Bad Fish

   by Yenphi Mimi Le for Build A Dream (2014)

I did hand-building for the Plastalina (the valiant girl & the heroic swan) sculptures, and I used my clay tools. For the girl, I took apart the Wooden Mannequin & glued his pieces back together in a position to straddle the narwhal, and applied the Plastalina for her body. I did not use the wooden hands or feet, and instead used the Aluminum wire as the armatures. To finish them, I sprayed some acrylic primer over them & painted them using acrylic paints & gloss nail polish. The swan's belt & the girl's skirt are cut out & painted from the Canvas. The swords are carved from the smaller Dowel Rod, using an exacto knife, and then sanded & painted with metallic acrylics.

For the narwhal piece, I manipulated/deconstructed a stuffed animal, sewed it, duck tape it, and sculpted it into a narwhal. Then I lubricated it w/ cooking spray, and used the Plaster Cloth Wrap over my sculpted animal (in sections). Then, I removed the animal duct-taped sculpture from the inside after the plaster dried, & glued/plastered/pieced it back together. For the narwhal horn, I hammered the Aluminum Rod to taper it & round the edges. Then, I wrapped the Aluminum Wire around the Rod to create the horn texture. Since I ran out of the Plaster, I cut out the fins out of the Canvas as well. With my left over Plastalina, I sculpted the narwhal's eyes/brows and his lips to give him more character (he's very chill lol). To finish him, I again used acrylic paint, and I enjoy using a dry brush technique. I used a rounded sponge brush to give his skin that narwhal look (which the plaster worked out well for adding that bumpy-like texture as well).

For the "evil fish," without going insane, I just used my hands/nails & my saliva (gross, I know) to pinch & shape the face and the fins with the Packing Peanuts. It was like rolling tiny lil' fish joints, which I have absolutely no experience in. This material was so sensitive & fragile to every liquid I experimented with (shown in pictures), and I finally found a subtle glitter glue. I had to use something very delicate & kind of precious, so that my many fragile fish wouldn't dissolve over night. So, I emailed the Mystery Build team if I could use glitter glue/paint and got the ok. So then, I artist-taped all the faces & fins & rolled/painted them with it. The evil red eyes are painted with acrylic paint.

The "dead-fish" (their previous kills) basket underneath the narwhal, is made from the 2nd smaller Dowel Rod, & the fence is cut from the Wire Mesh.

To install/photo/hang the piece I used the Nylon Thread.

I have always had a fear of water, and periodically I have dreams that I'm under water or lost in the deep ocean. I've also had a bad dream of piranhas attacking me, so I of course, through my sculptures and art I can depict myself to being courageous and facing my phobias.
I deeply respect & admire all animals & creatures on the wondrous earth, and I enjoy personifying & incorporating them into everything. They're on this earth for a reason & they help humans psychologically, and of course, environmentally. I've always been fascinated with all marine-life animals/mammals, and was really excited to create a sparked my mind when I spotted the Aluminum Rod in the kit. And what's a better side-kick then a territorial, aggressive, & beautiful swan...with a sword, to battle the "evil-fish."

I had a blast.