Prop making for the Leave No Trace Tour

You can't put on a camping themed tour without a tent and a roaring camp fire, can ya?!

Matt's finished fire prop
Mmm... Toasty!

Unfortunately the fire brigade frown upon setting fire to anything inside a venue and that's where you have to get creative.

I set to reading about prop fires that were safe and quiet, and eventually settled on a design pictured above that was safe and... Fireproof. (Small chuckle).

The fire prop I created was made by spraying fireproof insulation foam onto some plastic sheeting. After the foam set hard I painted the bubbly bits to look like coals using a matte black paint. Then, once this was all dry the smouldering coals for our fire were finally ready.

Somehow it didn't look quite right on it's own, so I set to making some fake rocks (As seen in the picture above). After a bit of research I decided these should be sculpted from Styrofoam. Luckily, that day on a walk around the local area I found a bunch of discarded insulation, so I picked it all up & went home knowing I'd both saved the environment and at least $50.00. ;-D

The sheets I found were rather thin, so I had to glue about four together to get the size of rock I was looking for. After the glue had set I had a rough idea of what I wanted the rocks to look like, so I set to scraping parts of the Styrofoam away using my hands to rub and break pieces off. It was a messy job.

Foam sculpting
Foam sculpting is messy business!!!

Eventually when I had enough rocks sculpted, I spray-painted them with a granite paint, which came ready made from the hardware store. It took about two and a half coats of the paint before all the gaps were filled and a good looking finish was achieved.

Drying rock props
Oops! Missed one. 

Once all the individual pieces of the fire were finished, I placed some LED lights underneath to test how well it would glow on stage. I think the effect worked rather well...

Glowing fire prop
Somebody get me some darned marshmallows!!!!

And there you have it. My wonderful fireproof, fire prop.