Video Category

Photo Category

Creative Achievement Awards

Photo Category

Video Category

Art Contest Winner of $5,000.  The Goblins of Labyrinth Celebrate The Birth of Jim Henson by Jeff Brown
Art Contest People's Choice of $1500.  Wandering Wonder by Amy Kollar Anderson
Art Contest Winners.  2nd $2,000. Leonardo Da Vinci, The Codex Carousel by Teresa Reaver. 3rd $1,000.  Arc of Ophelia by Nathan Christopher inspired by William Shakespeare. 4th $700. Golden Girls inspired by Gustav Klimt by Destiny Schwartz. 3rd Place. $1,000.  Arc of Ophelia by Nathan Christopher inspired by William Shakespeare. 2nd Place. $2,000. Leonardo Da Vinci, The Codex Carousel by Teresa Reaver 4th Place. $700. Golden Girls inspired by Gustav Klimt by Destiny Schwartz.
Art Contest Winners. 5th Place.  $600. Man vs. Time inspired by Stag at Starkeys 1909 by Rich Davis 6th Thorn Necklace & Hummingbird Santos Cage Doll

by Michelle Berlin inspired by Frida Kahlo's Self-portrait With Thorn Necklace & Hummingbird. 7th A Friend In Need: Cheating Doesn't Pay by Ashley Maurer inspired by C.M. Coolidge. 5th Place $600. Man vs. Time inspired by Stag at Starkeys 1909 by Rich Davis 6th Place. $500. Thorn Necklace & Hummingbird Santos Cage Doll

by Michelle Berlin inspired by Frida Kahlo's Self-portrait With Thorn Necklace & Hummingbird 7th Place. $450.  A Friend In Need: Cheating Doesn't Pay by Ashley Maurer inspired by C.M. Coolidge.
Art Contest Winners. 8th Wings of a Dream by Heriberto Garcia inspired by Flight of Icarus Postal Stamp art from Greece. 9th The Feud in The Bedroom by Christopher Edinjiklian and Teddy Edinjiklian inspired by Vincent van Gogh. 10th Da Vinci's Horse by Alejandro Angeles inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci. 9th Place. $375. The Feud in The Bedroom by Christopher Edinjiklian and Teddy Edinjiklian inspired by Vincent van Gogh. Wings of a Dream by Heriberto Garcia inspired by Flight of Icarus Postal Stamp art from Greece
Art Contest Winners  11th-13th Marsh Wrens 3D by Amy Sawyer inspired by Marsh Wrens Watercolor by John James Audubon Calvin and Hobbes rolling in the cypress wheat field by Seunghwui Koo inspired by Calvin and Hobbes, Wheat Field with Cypress by Bill watterson/Vincent Van Gogh Reinventing Departure of theWinged Ship by Heather Goodykoontz and Sherry DiFilippo inspired by Departure of the Winged Ship by Vladimir Kush
Art Contest Winners 14th - 16th The American Way Re-Invented by Shane Cooley 3 Women Rocking Out by Hannah Park inspired by Three Women Playing Musical Instruments by Katsushika Oi Leda's Study by Rachel Faul inspired by Study of Leda by Leonardo da Vinci
Art Contest Winners 17th-19th Rudolf of Ruffage by Shannon Richardson inspired by Rudolf II by Guiseppe Arcimboldo Rockwell in the Third Dimension by Sherry Zehner inspired by Triple Self-Portrait by Norman Rockwell The Amalgamation by Destiny Schwartz inspired by Ziteraal, Treacle Monster, and Heat Apparition by Nicole Duennebier
Art Contest Winners 20th-22nd American Gothic Revisited By Jodie Dilno Tale As Old As Time by Amanda Trask inspired by Beauty And The Beast Starry Night's Dream By Ann Soto inspired by Starry Night By Vincent Van Gogh


First Place - $5,000 + $250 Bonus

"Gandalf Arrives" by Samantha Boeger from Wilton, CA

Mystery Build 2012 'Gandalf Arrives' from Samantha Boeger on Vimeo.

