Dream Builders

   by Elise Leutwyler for Build A Dream (2014)

First I molded the general shape of the creature using the modeling clay and covered it in strips of plaster bandages to make a hardened bowl. The legs are made of packing peanuts glued together and bound with more plaster bandages. After sanding the creature I airbrushed it and began working on the bed.

For the bed, I cut up the mysterybuild box and glued together a rectangle, then glued on the head and base boards. I cut the square wooden dowels on a bandsaw and glued them together in the shape I wanted, using wire from the spool to make small joints inside for strength.

The child in the bed is the foam Van Gogh ear topped with pieces of the natural sea sponge painted brown. Once the ear-child was glued on to the bed, I got the provided piece of paper wet, crumpled it up, and draped it over the bed like a blanket. Once it dried, I sprayed it with spray-lacquer so it would keep its shape for painting.

The dream-bubbles the monster creates are all packing peanuts glued together, sanded smooth, and covered in thin pieces of cardboard I got from separating layers of the cardboard the box was made of. I spray painted the bubbles white then decorated them with a mixture of watercolor paint, acrylic paint, and sharpie/pen.

The “Dream Converter 9000” the sides are each wood discs shaved on the bandsaw to have one flat side, the main body is a piece of cardboard curved around and glued to the discs, the tubes are made of aluminum rod, and the suction cups are disguised plastic eggs halves.

The base of the piece is the canvas board cut into an oval on a bandsaw and covered by a remaining chunk of cardboard from the mysterybuild box, watercolored and sharpies to look like grass.

Last but not least, the mannequin assisted in overall assembly and monster burping.

A lot of my work focuses on the playfulness of kids and I wanted to continue in that theme. I loved the idea of a creature that was akin to an imaginary friend, except their purpose is to draw out the imagination of a child and manifest it in dream form, ripe for absorption by the child as they slept.

Dreams allow us to explore the parts of our mind we can’t readily access on our own and we don’t necessarily get to choose whether those dreams are tapping in to pleasant or terrifying parts of our heads. Sometimes it seems to me that, during sleep, the brain is a separate entity and consciousness is along for the ride, trying to make sense of it all. The dream builders in my piece are a playful manifestation of that entity.

If I could burp dreams, I'd be so stoked.