Dreams and Books
by Dale Bandel for Build A Dream (2014)
Since I knew what I wanted to create,even before knowing the contents , I needed to tear apart the mannequin and canvas panel and assess the raw materials. Aw come on, VanGogh's ear? After dividing into piles( wood,metal,ears,etc) I decided on a scale that I would hopefully be able to finish without running out of materials. So the plaster bandages were layered for the background to save cardboard (5 layers pulled apart from inside canvas panel. Yippee!) I then sawed the hardboard for the door and half-round window opening , carving bricks on the exterior. I now had my scale for the girl and boy. The box was modified to make a curving stage. I split the basswood instead of sawing so I didn't lose any to saw dust. At this point I'm sweeping up everything and saving it. Never know what you will need. I steam bent wood for window and glued up doors and frame. The precious little cardboard was used for books,bricks,mache,and cardstock for the path , supported by the aluminum rod. Wire was used for armatures,textured and twisted for climbing vine,flattened for door handles. The sponge was sliced with an electric knife to make realistic foliage. Screws and springs, from inside mannequin, were used on doors for knobs and hinges. Wood dowels and other wood parts were glued up and carved for the boy,girl,lamp,clock,and baseball equipment. Canvas was used for the rug,book details,and threads used for the persistent little dog. Paper from the mannequin box was used for clothes. Half of the plastic egg was carved for the stained glass lampshade. VanGogh's ear was cut again, this time for stones. A woodburner was used to texture them and burn the floor pattern into the cardboard. The modeling clay was used for bricks and painted only after coating with white glue. The rest was oil primed and painted with artist's acrylics. The blue and pink adds to the dream-like quality, as does leaving the vine unpainted.
My inspiration is a quote by William Wordsworth-"Dreams...books,are each a world." When we were children, dreams and books could be included in our world. Hopefully as adults we still let dreams and books take us up the path and soaring to imaginary worlds.Before knowing what was in the box, I visualized the girl asleep on Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream". Books can build beautiful dreams and help them come true.