Ode to the Wild Perpetual Dream Builder

   by Philip Downs and Ava Downs for Build A Dream (2014)

In making the various components of the project we tried to keep construction simple – only hand tools. For Max we used a wire frame that was built-up with cornstarch biodegradable packing peanuts covered with a thin layer of modeling clay. The face was made from a piece (a bite) of Van Gogh’s Ear. The ears of Max’s suit were made from the wooden Mannequin feet. Max’s tail was made from three pieces of packing peanuts. His whiskers were made from dyed Nylon Thread spool.
The boat was made from the Mannequin box. The round and square dowels made the mast and frames to hold the canvas cloth sails. The lines on the boat were made from the Nylon thread. The boom is attached to the mast using part of a spring from the Mannequin.
The body of the Sea Monster is made using the Styrofoam rod wrapped in wire mesh and covered with a thin layer of the modeling clay. The “feathers” are made from cut pieces of the plastic Egg. The claws were made from pieces of Van Gogh’s Ear wrapped in wire mesh. The head of the Sea Monster was put together using parts of the wooden mannequin, wire and clay. The hair and goatee is made from the Sea Sponge and horns carved out of one of the dowels.
The palm tree is made from the stock paper and glued to the top of the trunk which is made using legs and arms of the mannequin. The trunk is held together with wire down the center of the legs and mounted on the rest of Van Gogh’s ear, which makes-up the land. Cut cardboard from the box is used to build the grass.
The perpetual motion device is made from the Tempered Hardboard. A hand drill was used to make holes to receive cut pieces of the round wooden dowel as stoppers. The Aluminum Rod was cut and attached to the board to act as a pivot for the double wound wire that held the various cycles of the moon. The moons were made using the modeling clay but then wrapped in plaster cloth wrap. The disc is then mounted to the back of the book cover using double wound wire and two wooden discs as washers and parts of the wooden mannequin to keep the ends tight.
The book is made from cutting and resizing the Mystery box and then covering it in plaster cloth. Wooden dowels and screws were used to frame the inside of the book. A wooden cradle was made to allow the Sea Monster to pivot on a piece of wire from the mannequin, while a wire cradle was used to hold Max’s boat. A piece of nylon string runs from one end of the book to the other and held in place using springs. As the moons come down they hit the string and gently rock the boat and cause the Sea Monster to move.
The clear plastic wrapping on the Mystery box was cut and used for the waves.
The piece of card stock paper was resized and the text from “Where the Wild Things Are” was printed on it.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Max is the ultimate dream builder. The dream of perpetual motion was inspired by many invention over the years including Leondardo da Vinci's off-balanced wheel.

This was a Father/Daughter project. We had a fantastic time building this dream.