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Old 06-17-01, 12:45 AM   #1
Rich Potter
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Piggy Authentic Juggling Clubs for RenFest

I think I want to build some cork clubs. Does anyone make them anymore? Does anyone have a design that I could use? Where do you get that highly-durable cork?

I do a lot of club juggling in my show, and I was recently booked to do a Renaissance festival. Does anyone have any ideas how to get around using my purply plastic-mylar style clubs that we have nowadays?

I want authentic-looking for the 16th century, functional, reasonably priced, and decorative.

If anyone has any other ideas that aren't going to have me going to a basket weaver to custom make something for several hundred dollars.

I had a couple of ideas: to make them out of cork, like the Soviets did. The other is just to decorate the clubs I have to look a little more "earthy" but I don't have a great number of ideas in this realm. And with taping decorations on, weight and balance become a concern. I do have an old set of "Klassic" Dube American clubs, which I'm thinking to paint with tempera paints or something, but I think it would be nifty to make cork clubs anyway.

Anyone have ideas?

Please email me directly at rich@flightsofwit.com

Thanks
--Rich
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Old 06-17-01, 09:44 AM   #2
Todd
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Rich, I hope I wont sound too 'preachy' in this post, but here are a few of my observations on doing RenFests. If I do sound 'preachy', please forgive, I dont mean to.
I've been doing Ren Fests all over, for years, and unless you really have a personal creative need to be totally 'period' with the content of your show, you dont really need to get "authentic" clubs for your show.
The RenFest is to History what and Etch-a-Sketch is to art.
The role of a stage act in the over-all feel of a RenFest is as a middle ground between the 'Fantasy/History' and the patrons. Because its our jobs to be as real with the crouds as possible, its better to not layer on that whole historical thing. I find it gets in the way of really connecting to the audience. Besides in the end, they know they are really not in the 16th century no matter how 'hard' everyone works to be totally authentic. I try to keep my show timeless. The costuming is 'period', but the content is timeless (I hope. I'm dancing close to hubris now). Not going out of my way to thumb my nose at the convention of being in the 16th century, but not trying to seamlessly fit. I have found it helps the audience identify with you and thus get into your show more. This can allow you to have a little fun with some of the modern elements of your show. In the fire-eating portion of my show I get at least on person a day telling me that "They didnt have lighters back then" "Look, I WORK at a RenFest, its not like I'm Amish." Get a laugh, without totally 'taking a piss' at the RenFest theme
I think your clubs will be fine.

What RenFest is it? If It is the Maryland RenFest, dont worry about it. I've done that show and worked for that company for years and they are fine with modern props, as long as its within reason. Mike Rossman doesnt do his blender on the head 'bit', and I dont blame him, howeverusing lighters for tricks, unicycles, clubs etc, are an accepted part of trying to blend the two worlds. I think you will find that the audiences (for the most part) dont even think about the fact that you are using modern props in a history based atmosphere event. I think your Clubs will be fine.

If you still decide to get the cork ones made good for you and good luck man

[This message has been edited by Todd (edited 06-17-2001).]
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Old 06-17-01, 01:27 PM   #3
Rich Potter
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Piggy

Thanks Steve.

I agree with you, in that I have been at the MD Faire (not as an act) on and off since 1982, and have seen anachronisms up the yin-yang. (that's a euphemism for "ass")

I know that if I don't get it together, I can fall back on the plastic stuff. My attitude is the more I look and act the "renaissance" part, the more punch my anachronisms will have.

Thanks for your response though. Will you be at Maryland this year? Will we meet? (I presume we didn't meet at Motionfest since you were afraid I'd set you on fire) ;-)

--Rich

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Old 06-17-01, 04:00 PM   #4
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Nope, wont be at MD this year, but I will be working for them at thier show in Canada.
BTW, I'm not Steve. I'm Todd, and my partner and I may be at Motionfest this year. We talk 2 or 3 times a year with Mike Rosman and he keeps trying to get us to come. I hear from people it was quite good, But no Im not Steve,(check my website in my profile) although he and I were at the Barn one summer doing a workshop with Fred Garbo.
Good luck with the clubs.
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Old 06-18-01, 12:07 AM   #5
Rich Potter
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Oops, sorry-- I have no idea why I called you Steve.

I think my cerebrum was doing calisthenics or something.

--Rich

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Old 06-18-01, 09:32 AM   #6
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Sunday-brain-funk. I get it all the time, Dennis.
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Old 06-19-01, 08:30 AM   #7
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Wood grained contact paper cut in strips and applied length-wise makes a pretty good imitation wood club; though donít try to carry it all the way down the handle. Rather, wrap the handle with some other tape as if the club were made of wood but had a handle wrap. One can replace the cap with a leather disk if you donít want the foam ends to show.

One can also make a very nice hardwood veneer club by applying veneer with head activated adhesive to the surface of the plastic club and then finishing. A little stain and some polyurethane give the club a pristine look. Though this design is time consuming, and produces a club that is very heavy, the finished result is beautiful. I havenít tried to use cork. I would guess that it wouldnít wear well. Paint is not a good solution, as it will flake off and shows scratches with every ding.

The few times Iíve had a use for a period look, the contact paper provided a very aesthetic and practical solution as it doesnít add much weight and once it starts moving, the details are all blurred anyway.

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Old 06-23-01, 01:30 AM   #8
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Piggy

Pet peve, no mater what you do to your clubs thay are not period, soooooo don't wory about it. If it still bothers you batons and swords are, and if you want to have fun with it try making them look like wine bottels, make maces ect.
have fun with it

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