Ascending Apparition

   by Phil Fisher for Build A Dream (2014)

I began with a sketch! I then built the frame of the bed using the two 12” x .375” square basswood dowels, cutting them with a small hand saw, using wood glue on the corners. I then took the mannequin and bent the metal rod that holds it so it was in a flying position. I then cut the bed post from the 12” x .25” basswood dowels and cut them so the headboard post were longer than the footboard post. I then notched them on the inside using a small pocketknife so that the bed frame could fit secure in the bed post. I then glued those joints with wood glue. I then used the cardboard packaging for the mannequin as the base for the bed and glued it to the bed frame with wood glue. I then took the 12” x .25” aluminum rod and cut it in half using wire snips and then shaped them like the curve of a birds wings with my hands. I then used a .25 drill bit and drilled into the back of the mannequin, two holes, for the wings about ½ inch deep. I then secured them with E6000 glue. Then I used the modeling clay to form my first figure (the dog). Then cutting the sponge with scissors, I formed the shape of a pillow. I began cutting the headboard and footboard out of the canvas board, using wood glue to secure them to the bed. Then, painting the two 1.5” wood discs, one a clock and one a moon, using acrylic paints. I also cut a small piece of aluminum wire from the spool to fit around the clock and then glue it. Using the plaster cloth wrap, I put it around the sponge pillow and gave it a pillow case. To give more height to the mannequin, I cut the 12” x 1” styrofoam rod in ½” pieces and placed them under the mannequin base. Using the modeling clay, I shaped the boy’s face, hand and a rough body shape. The next step was to cut the 8” x 10” wire mesh to a size to provide a base for the blanket to cover the boy. Cutting the plaster cloth, I formed the blanket over the mesh and used small strips on top to form folds in the blanket with water and a soft watercolor brush. Once the glue was set for the rods as wings, I used the plaster cloth again to shape the feathered area of the wings. I decided then to paint in acrylic, the dog, the blanket and the boy’s face and hand, as well as the pillow. Using four small pieces of wire with small holes drilled into the top of each post. I also painted them green. Next I shaped and painted two little teddy bears from the modeling clay. I painted a starry night sky on the headboard and footboard and attached the moon with wood glue! I next used the modeling clay again to shape the boy’s head and hands over the mannequin’s and painted them! I also cut and painted the feathering on the wings. Then, I formed a little cat from the modeling clay and painted it as well as cut an oval rug shape out of the canvas panel and painted that too! I had left over strips of the canvas panel so I gave the bed a boxier shape and glued them to the bed frame. Then using the 8” x 10” tempered hardboard, I painted it like an old wooden floor. Using the bottom and one side of the kit box, I used it as the room wall and glued the side to the bottom of the hardboard floor for support. Then I painted the wall using a cardboard strip as wainscoating. Using a piece of the canvas cloth, I primed it with gesso paint and then painted on it in acrylics, the island scene with a sailboat. Then using more of the kit’s cardboard, I cut and painted a frame for the painting, then glued them to the wall! Next was gluing the clock to the wall and making a bedside lamp using the plastic eggshell and the round 5/16” wood dowel, a piece of the thread and a bit of modeling clay on the light chain. Then came the seagulls painted on the shade and base after it was glued to the floor. Next came the three books made out of kit cardboard and paper cut from the card stock paper, provided, and then painted and lettered. I made clay slippers,(2 pair), one on the apparition and one on the floor! Next, I formed the boy’s pajamas using various shapes of the plaster cloth, water and a soft paintbrush. I then painted the pajamas with an airplane design and glued the other teddy bear to the apparition’s shoulder. The final step was to use the aluminum wire to form a coat hanger and then use the plaster cloth to form an old baseball jersey to hang on the end of the bed, painted, of course and then, out of the extra cardboard, I made a small model airplane glider like the ones we all had as kids and painted it to look the same!

My inspiration came from the many flying dreams I had as a child and still have occasionally today! I felt that if I used the theme to express a child’s spiritual connection to all life’s possibilities and their personal affinities to things they could grasp, that people might remember that dreams can come true!

Win or no, I had fun building it and sharing childhood memories with friends and family!