Movie: Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring

Description: The hardest part of the mystery build was actually picking my favorite movie! The first few months I had the kit was spent figuring out which movie i really wanted to recreate. I decided to go with what always inspired me as a kid, and still inspires me today. As a child there was an amazing art piece that hung in our hallway. The image was a finely detailed illustration of a grey figure with a matching grey hat and beard. I always believed it was a drawing of my dad, and that the smaller figure next to him, with brown hair was me. The other portraits that surrounded the border of the piece were of scary monsters and beautiful elves. I made up my own stories to go along with their faces. Many years later, I found out that the illustration ...


Second Place - $1,000

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock" by Majbritt Payne from Wake Forest, NC

Movie: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Description: Clock was created from tin can, newsprint,canvas and various wood pieces. Birds were cast from Plaster of Paris. Air Dry Putty was used for wings. Air Dry Clay was used for rebel's clothing. nurse uniform made from felt. Nurse's hair created from unraveled rope. Bird babies' straight jackets created from canvas and felt. Bird feet were made from twisted tin can strips and masking tape. Bird nest created from Plaster of Paris. Twisted masking tape was used to form branches. pendulum pieces cast from Plaster of Paris and wooden disc and dowel. Chain for pendulums was made from tin can strips that were folded in half and formed into jump rings. Barb wire was made from twisted tin can strips. chimney smoke was created from unraveled rope.

Majbritt Was Also a Winner in 2011!

2011 Theme: Interpret a Song

Title: Gravitational Nature of Mankind

Song Name: Gravity

Song Artist: John Mayer

Description: Head: Air dry clay using garlic press for hair. Hands: made by gluing together wood circles and filing to shape. Feet: made by gluing together wood squares filing to shape. Body:constructed from altered wood square, dowel, aluminum wire and air dry clay. Shirt and tie: molded from air dry putty. Pants: made from canvas. sewn together with extracted canvas threads. sweater: knitted with extracted canvas threads. Tags used for 7 deadly sins and 7 virtues: constructed from aluminums sheet metal. Chain: aluminum tubing and aluminum wire. Hanging mechanism: dowels, twine, monofilament line, aluminum wire and wood sphere. Weight: altered wood square. Black sign: Wooden craft stick. Paint: acrylic paint and markers.

People's Choice Award - $1,000

"Zoltar Speaks" by Nate Sheaffer from Raleigh, NC

Searching for Zoltar from Mystery Build on Vimeo.

Movie: BIG!

Description: I began working on Zoltar by breaking and unrolling the seams on the Mystery Build Kit tin container. Each seam and joint was hammered flat on an anvil then marked with a paper pattern for respective parts of the upper cabinet, lower cabinet, base, Zoltar’s platform, background, niche panel, and cabinet cap. Leftover scraps of tin were cut to size and formed for the trim/cornice at the top of the cabinet on three sides. More scraps were cut for the star escutcheons behind the coin ramp control wheels, the coin ramp, button escutcheon, coin receiver slot, and card dispenser. A narrow band of tin was also used to create Zoltar’s necklace and a thin sliver was cut for the earring hanger. Once the parts were cut, each matching/mating part was glued. The top of the cabinet took three or four passes with the Elmer’s glue to make it stable. Once stable, the tin was layered with 8-10 strips of masking tape then trimmed to match the contours...

Third Place - $750

"Not Howl's Castle" by Andra Mara Maxwell from Denver, CO

Not Howl's Castle from Mystery Build on Vimeo.

Movie: Howl's Castle

Description: We started the process by cutting up the tin to build our main structural piece. The bottom boat piece is cut and folded metal along with rolled metal tubes on the inside for the support base for the top section of the sculpture. Masking tape was used to hold some of the metal in place, but tabs and holes cut into the metal holds together most of the metal base. We then added more armature made from the metal tin and the roll of masking tape. We added the wooden half circles with holes drilled into them, to the armature ...

