Paper to Sail

   by Tina Harrison for Build A Dream (2014)

I melted and recolored the clay to match the tone of typewriter I used and wanted the same for the boat since in my mind they are one in the same. I painted the keys and black on the typewriter with acrylic paint. The paper in the typewriter and across the water was the sheet of paper. The same was used to make the sail, along with the wire mesh, glue, and white paint. The sail is held up by one of the sticks I thinned out with a Dremel. I painted the piece of cloth light green and used the sponge to make the dark green effects. I took the board and used the Dremel to sand texture for the water and waves. I also used some clay to build the water up around the base of the boat. The body of the boat is the foam ear that was cut and sanded down to that shape then covered lightly in the clay. The wire was used to go around the boat.

"Paper to Sail"

I grew up in a progressively dying steel town along the Chesapeake Bay. Swimming, crabbing, fishing, digging for worms to conduct said fishing, were some of my greatest memories in my checkered childhood. Surrounded by bars, drugs, prostitutes, and violent crime, my wants for a better future were often smothered. I never fit in to the area, with my peers or even my own disjointed family. Creative pursuits and time spent out on the water were the only means I found to cope. I remember dragging my mother's typewriter to middle of our yard, extension cords end to end, and sitting in the grass to type up newspapers. I would type stories, draw pictures, and go door to door to try to sell the "limited editions". As I matured, my writing did as well. Imprisoned in my mind, released only to paper, was the true essence of who I was at any given time. It was one of two safe places to be me. The only other haven was when I was playing near the Bay. I wanted a lifelong journey where my writing could fund my travels in and out of coastal waters, and nautical living would fuel my inner author. I imagined that my writing -- the seeds of sitting in the grass with a 1970's typewriter -- would certainly afford me a vessel to experience a life far outside the declining socio-economic sphere I lived. In adulthood, I've met opportunities that have pushed my existence far beyond the limitations of my hometown. I wake each morning to greet them with gratitude. However, this specific dream has not come to fruition, and I've never been able to give up on it. As long as I am writing, I still feel the same hope and anticipation I did a lifetime ago. Maybe my writing will never flow gracefully from my instrument to a sailboat, but it's still taken me far from where I was: trapped inside myself.

I enjoy storytelling in anything I do. That was the draw to do this Mystery Build. I also am one of those people who probably gets more out of the process of making art than I even do in the satisfaction of the final product.