Gathering a Dream

   by Veronica Keymel for Build A Dream (2014)

I started this project with the most complex item, the mannequin. Specifically I wanted to disguise it as much as possible, and did so by covering it in a plasticine skin with plaster cloth hair and clothing. Wire mesh and armature wire provided the start to the wings, as well as making the base for smaller plaster covered objects such as the heart, rose, and cat. In preferring to use the harder and more permanent materials, I made the dream catcher frame out of the hardboard as well as the glass slipper and rainbow with a pot of gold. It also served well as the base to hold up the fairy, and was painted black to be like a cast shadow.

The wooden dowels and rods became beads and candies with some simple sawing, drilling, and filing, whereas the thick aluminum was sliced and hammered into coins. Nylon thread was perfect to weave the net of the dream catcher, but pulling some of the thicker threads out of the canvas cloth was much better for the hanging feathers which were cut from the mannequin box. The packaging turned out to be incredibly useful, almost more so than the kit materials. It was easy to imagine the cellophane to become the gossamer of fairy wings, the glass of a window and of course the wrapper of sweet candies. Even the box the materials came in was the right size to make a window frame.

The remaining details involves painting classic dream scenes on the wooden discs, cutting a small house from the mannequin base, turning half of the plastic egg into a basket with canvas, armature wire, and the rubber band holding the rods together, and using the Styrofoam rod and left over square dowels as window trim and divisions. Most of the project is held together with Elmer's Glue All and super glue for non-porous materials and a quicker drying time. Much of the project was painted with acrylic paint with nail polish used for its iridescence on the glass slipper and card stock veining of the fairy's wings.

In thinking about the theme 'Build a Dream' I decided to take it fairly literally as in if you were to build a dream for someone to have as they were sleeping, you would have to gather the parts and materials for it somewhere. And what if those ephemeral and flighty dream parts had to be caught like fish in a net? Enter the dream catcher an object whose well known function is to trap dreams, good or bad depending on which source you believe. This opened up a further question, once dream parts are caught in the dream catcher's net, who would come by and empty the net and collect the catch?

I though it must be some sort of mischievous little fairy, whose job it is to sneak to the catcher hanging at the window and gather all the dream parts to take back and make into bigger and better dreams. Thus the scene is set where we get to see the fairy go about her nightly duties and gather the parts needed to build into dreams. The various parts trapped tonight are largely positive things people long for, candies for sweetness, hearts for love, dream houses, and coins plus rainbows with pots of gold at the end for riches.

Included too are some depictions of popular dream like fairy tales such as little images of the Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz, or meeting the hookah smoking caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland. There is even Cinderella's glass slipper, representing the biggest dream of all, going from having nothing to having everything one could ever want. How these captured bits and bobs are built into dreams is still a bit of a mystery. Are they processed at a big factory? Are they still handmade? Does it require more parts? And the biggest question of all is who is the dream builder?