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  • Writer's pictureIris Christidi

Turning Regular Bathtub into Rusty Vintage Iron Cast Bathtub!

Hello and good morrow to you, dear reader...


Follow our crazy journey as we turn a regular acrylic bathtub into a cast iron clawfooted ancient bathtub!


(This was made for Rigor Mortis, the next theatrical creation of director Ahmed Ayed and the Collectif Illicium, at the Atelier 210 in Brussels.)


So, from the top. When your director tells you : "I want an ancient cast iron bathtub with lion feet on invisible wheels, with a hidden trap door on the side so we can vanish and reappear from the inside of the tub*, oh, and also two of the three places we're rehearsing at are on the third floor and there's no lift", what do you suppose your answer is going to be?


Well, not me.

And I will find a solution, like always.



*Yes that is the magic of theatre.




Now, this work has already a few months behind it: we started working on it on January 2021. Now we're in May, and with the show premiering in June (YES! Last programmed and depressingly the only show opening for the whole season...!) we. are. so. thrilled!!!


But dear reader, without further ado, let us begin this one crazy adventure.

 

After looking for a while for a rounded acrylic - that's plastic - bathtub (yes I did not venture cutting into cast iron, please do not *think* of suggesting that idea ever again, also, if you're ready to get these three floors up with a 110 kg bathtub, you be my guest but I ain't doin it),





For reference, this is the kind of thing we're aiming at.

(Image found on https://www.pri-mat.com)


Oh yeah, and if you check the price... well, this one is simply just a little over 10% of our whole budget alone, so... do the math. We just couldn't afford it.


This is more or less how we got the bathtub, from a second hand seller we found online. For 50 bucks, it was a good deal.

Yep, it fits.

AND is cuttable.

So, second things first; leaving the technology of the trap door to our beloved and amazing constructor Guy Carbonelle, I employ myself to the lion feet making.

And they need to be large : we *do* want to conceal the tub's wheels behind them...

I use modelling clay and a reference picture, and IT IS ON!!!

Making sure that the curve is still right.


Here it is. Worbla thermoplastic.

Very cool material. First time-second time for me, but I have a feeling I'm-a gonna use-a that agin! Highly recommended.


Obviously, I haven't got a better image at this stage : gluing the feet on with hot glue... that's it. Also, the back feet are cut in half because of the trap door.


Again, that's the only picture I have of this... and I'm sorry if in it I seem to be walking away from the whole thing as if I don't give a hot damn.


I really do, though. I swear, I really do.



(Note to self: I really should take more pictures of my work... and of all the steps, yes...)


So yeah, you've guessed it... for this stage (first layer of paint) that's also the only picture I have.

Thanks to assistant director Bruno Borsu, you do look so nice and comfy in it, I just had to add it here.


Next (and most fun) step: a little colour and patina.... and voilà.



Always keep that reference close at hand.


Ok. In the end, it doesn't look half... bath.


Here it is, on the stage, along with the other elements...



Some images from rehearsal.

With actors: Gaël Soudron, Baptiste Moulart and Mathilde Mosseray.



Conclusion: geschafft! and.............that's how you do it! :D


 

So, there.

All information and credits about the show and its opening on https://www.atelier210.be/agenda/rigormortis/

Check it out!


Thanks for following the story!


If you have any questions or want to know more about the ways I work or my techniques, please do not hesitate to click and to let me know what you think ;)



Faithfully, at your service.

Iris



And as always....... keep dreaming of ladders!

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