The Distant Future

   by Kirstin Crotty for Somewhere in Time (2015)

The surface of Mars! -- To construct the surface of the planet Mars, I used the Mystery Build kit box, part of the white paper, wood craft sticks, the plywood disc, the strip of burlap, and the two styrofoam discs. I created the shell of the structure using a large disc cut out of the kit box that I reinforced with additional strips of the box cardboard. I then stacked a smaller disc of cardboard on top of the support strips. On top of that I put a layer of wooden craft sticks followed by the plywood disc -- the stacking of subsequently smaller layers on top of one another helped create a shallow dome shape to the base. I added texture to the sides and created texture using the paper, burlap, and styrofoam, which I molded into terrain. I then primed and painted the base in acrylic paints with a "Mars-esque" color palette.

The tiny robot overlords! -- To construct the four alien robot explorers, I used the Premo! Sculpey clay, aluminum wire, foam sheet, hardwood strips, and cotton balls. I hand formed the figures out of the Sculpey clay and joined the pieces with aluminum wire. The robot that "took off" in a swirl from the surface of the planet had a rocket pack that I created out of pieces of foam sheet. I made the trailing smoke out of cotton balls that I teased apart to make more wispy. The pair of "working" robots are carrying a pile of lumber that I created out of cut and painted pieces of the hardwood strips. All of the pieces I primed and painted with acrylic paints.

It's a rocket! -- To construct the rocket, I used the foam pad, thread bobbin, foam sheet, paper, cloth bag, and cardboard mirror. I cut a rectangle out of the foam pad and used the thread to wrap it into an oblong rocket shape. I then made a nose cone out of a section of the paper and attached it to the top of the foam shape. To make a smoother shape, I covered the body of the rocket with a piece from the cloth bag and made a bottom piece from a circle cut from the foam sheet. I then primed the whole body and painted it. Lastly I attached the fins, which I cut out from the cardboard mirror.

"Somewhere in Time" is a theme that leaves so much room for creative interpretation; I thought for a long while about what I would choose, whether something from history, a current event, or something from personal experience. Then I realized that perhaps I was limiting myself and hadn't considered all the possibilities -- what about the future? What about places in time that exist now only in our imaginations? Using a combination of those thoughts I decided to create a project depicting a scene from the distant future (or not so distant future? or alternate place in time?) where we discover a group of alien robots colonizing Mars.

I wanted to create something that was really fun, that pushed the boundaries of thinking around the theme, and that took the theme and used it in a creative way. Hopefully my little group of fun-loving colonists does just that -- evokes a place in time that expands our universe and our minds.

This was my second year participating in the Mystery Build project, and it was just as much fun if not more than last year. I love the concept -- being asked to think outside the box using the things in the box -- it creates a truly unique creative opportunity.