Dream Chime for Hieronymus Bosch

   by Shanna Bublitz for Build A Dream (2014)

- What techniques and tools did you use?
BOWL HEAD: a plastic bowl served as the basic form, molded with wire and wire mesh, covered with plaster cloth. The eyes and nose were sculpted from clay, the arms and legs taken from the deconstructed mannequin covered with clay. The piece was left rough to appear as canvas, covered with paint and varnish and the hair, painted canvas cloth. The sponge was cut and painted to form the tongue, with a brass piercing.
FLATHEAD: cut from 8x10 hardboard and painted with latex and melted packing peanuts to appear as sea foam. Two creatures float in the water to hold up the background piece.
TRIPTYCH: made from the 6x8 canvas board, using heat-transfer paper to appear as the ‘Garden of Earthly Delight’ painting, with the exterior panels of the Earth opening into to the center panel. This is ‘supported’ with brass chains (made from crocheted string, painted with metallic brass paint - used throughout the sculpture).
BLUE TOWER: (This structure is seen in the triptych image and is a recurring shape) - sphere is molded over a balloon (removed) and the central shaft is made of the stand for the mannequin, styrofoam rod and two square dowels, painted with latex and acrylic paint (using the sponge for texture). Images from the original painting were transferred from inkjet print to cardstock (see “Anything Else?” notes), and then attached to the tower. Created ‘hammered brass’ by flattening the aluminum wire and painting with brass metallic - added to the tower as banding.
SUPPORT BEAMS: Above the shaft are the two wood discs, on which are fastened two square dowels set as a crosspiece (the trimming from the wood was used on the wings). From the wood hang four ‘dream clouds’, ‘gilded’ with metallic paint, made from the mannequin box. Thy are embellished with printed images, and hung with ‘brass chain’ and small bells, made from the shoulder and hip of the mannequin,
THE ANGEL: the torso of the mannequin became the artist, Hieronymus Bosch, with the round wood dowel mounted in place of the arms, which are used to support the egg and ears. He appears with a halo and a small bunch of white string to look like feathers at the neck. The gilded cloud on his chest is embellished with the single word, “Dream”. Being shown as an angelic figure, the wings were inspired by another of the medieval artists, Leonardo da Vinci; these are formed from wire wrapped with plaster cloth and painted to appear as wood, with painted canvas cloth, wire made to look like brass and tied with black (dyed) and white string.
GEARS: Beneath the chest, images of old brass gears and clocks (transfer to cardstock) are layered onto black paint and made to appear as a working mechanical pivot.
EGG: wire was added to the plastic egg to form the two legs, covered with clay, paint and varnish, with paper image glued on from transparent transfer medium.
EARS: molded with plaster cloth (for a second ear); the knife that separates the two ears was made of wire, wire mesh, cardboard and plaster, painted with acrylics and varnish, and embellished with paper transfer images. Deconstructed pieces of the mannequin were used for the ‘brass’ springs and screws that support both the hangings, which are mounted to the round dowel.
BASE: cut from the shipping box and painted black, embellished with astrological symbols in colored pencil, using brass paint and varnish, to appear as a medieval clock (the ‘Dreamtime’).

- How did you choose to use the theme: Build a Dream?
I wanted to reference an artist that was surreal and ‘dreamlike’, (e.g. Dali or Picasso)… so when I opened the box and saw the ear and the egg, I thought of some artwork by Hieronymus Bosch. He painting contorted, confusing and even disturbing images when his contemporaries were producing the classical Renaissance artwork. The hardest part was to limit which of these to use and how to structure them together. The original sketch was a rough idea, which grew into a “Dream Chime” when the sculpture became a mobile, so the small brass bells were added; however, this mobile is to be activated by dreams, instead of wind. It is now a fully functional ** mobile that I titled: “Dream Chime for Hieronymus Bosch”.
(** In Your Dreams…)

I used two types of transfer material: iron-on sheets of transfer paper that can be printed with images from ink-jet printer. The heat from the iron melts the glue and the paper is removed. Seventeen images were transferred to the cardstock paper, three images on the 6x8 canvas board. Also, I used a transfer medium that is painted onto printed images and left to cure; later, the paper is scrubbed off and the image and glue remain (e.g. used for the “Dream” text).
Nearly all materials were used, including the ‘hidden plastic’ inside the plaster cloth (which became spires on the tower); some of the wire, clay and various pieces of cardboard and hardboard are left, but none of the plaster, thread or wooden dowels.