Pictures: Arborio Rice Grain

This giant grain of rice and a small cooking pot were commissioned by Jigsaw Theatre Company as the set design for their production Arborio, which was created to mark the International Year of Rice (2004). Arborio is a comedy in the vein of Waiting for Godot and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, with an exuberant twist: the added bonus of live music.

Design © 2004 Hilary Talbot

The internal structure of the grain consists of a sheet of plywood down the centre, and an aluminium framework strengthened by struts. The grain is hollow inside. Two-part polyurethane foam was poured into a cavity wall of about 10cm thickness all over, filling in the shape of the grain, and making an outer shell. It was then smoothed, fibreglassed, and painted.

The grain of rice is 2 metres long, and was designed to be strong and stable enough to be climbed on in various positions, but light enough to be manouverable.

My thanks to Don and Margaret at ACT Fibreglass Supplies in Fyshwick for their advice and help in planning the making of this project.

Actors Chrissie Shaw & Bridget a'Beckett in performance.

Small cooking pot.

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