Jacob's Ladder

   by Kate Hein and Kate and Mary Alice Hein for Build A Dream (2014)

Since the project was about both the real and dream world, we thought that a two level project was in order.

The lower level began with the backdrop which was painted with acrylics. It is supported by two dowel rods and hot glued to the brown tempered hardboard. The rods were designed to support the upper level which is our version of heaven. The circular staircase made from the styrofoam rod was also designed to support the upper level. The rod was too thick in diameter, so Mary shaved it down using a potato peeler. Jacob was formed by twisting the aluminum wire into a human form then covered with clay and painted. The tunic was made from clay as well. The stairs were formed by cutting triangle shapes from the material box, covered with clay, and then painted. We glued a piece of wire to the bottom of the steps with the end extending beyond the step. This is what we poked into the styrofoam rod to hold the step in place. We wanted a look of uneven ground, so we cut the packing peanuts in half, placed a layer on the tempered hardboard, covered it with two layers of plaster cloth wrap, and then painted. The rock Jacob is sleeping on is the natural sea sponge that we painted with acrylics. The angels were made from splitting the packing peanuts and shaping into irregular angel forms. The wings were also made from packing peanut scraps and glued to the back of the angel bodies. Glitter glue was brushed onto the wings. The staff is made from clay. The spiky greenery is made from card stock.

For the upper level, we cut a curved shape from the material box and hot glued it to the dowel rods and the staircase. The edge is outlined with glitter glue and covered with separated packing peanuts. The angels made from packing peanuts were glued to the upper cardboard. The archway to heaven was made by bending the aluminum rod and wrapping with the aluminum wire to give a decorative effect. The sunburst is on the card stock paper using water color paints. The sunburst is also our representation of God. In the story, Jacob sees God and converses with him. We found it better to leave the depiction of God up to individual interpretation.

The story of Jacob's dream is from the book of Genesis, Chapter 28, verses 10 through 17 (NIV)
Jacob's Dream at Bethel
Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it[a] stood the Lord, and he said: I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. He was afraid and said, How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.

We preferred a biblical theme, so we searched for bible stories about dreams. The story of Jacob's Ladder is a fairly common bible story that we thought the public would recognize.