4th Place - $500 + $250 Bonus

"James and The Giant Peach" by Ashley Maurer from Staatsburg, NY

James And The Giant Peach - Stop Motion from Mystery Build on Vimeo.

Movie: James and the Giant Peach

Description: There were many different processes that went into each segment of this piece. The main segments were #1. Making the shark, #2. Making the peach, and #3. Making the characters. There were also many added components to these pieces to bring everything together, which I will also explain. THE SHARK- This had to come first, because I wasn't sure how big it would end up being, given the amount of tin I had to work with, and I wanted the shark and the peach to be proportionate to each other. The shark is made of: 1. The entire lid, and almost half of the tin container. 2. The two marbles. 3. The Elmer's glue. 4. Black and red acrylic paint for the accents. By drawing out patterns and using them to figure out the mid section of the shark, I cut the shapes and curved them around to form the different parts. I clamped the metal down ...

5th Place - $500

"The Great Escape" by Andrew Rapp from Parker, CO

Movie: Toy Story

Description: Techniques Used: silicon molding with plaster; wax molding; free form sculpting with plaster, plaster cloth, clay, putty; metal fabrication; sewing with unraveled canvas; drilling; hot gluing; painting; sanding; whittling All materials provided in kit were utilized including the zip lock bags (liner in the toy chest), the metal tin, the sticker on the metal tin, and the rules book. The piece contains mechanical parts in that the toy chest has hinges on the lid to allow it to open and close.


6th Place - $250

"Hugo and the Mystery Clock" by Leslie Stancil from New York, NY

Movie: Hugo

Description: The Mystery Build tin was cut with a can opener in order to use the round frame as the principal scenario for the piece. While the top of the box was painted as a clock and connected to the round frame using the flexible wire. For the central parts of the clock it was used the wooden wheels that came in the kit, as for the union of these parts it was used the white plastic straw, adhesive tape and a piece of the box's metal sheet. The button of the box once cut was used to create the body of the automaton by cutting stripes of the metal sheet, forming little rings and the rest of the body. The metal was also used to cover up the legs out of wood that sustained the clock and to create the little platform that sustained the automaton with the table and the air dry putty rats. That table was built using a slice of the wooden square and its legs using plastic straw, plaster of paris, adhesive tape and the school glue. The seat for the automaton was made using the cork piece and a piece of plaster glued to the top, then painted together The little rats were made using the air dry putty and some were painted. Air dry putty was also used to make the automaton\'s head. Hugo was created using the Plaster of Paris, the plaster cloth and the wire inside the plaster, and air dry plaster; once dry the shape was finished using sand paper. It was painted using thin layers of acrylic painting. The train station was made using the canvas piece painted as the street and train path. The little people near the train made using air dry putty, the train was composed by the wooden squares, the candle (carved in the shape of the train) and air dry plaster glued and painted. The lights of the station made with half pieces of the wooden sticks and air dry putty balls glued to the canvas. The background is a drawing of the city of Paris, was made using the newspaper sheet as the surface, it was placed as the cityscape that surround the beautiful story of Hugo.


7th Place - $250 + $250 Bonus

"Requiem for a Dream" by Destiny Schwartz from Brookings, OR

Movie: Requiem for a Dream

Description: Sara Goldfarb= wire and air putty for body, air clay for face, canvas dress (sewn with canvas strings), felt and un-braided cord for hair. Dress in closet= wire hanger, canvas dress, plastic bag, paper from instructions, newsprint, plywood circle, masking tape. Dress with zipper= canvas, air putty, and zip lock from plastic bag. Large pill bottles= rolled up plastic bag, hot glue, air putty, instruction paper for caps, newsprint for prescription. Chair= wood square, canvas, hot glue Table= wood dowel, plywood circle, masking tape, hot glue Lamp= wax, mini dowel, air putty, hot glue Tiny pill bottles= straw with air dry clay pills Refrigerator= instruction paper, masking tape, plastic bags/cord as filler so I didn't use as much plaster, construction tube (to move it out from the wall), and plaster for body, straws, glue, and cut metal container for teeth. Stove= instruction paper with brushed on plaster, air dry clay coils, hot glued to wall Clock= air dry clay...

