VLOG: You Mean Hateful Boy / Making a Break-Away Slate

Remember the sugar glass? The prop-list for Anne of Green Gables calls for a slate that breaks when broken on top of Gilbert Blythe's head. Considering how well the supposed-to-break-china-plates killed the unassuming actors at last years play, I was rather unbelieving that we could make an actual slate safe to break on top of someone's head. Naturally, I wouldn't want to be responsible for any slate-smashing related injuries.

I researched "breakaway slates" to see if there was an actual prop that existed. They don't exist. I did find a tutorial on how to make a break-away tombstone with flour bursting from the middle. Very interesting, but not particularly helpful. 

So. How do you make a slate break over a human skull (with a brain underneath) without sending the recipient to the ER? Is it possible?

May I introduce, The Eureka Society of Brilliant Science.

With our brains, nothing was short of impossible. After some research and the grand hunt for an actual candy thermometer - we slaved away.

Three days later, we had are three "test slates". We didn't waste time painting and shaping them to a slate-like thing, but you get the general idea.

All that was left was the actual grand experiment. I found some willing sisters and an audience of chuckling siblings. After obtaining parental permission and supervision, we began the slate-breaking process.


  1. Three things: 1) Very strange things happen in the Bergmann household. 2) It's tough to be a Bergmann sister, and 3) Did I really approve this activity?

  2. Have you decided on what kind of slate you will use yet? And I am shocked that no such prop exists!

  3. :) The video was hilarious - as was your Mom's comment above. :)

    --What kindof slate did you decide to use?

  4. Well. As it stands - I think we're better at research than experimenting. The only one that looked realistic was plaster of paris, but that was a very thin slate we made. So I don't know how "safe" it actually is when it's 1/2" thick. :)

  5. I laughed so hard! As did all my little siblings!
    I think the second "slate" did the best, and as for sound, maybe you could have someone backstage drop a plate at the same time.... :)

  6. This was so charming and funny! Loved it! = )

  7. When I was in 'Anne' way back (good night, was it really 6 years ago!?!) the slate we used was as following, let's see if I can describe it.

    We built a hollow foam 'slate' using the black and brown sheets of foam available in craft stores. Then painted it to look like an actual slate (it was slate size). Then the 'slate' was cut in 2 pieces jaggedly. Next, a thin sheet of balsa wood was inserted in the hollowness and the slate was re-assembled. The balsa wood held the foam slate together, and made a satisfying 'crack' (though no shatter sound). We just kept more sheets of balsa wood on hand, one for every performance. It wasn't a perfect solution, but worked for us!

  8. Poor Hannah! I hope it didn't hurt to much!!!!!!!!!!! And oh my gosh was you video fun! I loved it!
    ~Lve~ Marie K

    LOVE the video =)
    Hannah Piotraschke


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Maira Gall