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Streched Scrim Attached to Metal Frame and Painted on Vertical Frame

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Jillie, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. Jillie

    Jillie Member

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    Hi, I just stared work at a theatre that uses a vertical frame. I love the frame for some uses but I'm still trying to figure out how to do some scenic techniques vertically. My first drop on the frame is a scrim. The scrim will be stretched on a metal frame then hung on the vertical frame. The metal frame is in the shape of a sunburst so it has sharp edges the scrim will be folded over. The image itself is a Photoshoped very geometric sharp line picture with a silhouette portrait, piano keys and lettering. The problems I foresee are:

    1.the scrim ripping on the metal edges

    2.the scrim sagging when I try to mask with anything like tape or contact paper

    Normally with a scrim I would draw the picture and place it on the back of the scrim so I can see the lines and trace. Since the scrim is already on a frame I don't think I can get the cartoon close enough to be seen through the scrim. So I was planning on drawing it out on contractors paper cutting it up for each shape in the background then spray each individual shape with the appropriate color. I think the pressure of brushes might be bad for this particular scrim. If I do it this way I run into how to attach the paper.

    I thought I would project the portrait, lettering and piano keys with a digital projector but the background has to be very precise and I'm not sure if I can get what I need with the projector.

    This piece is about 50ft wide so it's a pretty big project I don't have much time to work on.

    Please if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them. I hope my description makes since.
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Just so we're clear, you're speaking of a paint frame, correct?
    [​IMG]

    I didn't know those existed outside of college theater scene shops. Painting a scrim "up" just sounds wrong to me, as scrims need to be painted very wet so as not to clog the pores, and I see no way to keep the analine dyes from running down the drop.

    Suggestion, paint it "down." Not having much time will be to your benefit, as no one will want it in their way for very long anyhow. In the end it will be faster.
     
  3. Jillie

    Jillie Member

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    Yes it is a university and professional theatre combined. I was surprised when I saw the frame too!

    The scrim will be stretched on a metal frame first so that it can be flown in and out during the show. After it is stretched on the metal frame it will then be hung on the vertical frame (paint frame that lowers in and out of a well) to be painted. I'm worried that I can't paint it on the floor because it will be on that metal frame and when I walk on it it will pull the fabric. I thought about painting the scrim first then stretching it on the metal frame but I think since the frame is such a strange shape it will pull funny. Does that make sense?

    I'm planning on using Rosco Supersat instead of dye. It's been suggested to me to very lightly starch the scrim first so that it will prevent heavy bleeding of the paint. I thought I would also use HVLP sprayers to apply the paint and use lots of masking and make sure I don't drench the scrim. I know I will have to make sure I don't fill in the holes buy blowing the paint out and or picking the scrim.

    Thank you for your help.
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    painting it before it is stretched is an option, but that can get a bit wonky when the carps go to stretch it. I would still try to keep in on the floor if you can, but I would also do a test piece to get your technique down before you throw the entire thing up. Scrim is a very different thing to paint. We had a large paint frame at the last place I worked and the painters still painted all of our scrims on the deck.
     

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