bLOG – Shakespeare Challenge 2013

L to R: Ferdinand (Trevor Ketcheson) and Miranda (Lindsay Baxter) fight over The Log (as itself) in The Tempest, Shakespeare Challenge 2013

Want your own log to fight over? You’re in luck! I created the log here in our rehearsal room (under the supervision of Pat, our wonderful set and costume designer), and I’m going to tell you how to make one of your very own!

Here’s what you’ll need: chicken wire, cardboard, scissors, string, newspaper, white glue, water, masking tape, brown paper, paper towels, matte medium, sand paper, and brown or black markers or crayons.

Step 1: Create the shape. Roll the chicken wire into the shape you’d like for your log (don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will look more realistic that way). “Sew” the long edges together with string.

Step 2: Add the ends. Trace the ends of your log onto pieces of cardboard. Cut these pieces out and tape them to the ends of your log.

Step 3: Time to get messy! Mix up a papier-mâché paste (we used just glue and water; make sure it’s thick enough that the newspaper won’t slide off the chicken wire). Add about 3 layers of papier-mâché with strips of newspaper, letting the log dry between each layer.

Step 4: Create texture. We used rolled-up pieces of newspaper and tape to give our log its texture. On the ends, we added circles of rolled-up tape to imitate the rings of the tree.

Step 5: Add bark. Use long strips of brown paper for the final layers of papier-mâché (we recycled some old packing paper; using more than one shade/texture of paper gave our tree its interesting appearance). You can use brown paper towel on the ends of the log and any other tricky spots.

Step 6: Finishing touches. Sand off any rough edges. Use a brown or black marker or crayon to add colour and definition to the ends of your log (and anywhere else you think it is needed).

Step 7: Protect your log. We used several layers of matte medium to keep the log in good condition through final rehearsals and the show.

Thus ends my bLOG. Good luck!

– Written by Lisa

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