Raising and Lowering Sharkstooth Gauze without Fly Space?

Alex Williams

New Member
Hi I'm technical manager for a production in a small local theatre and we have a shark tooth gauze we intend to have at the front front of the stage fixed to the front of the lighting grid above the stage. We need to use this gauze during the show for projection and effect but for other scenes we need to 'fly it out'.

However we have no flying space with being a small theatre apart from about a metre in height where the grid is located. What are my options for raising and lowering this curtain? I've heard of roll drop systems but these are supposedly not meant to be used with stretching materials such as sharks tooth gauze?

Any help appreciated.
 

len

Well-Known Member
Can you do an Austrian pull (not sure about the terminology) where a pull rope is attached to the bottom and sewn into grommets or something throughout? Sorry this isn't the clearest description.
upload_2016-11-22_12-36-41.jpeg
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Alex, Just to make sure we're all on the same page, when you say 'Gauze' and Projection, I think Scrim. You later refer to Sharkstooth so I'm completely assuming Scrim, as opposed to Scenic Gauze.
there is no reason you cannot make a roll drop out of scrim, especially given the height of your grid. The wider and taller a scrim is the more of a chance you have of sag creeping into the middle of the roll this can lead to the scrim catching itself and putting a crease into the fabric. If your scrim IS really wide you can compensate for the sag by unevenly attaching it to the roll batten, but I don't recommend this; I assume you are using this scrim as opposed to just buying muslin and building a roll drop screen because you have it and it has 0 cost.
Let me know if this helps.
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
If only used at top of show, would you consider dropping it and hustling it off stage as a bit of business? Lots of ways to make that happen.
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
The Austrian style drop O think will be too wrinkly to project on and get a good scrim effect.

A Roll Drop or Olio (Oleo sp?) is a great solution as long as the stage isn't too wide. Here's an old post of mine that has a diagram of how a Roll Drop is built. The problem is the width of the stage. If it's much more than 20 feet - 25 feet, the roll will sag and it will become dangerously heavy.

I like Bill's idea of taking the drop down instead most of all. You could hang it as a Kabuki Drop and the scrim would be off stage in seconds.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Van

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
The Austrian style drop O think will be too wrinkly to project on and get a good scrim effect....
I completely agree. Rigging either an Austrian or a Waterfall, which is what is shown in the picture, both entail connecting rings or lift line guides to the upstage side of the curtain to achieve the piled-on effect. these would create puckers in the material as well as being places that would turn Opaque and no longer work as a scrim.

A Roll Drop or Olio (Oleo sp?) ...
Both spellings are correct and have separate meanings.
In the Theatrical sense the term is Olio meaning: A loose mixture or variety. Vaudeville was mostly an collection of "Olio Acts" not over-all message, just interesting things strung together. The Olio Curtain inherited its name from the fact that it was used between these various acts as a quick means to change the scenery.
Oleo is a chemistry term used to denote Oils and most commonly a mixture of oils. Margarine , illegal in Wisconsin for an extremely long time,often referred to as Oleo is simply a "mixture" of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils whipped together and extruded or cast. < original Stick oleo came with little packets to color it yellow like real butter because it was naturally white like the fat it is>

Mr. Wizard is going back to work now....
 

JChenault

Well-Known Member
Instead of up and down have you considered side to side? Scrims can work pretty well on traveler tracks.
 

len

Well-Known Member
The austrian doesn't have to be as full as shown, and most of that will disappear when things are projected onto it, especially front projection. Traveller is better, but may not be as cost effective.
 

DRU

Active Member
As someone who has put a scrim on an Olio-style drop, I strongly recommend against it. When the Olio drop goes up, the drop takes most of the weight of the bottom roll tube, not so much the ropes. I hung a scrim on an Olio, ran the show for three weekends and a tech week, and the scrim tore heavily along the top where the jute webbing met the scrim. Ruined my scrim, and I never did it again.

I've heard of roll drop systems but these are supposedly not meant to be used with stretching materials such as sharks tooth gauze

If you put a bottom pipe in a scrim and lift it in some way (fly system or roll drop), it tends stretch and make an hourglass shape, which can be annoying to fix.

@Alex Williams: how many times does this scrim have to go in/out during the show?
 

ruinexplorer

Sherpa
CB Mods
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
I would not encourage a Kabuki drop for the scrim unless it drops into some sort of protective cloth. It could easily snag on the slightest imperfection on the floor. I use cheesecloth on a push broom before I have dancers on the stage. Since it snags so easily, every imperfection will be easy to find. I would also recommend a traveller track if possible.
 

MikeJ

Well-Known Member
https://www.thelightsource.com/products/m-140-cyc-track-3

M140 track is light and pretty cheap. If you have legs in your space, you probably have room to slide the scrim off and just behind one.
I think the track comes in 20' sections. There is a punch tool if you need to connect them. You could probably just ask if the could pre punch each end of 2 or 3 pieces. That way all you would need is a hack/ban/recip saw and you could put together whatever length you need.

They do not have all the pulleys for this track, so if you want to make a single operating line you would have to look around, maybe Drape Kings.
 

kicknargel

Well-Known Member
I agree that a traveler is best if possible. If not, I worked in the theatre that used scrims (gauze in UK parlance) as Austrians all the time. They clipped D-rings directly to the goods through the weave (I wish I knew the specific hardware, maybe a hog ring) and ran ropes down through them to a bottom pipe. Sure, you can see the rings and ropes when seeing through the scrim, but there wasn't much trouble with puckering when front lit. It will do a bit of damage to the goods over time.
 

Users who are viewing this thread