An Expert Guide to Our Set Construction Materials

When you decide on Design and Visual Concepts for theatre, TV, or film set construction, you will be able to choose from a variety of set construction materials to perfectly reproduce your imagined designs and drawings, all to exact specifications and bespoke requests. We will then expertly apply and install these in an economical process which should see your budget met as well as your expectations for your mise-en-scène.

Below, we have set out some professional information on our most popular set construction techniques, each material type we use for construction, their properties, and the benefits these will bring to your production.

Our Materials and Techniques for Set Design

We make use of a wide range of materials and practised techniques when carrying out work for production companies, and we collaborate closely with our clients to ensure the pieces they have asked for are manufactured and applied with precision accuracy. This includes following plans with meticulous care, so that your TV, theatre, and movie sets are kept as close to your storyboards as possible when turning your fantasy into a reality.

Decorative Plaster

This technique may also be called “plasterwork” or “carved plaster”, and involves directly sculpting plaster onto the interior and exterior surfaces with the intention of creating decorative design elements that match the plans you have prepared for your scene.

The greatest benefit to this technique in terms of set construction is its ease of application. As carrying it out means sculpting plaster materials onto any surfaces required by the production designer, set designer, or director, decorative plaster allows for a faster, simpler build that saves time on set construction for any TV, movie, or theatre production team. This means that your team will be able to move forward with other aspects of the planned production design sooner, meeting your deadline and ensuring every part of the work meets the director’s vision.

Fibrous Plaster

This material is often applied when carrying out decorative plasterwork, and is composed of Plaster of Paris that has been reinforced with layers of hessian and secured within a timber frame. It can also be used to imitate lime-based, hand-moulded plasterwork that you may find in more traditional settings.

Fibrous plaster is often considered more time consuming to prepare and apply, but this may be to the advantage of your production if you choose to plan it into your budget in time for construction to take place. This is because the material is diverse in its uses, so our craftsmen will use the time needed to achieve a wide range of designs using the material, including patterns, motifs, and other bespoke features that you have requested and that will best suit your production overall.

Glass-Reinforced Gypsum

Glass-reinforced gypsum, which may also be abbreviated to “GRG”, is a modern type of fibrous plaster made from a combination of gypsum casting plaster and glass fibre matting. 

For most planned builds, the durability added by the matting is a great advantage to having GRG installed. However, for set construction, the focus will normally be on the lightweight design which allows for a fast, less labour-intensive installation, and the adaptable nature of the material. These combined benefits of use make the material extremely cost-effective for any budget, as more of it can be used to complete a set and within a shorter span of time.

Because GRG is flexible when moulded, it can be cast into a varied selection of shapes and designs that fit your setting, whether you are planning an exterior scene for a historical drama, or an interior for a new sci-fi adventure. As an added advantage, the material can also be painted, meaning that you will be able to achieve any colour scheme that has been noted for the production. 


This is a composite material made from an acrylic resin that binds gypsum powder. There are a number of different varieties, several of which we stock for film, theatre, and television production.

The Jesmonite types we supply are best used in set constructions that require the replication of natural stone, sandstone, granite, marble, and terracotta. Each can then be moulded into a range of shapes and designs required to complete props and scenery as necessary, helping you to create the most immersive and realistic experience possible for your audiences. We are also able to supply Jesmonite which imitates the aesthetics and behaviours of metallic objects, including brass, bronze, and copper, for this same reason. 

Like glass-reinforced gypsum, you will also find that Jesmonite is ideal for carrying out swift, simple installations because it is more lightweight than the materials it aims to replicate. This keeps it friendlier to any budget you have and means you will be assured fast work that keeps you on schedule for your production.

For More Information on Set Construction Services

If you are in need of professional set construction services to help complete your television, theatre, or movie set, get in touch with Design and Visual Concepts today. We take pride in our reputation as a provider of high quality sets and scenery in an exceptional selection of material types, and we are more than confident that we will be able to take any design you have in mind and bring it to life on stage or screen as accurately as you need.

You will also be guaranteed a quick, easy delivery when you come to us, as we are a UK-based manufacturer of glass-reinforced gypsum. This means there should be no delays based on shipping or paperwork, ensuring you’ll meet your deadline and the production will go ahead as you, the director, and the producers have planned. 

CALL US IF WE CAN HELP YOU – 01959 571 071