by Beth Wentz for Build A Dream (2014)
Immediately I decided to clothe the 8" mannequin as Vincent van Gogh. Using the box the mannequin came in, I sprayed the cardboard with water to make it pliable & formed it over the wooden body. The next step was to apply fabric glue to seal the seams of the pants and jacket.
The cardboard was also used for shoes and hat. The tempered hardboard was used for his artwork wall. The aluminum wire was pounded flat to form the structure for his bed and the wire mesh was used as his mattress. The canvas board was painted like hardwood flooring to place under the bed.
It was great to have the wood, as I used my scroll saw to make strips for the bed frame, and picture frames for the artwork dream wall. I made the paint brush from a strip of the wood and used the nylon threads to create the hairs on the brush which were attached with a ferrule made from the flattened aluminum wire.
One of the wood discs was carved for his pallet. The sea sponge was used for hair, which was painted an orange/red for the standing and sleeping van Gogh.
Since I am a jeweler/metalsmith I have several hand tools. I used the cutters the most. Other tools used were: hammers, flex shaft, electric sander, and scroll saw. The acrylic paint used in this project came from my accumulation of many colors from previous projects. I used as a reference some of Vincent's well know artwork as well as his biography.
As soon as I saw the ear, that was it. As what we know of Vincent van Gogh, he was a poor man. Some say mad or crazy. I tried to duplicate, the best I could, some of his well know or great paintings onto the dream wall. Vincent had to borrow money from his brother Theo to buy paint. I wanted to show the sleeping van Gogh dreaming of being wealthy and famous. Perhaps showing the cut ear in his dream was a premonition of what was to be.
I found this project very challenging and I even had a dream about it. My concern was perspective and size. I would do it again in a heartbeat, computer problems and all.