A Dream Within A Dream

   by Michelle Vician for Build A Dream (2014)

When I received the box, I realized immediately my cardboard supply was very limited so I split it in half lengthwise to maximize usability. Below I will outline the major uses of the other materials, one focal point (writing of Poe) at a time:

The majority of platform and pedestal is made from the Mystery Build box itself. The front and side pages are cardboard and tempered hardboard covered with watered down¯ packing peanuts, carved and painted with a coat of white glue to look like pages.

Edgar's head was molded out of clay and then covered with plaster wrap. The clay was removed once the plaster had dried and painted with acrylics.

The Raven on Edgar's head is made primarily from Vincent's foam ear, including its wings, tail and head. The body was made out of the sea sponge. All pieces were glue-gunned¯ together. The hand and the foot of the wooden mannequin were used for the beak.

For the Fall of the House of Usher, I used the head of the mannequin for the crazed main character and balsa wood for the bricks as well as more construction paper from the box.

Edgar's ink bottle was the torso of the mannequin, with its holes filled with modeling clay. The quill is made from the cardboard box of the mannequin, while the quill's nib is made from the spindle from the center of the plaster wrap, which I cut with the Dremel.

The Black Cat form was made from wire. I glue-gunned¯ bits of sea sponge onto the form and then pulled the sea sponge off to give it a beat up, tomcat look. I rolled a strip of plastic wrap in crumbled plaster and dyed it to make the noose.

The Premature Burial figure was created using the wooden mannequin leg and Dremel. I jointed the body with the nylon thread. I removed the canvas from the canvas board for her gown. I dyed canvas for the coffin lining. The coffin itself is made from the mannequin cardboard box.

The Tell-Tale Heart wooden floor was made from cardboard scraps I put through an embossing texture plate (Sizzix) to create the look of wood and then painted. The heart was carved out of Styrofoam and painted.

I twisted lengths of wire together to create two levers and attached them to the premature burial figure and the heart. This allowed me to maneuver them by threading it through the back of the book.

The (Pit and the) Pendulum and blade were hammered out and filed from the metal rod just as you showed in your video. I use the screws from the mannequin to join the tempered hardboard around the gear I notched from a tempered hardwood disc.

The creature from The Masque of the Red Death was made from clay, wire mesh and canvas.

The tree and its limbs are made from the packing peanuts, watered down onto wire mesh and wire. The bookcase is made from cardboard and balsa; the books from clay.

For the cemetery sign, I used the top of the spool from the wire and the Dremel to cut out the words nevermore. Cemetery¯ was twisted from the wire and then painted. For Annabel Lee's tombstone, I split the cardboard and used part of the plastic Easter egg to form the curve of the tombstone along with Styrofoam to create the base. The angel of death was also carved out of Styrofoam. The small raven perched on top of the tombstone was cast from crumbled plaster wrap in a mold created from the modeling clay. The vines were rolled from pieces of wire mesh and springs from the wooden mannequin. The leaves were created from bits of cardboard. I use the nylon thread to create the spider web by pinning it on a board and painting with a glossy glue to stiffen, followed by painting with acrylic paint.

The Gold Bug¯ is cut from the Easter egg and painted.

Joints from the mannequin were used for the owl and the rats at the base of The Premature Burial¯ and The Fall of the House of Usher figure.

Edgar Allan Poe, in my opinion, is the quintessential dreamer. When I heard about this contest and it's theme, I knew immediately that Edgar Allan Poe was the perfect representation of dreams even before my Mystery Build box arrived. As providence would have it, my user name was Morpheus Allan Poe. I took this as a positive omen and jumped right in. It was too eerie to pass up! When I began to sketch out my work and imagine how the final project would look, I chose to depict all of his works in black and white, as most dreams appears to the dreamer in black and white. I only would add a touch of red sparingly for dramatic effect.

This being my first year creating for Mystery Build, I was very excited, so I reviewed your website to learn as much as I could. One submitted comment that stuck with me was, I saved every scrap from the box and kept all the pieces in one container. I did just that and found it very helpful. You will see from my submission that I worked hard to incorporate every last piece from that Mystery Build Box! It was fun, it was a challenge, and I loved it! Thank you --- I'm already planning for next year :)