8th Place - $250

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Alison Johnson from Feeding Hills, MA

Mystery Build Breakfast at Tiffany's from Mystery Build on Vimeo.

Movie: Breakfast at Tiffany's

Description: To make the mold for Holly's head, I put some hot glue on a doll's face. I pressed 1 pack of the air dry clay into the mold and let dry. I put the two wood balls and some putty in to stuff her head. I used more putty to make her hair. I stuck a piece of a dowel in to insert her head into the arms (also made from putty attached to another dowel so I could stick it in the chair). Her dress is made from the canvas square painted black. So are her gloves. The cigarette is made from a stirring straw colored black and a mini dowel. Her legs are made from the air dry putty and just tucked into her dress. Her tiara is aluminum wire and a marble. Her necklace is the other marble and some braided cord. The chair is Plaster of Paris ...

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9th Place - $200 + $250 Bonus

"Tea Time" by Sarah Hartman from Raceland, LA

Movie: Alice in Wonderland

Description: I used a candy dish to model the tea cup out of plaster cloth and gave it more stability wrapping it with masking tape. I shaped the "saucer" out of air dry putty and also wrapped it in masking tape. Under the saucer I used the 5” plywood circle, 1” split wood ball, and I cut a piece off of a wood dowel. Using hot glue I assembled the pieces together. This piece is designed to spin like a top. I used the 2” wood block to make a stand for the piece to sit on. The handle of the tea cup was made to look like the Chester cat disappearing. I used air dry putty for the face of the cat. I used the marbles for the eyes, and aluminum wire and plaster cloth for the body. Inside of the tea cup is Alice and Hatter. I made a mold of the figures and used plaster of paris to form them. I also used a piece of the felt around the Hatters hat. The table is made of the 3” wood circle, 1” wood block, and a piece of canvas laid on top. The tea cup, tea pot and silver ware are made of air dry putty. The pieces are glued down with the container of glue provided. Under the table is the left over’s of the plaster of paris and a piece of air dry clay to give the characters height. I also used the left over canvas to imply tea in the cup. I chose the quotes on the cup and saucer to convey the nonsense of sitting in a cup of tea while having tea. (This is an actual spinning top)

10th Place - $100

"Reliving the Matrix" by Amy Jones from Valdosta, GA

Movie: The Matrix

Description: I cut and bent the metal tin to form the city of Zion in The Matrix. There are also other materials like the cork, plastic tube , and a 1.5" wood circle incorporated. I used the masking tape to hold it all together.I went over it with plaster and plaster cloth. I used some of the pieces of wood (part of the 2" wood block, the 3/16" and 7/16" Dowels, plywood circles) and straws to form the base of the chair with glue. I then used the Newsprint and tape to form the correct shape. I went over it with plaster and plaster cloth. I made the faces of Morpheus and Neo using some of the pieces of wood (1" wood blocks and mini dowels)and the modeling clay. I formed their bodies using cut up sections of the plastic bags stuffed with paper. I made their clothes with canvas, braided cord (I unbraided the cord), and balloon. Their shoes were made out of wood and candle, and their hands were made out of modeling clay and putty. Neo is propped up with some of the plastic tube. I made the bodies of the machines from The Matrix out of wood (1" inch wood block and 1" split wood block) and putty. Their arms and tentacles were made out of metal wire, metal tin, part of the 2" wood block, and putty. I made the telephone out of candle. Its wires were made out of the metal wire, paperclip wire, and the metal piece from the candle. The table was made out of the 1.5" wood circle with candle, plastic tube, and a marble. The TV was constructed with felt soaked in plaster and a little bit of the rubber band. The red and blue pills were made out of rolled up rubber band and tape.

