Sunday, July 11, 2010

Exploding Sticky Fish!

First show of the season at Hangar Theatre and, once again, I found myself making fake fish. It was fun having the chance to revisit an old assignment and see if I could “do one better.” Consequently, what could be better than EXPLODING STICKY FISH!

Instead of searching endlessly for an acceptable, anatomically accurate-ish toy fish, I just built one out of clay. The plan was to make a plaster mold and from that create a latex fish. The first attempt was the most memorable. I set a few layers of brush on latex then, filled the whole fish with a sloppy mixture of latex and sand (knowing full well that it would take a long time to dry but, have a very realistic weight, feel, and “floppiness”) The outer layers cured in less than an hour and with the fish named “Roger” looking pretty good I popped him in the toaster oven (referred to as the easy-bake-fish-oven). Heat will hasten the curing of latex with little side effects, oh, unless it’s also packed full of sand in which case the unset innards will expand at an alarming rate, bursting through the thin seams and spilling all over the easy-bake-fish-oven-easy-removal-drip-tray. Thus is this summer’s fish story. Roger now decorates Adam's (ATD) work space.

The fake gutted fish was a very convincing piece of propage especially when it was still hot out of the oven and all squeezy inside. Seeing as how a fake gutted fish was not called for in “The 39 Steps” prop list though, I made a second fish, this time with just a latex skin, fully cured in the oven, then filled with poly fiber and sand - you know - the normal way to make fake fish. La Sigh….the other way was more fun.

Soon to follow: pictures of the actual exploding sticky fish – this one is the fish used in the show.


  1. Was it more fun than the exploding blue heron? ;-)

  2. Yes, yes I think it was. The exploding blue heron was fun a week later, the fish was fun immediately. Hahaha