Narpthleg

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Nov 10, 2017
Location
London
I want to create a sand effect on stage and one of the methods I'm considering is ground cork. Or possibly a textured canvas ground cloth enhanced with ground cork on top.

I've found a distributor for cork, but they sell by weight and I'm not sure what area of coverage that translates to.

Does anyone know roughly how many kg/lbs of cork you need per square meter? I am looking to cover roughly 18 sq meters of stage.

Thanks!
N

p.s. if anyone has any photos of sand effects on stage and that methods they'd used they're willing to share, it'd be much appreciated!
 

RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
I want to create a sand effect on stage and one of the methods I'm considering is ground cork. Or possibly a textured canvas ground cloth enhanced with ground cork on top.

I've found a distributor for cork, but they sell by weight and I'm not sure what area of coverage that translates to.

Does anyone know roughly how many kg/lbs of cork you need per square meter? I am looking to cover roughly 18 sq meters of stage.

Thanks!
N

p.s. if anyone has any photos of sand effects on stage and that methods they'd used they're willing to share, it'd be much appreciated!
@Narpthleg Googling "imitation sand" called up a number of images along with a variety of methods for imitating sand. If I was a cat in need, I'd find some of them pretty tempting. I realize this doesn't answer your original query but you may find useful alternate ideas.
From Canada, one of the colonies.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

BillConnerFASTC

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Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
You need to sharpen your Google skills. From Wikipedia, found by goggling "how much ground cork on sand table at KA MGM"

The largest moveable platform employed in the show, the Sand Cliff Deck, measures 25×50×6 feet (7.6×15.2×1.8 m) and weighs 50 tons.[6] A vertical gantry crane supports and controls the Sand Cliff Deck, lifting the platform up and down 72 feet (22 m), rotating it 360 degrees and tilting it from flat to 100 degrees. This is attached to four 75-foot-long (23 m) hydraulic cylinders that run along two support columns. The Sand Cliff Deck is equipped with show and work lights, circular elevators to bring performers in and out, 80 'rod actuators' that sprout from the floor surface to enable performers to climb it when it is tilted vertically, and video projection tiles that allow computer-generated images to appear on the floor of the deck. In one scene, the entire deck is covered with 350 cubic feet (9.9 m3) of imported granular cork from Portugal which creates the realistic appearance of a beach.[5][7]

And googling "how much does a cubic foot of ground cork weigh"

Cork, ground weighs 0.16 gram per cubic centimeter or 160 kilogram per cubic meter, i.e. its density is equal to 160 kg/m³. In Imperial or US customary measurement system, the Cork, ground density is equal to 10 pound per cubic foot [lb/ft³], or 0.092 ounce per cubic inch [oz/inch³] .

Looks like they use .28 cubic feet per sq foot, or 2.8 pounds. Which I think - not so sure - is about 13.7 kilograms per sq meter.

PS - So you'd need 246.6 kilograms. and a photo from KA.

 

Russell Reed

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Apr 27, 2016
Location
Northern VA
We did a show of lord of the flies recently. We purchased granulated cork but had difficulty with the vendor. Due to the lack of time we eventually scrapped the idea of cork and went for real sand... it made a mess but sure did look great. Our show was done in the round so the audience was close to the stage, and the real sand looked great. And it also rained on the sand!
 

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BillConnerFASTC

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Clayton NY 13624
I can't recall who - Jones, Gorelik, Craig, Bel Geddes, or other - but I seem to recall from undergraduate days reading that in their attempt at naturalism on a broadway stage, they covered it with dirt, and it continued, and then the floor rotted. Real dirt and such is heavy, especially when wet, and nasty things can grow in it without sun amd air and such. Be careful.
 
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Chase P.

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San Francisco
Just saw this done here in SF at ACT's Geary Theater for Seascape. They used vermiculite over some sort of painted scenic base, probably a floor cloth. Looked great, though I hear they needed to wet it down with a Hudson sprayer before the show. The little bits sticking to the actor's pants and feet actually worked really well.
 

RonHebbard

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Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Just saw this done here in SF at ACT's Geary Theater for Seascape. They used vermiculite over some sort of painted scenic base, probably a floor cloth. Looked great, though I hear they needed to wet it down with a Hudson sprayer before the show. The little bits sticking to the actor's pants and feet actually worked really well.
@Chase P. and @BillConnerFASTC Isn't vermiculite carcinogenic ? Back in the 1960's it used to be poured into concrete block walls for insulation but I believe it was banned in Ontario, around the time I completed my apprenticeship.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

Chase P.

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Feb 3, 2017
Location
San Francisco
I hadn't heard that, so I looked it up. Turns out I was probably exposed to asbestos contaminated vermiculite in college. Our paint department used a lot of it as texture.

According to Wikipedia, contamination with asbestos was a thing until the early '90s. I read the article as "it used to cause cancer, the new stuff doesn't". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermiculite#Asbestos_contamination

Here in progressive California, coffee shops have to post cancer warnings about acrylamide, a chemical that forms when certain starchy foods are cooked, in this case roasted coffee beans. If we're gonna label everything as cancer causing, it eventually loses meaning. PopSci has a good article about it, though you'll have to turn off your ad blocker to read it. https://www.popsci.com/california-coffee-cancer-warning#page-2

For those unwilling to change the browser settings, the article says that the Prop 65 cancer warning is required on tuna, potatoes, pumpkin puree, wood furniture, alcohol, and Tiffany lamps, among other items.

I'm far more worried about the asbestos and weird chemicals I've worked with in theaters. It's great that PPE of all flavors is becoming more common, and that the macho stigma against it is going away. I'll agree that you're absolutely correct to question the safety of any product used on stage.
 
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