Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Barbed Wire Crown

For Paulus at Silk Road Rising, we needed a barbed wire crown to put onto one of the actors. It was supposed to be very similar to the biblical crown of thorns. I first tried to make the crown out of twisted wire, with twisted and hand-cut barbs hot glued to it. I didn't like the outcome. I was able to glue the barbs in place so that they were all pointed away from the actors head, and to round the ends of them a bit, but they still seemed dangerous. If any of the barbs came loose from the glue, the actor was in danger of the barb twisting and scratching his head. 
The tech director on the show told me that he had seen barbed wire made before with rubber barbs. I found this website, which seems to make it their specialty, but it was a bit expensive, and also a bit late in the process to be ordering something and waiting for shipping. 
I decided to try to make it myself. 
I found these rubber necklaces at Michael's. 
 I cut them into pieces about three inches long and then tied them onto the twisted wire crown I had created for a rehearsal prop. 
 The rubber allowed the actors to be safer when handling the prop, while I was able to make it look more dangerous. I cut the tips of each rubber barb at a steep angle to make them appear sharp, and was able to allow the barbs to point in all directions, instead of all needing to point deliberately out. 
A quick coat of silver paint resulted in a very convincing looking "crown of thorns". The only problem I have run into is that, since the rubber barbs can bend and flex, the silver paint slowly cracks and flakes off. It needs to be touched up once in a while, but that is something I can do quickly when I stop by the theatre. 

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