Going Around In Time

   by Nancy Cannon for Somewhere in Time (2015)

I first made a working prototype out of paper, cardboard, and wood sticks to see if my idea could work with the materials provided in the kit. From there I started by cutting down the MB box for the floor gear, side gear, canopy base, and track base. There were plenty of box scraps leftover that went to a variety of other details.
The two instruction sheets were painted with gesso to make applying acrylic paint easier. They were used towards the base sash that covers the mechanism, and the canopy. The paper scraps were used for the animals' harnesses and canopy trim. The small block was cut down into four half-circles for the track, and the larger block was given texture with wood carving tools and made into the carousel's center column.
I peeled off the MB box label, painted that with gesso, and used it to create the four seasons on the center column, and to cover up the larger of the two styrofoam discs sitting under the column. The smaller styrofoam disc was cut down into four half circles and used to support the track. The sheet of shrink film was cut down into several strips that were glued onto the blocks and cardboard track base to form the smooth surface the wood sticks would slide over. The box the modeling clay came in was going to be made into a kalliope to stand next to the main carousel piece, but it was taken apart and the cardboard used to reinforce the track.
The aluminum bar was bent into a triangle and filled with the balsa foam to support the larger of the two dowels running through the center of the piece. The plywood disc supports the cardboard floor gear. The square hardwood strips were cut down to equal sizes and used to join the floor gear to the canopy.
Three of the animals (dodo, dinosaur, and frog) are made out of the aluminum wire and modeling clay. I painted the clay with a white glue/acrylic mixture to stabilize it. The dodo's chariot was made out of cardboard from the Creative Mark canvas panel. The mammoth and fish were made out of the upholstery foam, burlap (torn into strands), and the cloth bag cut down. The string from the cloth bag was used for the reins on most of the animals. The robotic horse was made out of the Soho painting board, foam sheet, and burlap strands. Wood sticks wrapped with thread and painted were used as the posts for the moving animals.
The flags were made out of the canvas from the Creative Mark panel and wire. The Friendly Plastic was formed into leaves and flowers using a mold to decorate the piece. The Premo clay was also used to make flowers and the eyes for the animals. The frog holds the steel ball in his hands painted blue to represent our planet Earth. The various wood pieces became accents for the dodo and his chariot, and to stabilize the side gear. The clothespin was sanded down and created the mammoth's tusks, while the spring became the horse's bit. The cotton was dipped into a water/white glue mixture so it could be flattened and cut into leaves to cover the post base of each animal. The cardboard mirror was cut down into smaller pieces and used as accents on the column with foam trim.
It took a lot of time and thought, but I was able to incorporate every part of the MB kit into my piece, with very little left over.

I couldn't decide on a specific period of time to focus my piece on, so I wanted to create something that could incorporate the past, present, and future together in a fluid way. I chose a carousel, which itself is an enduring and timeless amusement for all ages, and therefore appropriate for this year's Mystery Build theme. The shape and motion of a carousel easily lends itself to portray elements from our planet's past, present, and future in a never ending "loop". The animals featured span millions of years of the Earth's history, the base sash covers human civilization over the centuries (except for the dinosaur), and the canopy illustrates how our modes of transportation have evolved over time. Even the center column adds to the theme by illustrating the four seasons going around and around. Our future is represented by the robotic horse, and space scenes on the base and canopy. Who knows how far away we are from these being a reality?