About That Flying Dream...
by Carol Jones for Build A Dream (2014)
Materials Used: aluminum wire, cornstarch peanuts, cardboard from the Mystery Build Box, cardboard from the box containing the wooden mannequin, Van Gogh Novelty Ear, nylon thread, 12”x .25” Square Basswood Dowel, 12”x .375” Square Basswood Dowel, 12”x1” Styrofoam Rod, Plaster Cloth Wrap, plastic bag that contained the Plaster Cloth Wrap, 8” x 10” Tempered Hardboard, water, liquid glue, liquid craft paints.
Process 1: Human Figures and Accessories
Figures and telescope were created with a wire armature, cornstarch peanuts, and a slurry created from cornstarch peanuts as described in the online tutorials. The wire armatures for the male figures have additional long wires that extended beyond the feet for wiring the figures into the basket. (Photos 1and 4 and 10) The telescope in place by hand until the liquid glue dried.
Bird Mask- created by building up strips of cardboard and covering it with a slurry made from cornstarch peanuts and painted with liquid craft paints. (Photo 2) See Process 2 below for information on the thin cardboard.
Wings- glued 2 pieces of thin cardboard from the top of the Mystery Build Box. (Process 2) Holes were punched with an awl. Wings were painted gold. Pieces of the Novelty Foam Van Gogh Ear were cut into wedge shapes, painted white, and then painted with markings to make them look like feathers. Nylon thread and glue were used to hold the feathers in place and to create “straps” to hold the wings to the figure. (Photos 3 and 4)
Black Hat- made from thin cardboard (Process 2) - two pieces of cardboard were painted then glued together along the top edge. Once the paint was dry, it was glued to the figure. (Photo 4)
Process 2: Thin Cardboard
The box top of the Mystery Build project was made in layers. It was possible to separate the box top into three separate layers. (Photo 5) The thin layers were more malleable, allowing them to follow curves.
Process 3: Hot Air Balloon and Basket
Basket- sides and bottom of the basket were created with strips of cardboard were cut from the top of the Mystery Build Box and woven in a basket weave pattern with drops of glue added where each strip came into contact with another. When the glue had dried, pieces of the smaller sized Basswood dowel were cut to the size and glued inside the corners of the basket and clamped until dry. This formed the square shape of the basket. The bottom was attached by folding over the bottom edge of each side and gluing it to the bottom of the basket. The pieces were clamped together with forceps clamps until dry. The figures were then wired into the basket. (Photos 6 and 7) The basket received multiple coats of liquid craft paints to detail the basket pattern.
Making the basket float- Pilings were cut from the 12”x1” Styrofoam Rod. The center piling is a full round of the Styrofoam rod. The other pilings are half-rounds created by cutting the pieces in half, length wise. The pilings were painted with liquid craft paints to match the basket and glued to the basket with liquid glue. The pilings had to be shimmed with small pieces of the Styrofoam rod to account for shifts in weight and balance when the balloon section was added. (Photo 8) Branches and leaves (See Process 4) were used to disguise the pilings. The pilings and basket are freestanding and were glued to the Tempered Hardboard using liquid glue after all of the balloon pieces were assembled The balloon piece was balanced with shims cut from the Styrofoam Rod.
Balloon Construction- Balloon was created by using a partially inflated balloon as a mold placed inside the plastic bag from the Plaster Cloth Wrap packaging and covering it with damp Plaster Cloth wrap. The balloon never came into direct contact with the plaster wrap. (Photo 9) After the Plaster Cloth Wrap dried, the balloon and plastic bag were was popped and removed. The bottom of the balloon shape was cut so that the edge was straight. A collar of cardboard made from the box that contained the wooden mannequin was glued to the inside of the plaster balloon shape. Any dips in the shape of the balloon were covered over by thin pieces of cardboard. (Process 2) (Photo 7)Triangular shapes, used as mosaic pieces, were cut from the thin cardboard. (Process 2) They were glued to the balloon shape with liquid glue. When dry, the piece was painted with liquid craft paints. (Photo 10)
Furnace and Flames- flames were added to disguise the Basswood dowel that is the primary support for the balloon. The black furnace was made by wrapping thin cardboard (Process 2) around the Styrofoam Rod. It was glued on the long outside edge. Once the glue dried, the cardboard tube was slipped off the Styrofoam rod and painted with liquid craft paint. Flame shapes, made from thin cardboard (Process 2) were painted with liquid craft paints and glued to the black tube. The furnace and flames were slipped onto the open end of the Basswood dowel. Cornstarch peanuts were stuffed into the tube around the dowel to keep the dowel from shifting and to create a larger gluing surface. (Photo 8)
Supporting the Balloon- The primary support for the hot air balloon is one of the larger Square Basswood dowels. A circular piece of cardboard was cut from the Mystery Build box top. I traced the shape of the Basswood dowel in the center and cut an X. The triangular pieces of the X were folded upward; the dowel was inserted and glued to the cardboard pieces with liquid glue. This formed a sort of “washer” which allowed for a larger gluing area. When dry, the piece was painted black with liquid craft paints. The balance point was found and marked; the balloon was inverted and liquid glue was applied to the circular washer and dowel. The dowel was placed inside the inverted balloon, braced upright and checked with a level to make sure it was plumb while the glue was drying. Once dry, it was turned upright and glued to the basket. Twisted aluminum wires were connected to the balloon and the four corners of the basket to help stabilize the balloon and add a representation of the cables that hold the basket and balloon together. (Photo 10)
Process 4: Branches and Leaves for screening and support
Branches were formed with Aluminum Wire and Plaster Cloth Wrap dipped in water. (Photo 11) Once the plaster was dry the branches were painted with liquid craft paint. Leaves were made from thin cardboard (Process 2). The leaves were glued together with liquid glue and painted with liquid craft paints. Liquid glue attached the leaves to the branches. The branches and leaves were glued around the pilings under the basket to screen the pilings and make the basket appear to float. (Photo 10)
Process 5: Flying Woman
A branch and leaves also form the support for the flying woman. A portion of the branch was flattened and the body of the woman was glued to it. The branch was glued to the Tempered Hardboard. (Photo 10)
The word dream can mean many things. It can be the actions or objects we imagine, our hopes and aspirations, or just the story that fills our head when we sleep. I chose to portray all three of these types of dreams in my project through a universal theme: flying. In our sleeping dreams we can fly without the aid of wings or machines. This is portrayed by the flying woman. Human kind has always dreamed of being able to leave the ground and fly. The hot air balloon was our first successful attempt of this dream becoming a reality. Even early humans wondered what it was like to fly like a bird. They imagined what it would be like to fly and created bird masks and wings and used them in ceremonies in which the imitated the flights of birds. All of these ideas are included in my interpretation of a dream.
Dreams have been subject to interpretation since ancient times. In this project I have attempted to include the following concepts that are used in dream interpretation. Anachronism: a pre-European culture Native American bird masked man along side the hot air balloon. Historical Artifact: such as the hot air balloon and clothing appropriate to the period. Symbolism: shape and color symbolism (example: orange and yellow symbolize fire--fire symbolizes physical and emotional states). A subliminal play on words "man-made" (as in the hot air balloon) juxtaposed with "man/maid" (as indicating a connection between the man in the hot air balloon and the flying woman).