by Alexandra Lee for Build A Dream (2014)
I started my build by looking through the materials and deciding how I was going to construct the Phoenix. I knew that working with the clay would be the best approach, but I was going to need an infrastructure. I created one by using the plastic Easter egg as the start of his body. I twisted the wire to make the length of the wings and wrapped the mess around it to get the full wing effect. I also used the mess as the support for the tail. I attached both of these to the egg using clay and wire, I then attached that to a dowel. My next step was to find something to use for the neck. Looking at the mannequin I noticed how its limbs could so the trick. I unscrewed the arms and legs (not knowing it was spring loaded! Limbs flew everywhere!) I used pieces for its neck ( wire strung through it) and for the top of its legs. I also used its feet to make his beak. I used left over mesh to create indents in the clay to add a feather texture as well.
Next I needed a base, so I attached the dowel to the thin wooden board with plaster. I crumpled up the thin plastic packaging to make a water effect and covered that with plaster I cut the box down to make the back drop and attached it to the base with two new dowels. In hopes of making it look like a rock form I began attaching scraps of things to the cardboard to add dimension to it. Everything from the clay, to packing peanuts and ripped up cardboard from the various boxes, I then covered the whole thing in plaster and painted it with acrylic paint. To achieve a more textured look, I used the sponge.
I painted and formed the packing peanuts into individual feathers and glued them to the form one by one. I also created some braids for the tail from shredding the canvas cloth.
I created the tree by using the medal rod, wire, and canvas cloth. I pulled apart the cloth to make it individual strings, hot glued it around the wire and wrapped that around the rod. I added packing peanuts to the base of the rod to have the size tapper off. The leaves were made from the the styrofoam rod sliced into circles and cut into leaf shapes.
I created the last wall with the rest of the box, packing peanuts and painted it with acrylic paint.
I've always been fascinated by mythical creatures and have had numerous dreams where they are real. If I could have any of them become reality I would choose the Phoenix, so when I found out that I was able to creature one of my dreams I knew that a Phoenix would be the perfect choice. Not only have I had dreams with them in it, I also wished for these to be real when I was younger. It was amazing to be able to bring my own version of one to life.