours. Once we came back we began to paint the study dark green. Rhyan painted the corners and edges with a brush while Vicky and I used rollers to paint the walls.
At this point we decided that, as I was working with both Rhyan and Vicky on our respective elements, and Rhyan was working with Vicky on a love seat, we would work as a three to get each item done without one person being left with nothing to do.
During the rest of the week we painted the drawing room pink, going around the edges and corners with brushes and doing the main parts with rollers. We took our designs for the stencils and laid the acetate on top of them, and drew the design on with permanent markers. We then used scalpels to cut the design out. Later on in the process a second full stencil and a half stencil had to be cut out for the drawing room. The half stencil was to help make the corners easier to negotiate, and the full stencil was made when the first one had broken too much to be repaired. The stencils did occasionally break, but were easily repaired with sellotape. They also had to be regularly cleaned, as when too much paint built up on them they allowed paint to bleed through underneath.
Rhyan measured on the wall where each stencil should be placed and the stencil was fixed to the wall with masking tape. The paint for the pattern was lightly dabbed onto the stencil with a sponge. The sponge had to be quite dry in order for the paint not to bleed under the stencil. A light layer of the wall-colour paint was stippled over the top with another sponge to give a more textured effect. This was repeated over all of the walls, and took several days to complete.
The corners of the room we difficult to negotiate with the stencil, so we left those until the very and and then cut the stencil to fit.
Any mistakes or paint bleeding was corrected using a small brush.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

This week

We started to put the set together on Tuesday this week. Henry Jones showed us how to screw the flats together. We began in a corner, with at least two people on each side. Those on the flat side held the flats in place, made sure the edges were flush and one of them used a spirit level to check it was flat. On the other side one person also held the flats firm, while the other screwed them together at 2 foot intervals, starting near the bottom and working up. As more flats were added, more people were required to help keep the flats upright. However this was not a job that required the whole group. In fact the job was hindered when too many people got involved. So myself, Kirby Vincent and Vicky Leonard were taught by Simon to make the brackets to keep the set stable when it had been put together. To do this we needed two pieces of softwood roughly the same length. Two people held them in place, at right angles as in the diagram below, while the other screwed them together with 1 - 2 feet in between each screw.
If the others putting the set together required our help then we would leave this and help them, as the building was the priority at this point. We continued to make these supports until we ran out of wood!

On Thursday we took down on of the drawing room walls as it was 'floating' a few cm's off of the ground. We then rebuilt it with a piece of MDF underneath it (this was to check it was straight, as we weren't sure if it was the floor that was wonky!). However unfortunately it still still 'floated' a little. Rhyan, Vicky, Chloe and myself then went to buy the wallpaper etc. following some research into what was available (this will also be posted). We also had a look around to see if there were alternatives to painting a floor, as we felt we would not have time. We found that Lino and snap in flooring was too expensive, but that small tiles of self adhesive Lino were available at the pound shop. However, after getting back and discussing it with the rest of the group, we were not sure that this would be our best option.

On Friday we began to put up the wallpaper. In the morning, while the brackets were being attached to the backs of the flats, we mixed up some weak wallpaper paste. We applied this to all of the walls, above where the panelling would be. This was to prepare the walls, as if we had applied the wallpaper straight away they would have absorbed all of the past and the paper would have come away. In the afternoon we used a plumb line to draw a straight line down one wall in each room. It is to this that we would line up the edge of the wallpaper. But first we cut strips of wallpaper about a foot too long for the area we were papering (we needed 5 foot so we cut about 6). Then two people pasted these while myself, Vicky and Rhyan applied them to the wall. We did this with one of us up on the platform holding the paper at the top and matching it to the line. The person at the bottom then continued to match the line and the paper was smoothed down using a dry sponge. A wet sponge was used to wipe off any excess paste. The bottom of the paper which overlapped the panelling was cut off. This was repeated around all of the walls.

Flat sizes

As previously promised, the number of flats and their sizes built for the set:

17# 4 x 8 foot flats

1# 3 x 8 foot flat

7# 2 x 8 foot flats

1# 3 and 1/2 x 8 foot flat

1# 1 and 1/2 x 8 foot flat

3# 3 x 3 foot footers for the windows

3# 4 x 1 and 1/2 foot headers for the doors (only 2 doors, but one needed on each side of the door connecting the two rooms)

However, the headers for the doors are only being used to help hold the set together under construction. They will be replaced when the doors are built.