$1,000 Prize Drawing - "Minions"

by Brain Crawford, Dan Von Seggern, Kelly Neiling, Randy Benbrook, and Sarah Vandiver from Merriam, KS

Movie: Despicable Me

Description: Our team entered the Mystery Build contest with one major goal in mind, to have fun and express a little creativity. This was evident when we sat down a discussed our favorite movies that we felt would be a good fit for the contest. After careful consideration we chose “Despicable Me”. Instantly our ideas flowed and soon the objects which we found most entertaining became obvious, the Minions. We searched for “The” iconic image that would help portray their true character and the roof top platform was the setting to show it off. Once we had our subject and setting we quickly planned the use of each item making sure to leave a few pieces for the unforeseen events that could arise during the build. Our small team divided the project into pieces to be built separately, then brought together for final assembly. It was exciting and fun to see the forms start taking shape from the random miscellaneous items provided. The roof top base was built from the tin container the kit arrived in. Tape was the main bonding material to connect the pieces together and to attach the layer of shingles made from the fold news print paper. The brick gables gained their texture from scored tape and the instruction booklet provided in the kit. After a little paint we had a base. Extending up through the roof was the platform with articulating arm. Several ideas were considered but in the end its assembly consisted of a small wood cube, large wood disc, a cork, medium wood dowel, 2 small round discs cut into gears, 1” sphere, a little wire, and some plaster cloth. These items where structurally connected together with precession drilled holes and white glue to transfer the weight to the base. The large Minions proved to be a little challenging; they started out with a wood core wrapped in air dry putty which failed to give us the desired results. The second attempt worked with great success. Plaster of Paris was poured into plastic molds to shape the main body then cut free and shaped. Overalls were crafted from the canvas square and colored blue. The legs came from the clear plastic construction tubes and covered in blue canvas. The arms and details of the face took shape from the air dry putty and received a coating of paint to give color and detail. The small Minions were cut from the large dowel, shaped and painted by hand; they can only be truly enjoyed with a close look. After the final assembly we felt very satisfied of our project and surprised at the number of items that went unused.



1st Place - $1,000

"Puff the Magic Dragon" by Amy Sawyer from Wake Forest, NC

Song: Puff the Magic Dragon

Description: Air dry clay and paper mache on cardboard and wire armatures. Canvas, wire and wood details. Finished with spray paint and acrylic washes.


People's Choice Award - $500

"Dusty Suitcase" by Lauri Arntsen and Robin Hendrix from Wake Forest, NC

Song: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road by Lucinda Williams

Description: Notes on liquids used: Paint is our liquid of choice and a set of ten colors in .33 oz/bottle was used to total just over 3.30 oz total and some of the writing, including Lucinda Williams’ very own autograph was applied with Sharpie markers. The canvas road was then brushed with a strong espresso blend to anchor the smells of coffee, eggs and bacon. Suitcase: The original box was turned inside out, glued and embellished with drafting tape and white paper was carefully peeled from the box then painted to mimic the stickers and other memorabilia. All clasps, hinges and nails were crafted from the wire, metal, putty, and foil provided and flour was dusted over the top and edges. Diorama: Wood panels and putty made the house while paper and corrugated cardboard created the foliage. Wooden dowels and thread form the telephone poles, trees and wires, and putty was formed to create the birds. Landscape: Painted canvas with jute string and cotton which was threaded, glued, and cut


2nd Place - $250

"Cheeseburger in Paradise" by Jodie Dilno from Key West, FL

Song: Cheeseburger in Paradise by Jimmy Buffett

Description: Pickle is carved out of 1/2 the bar of Ivory soap and painted.  Hamburger patty I used the other 1/2 shaved down then microwaved back together, and painted.  The french fries are formed from the air dry putty.  The plate I cut from the bottom of the box with the center part of the plate being cut out and that piece use in the formation of the top bun.  The top bun makes use of part of the canvas stitched with the black thread around a aluminum wire frame and stuffed with the soap wrapper and the air dry putty wrapper and the three cotton balls.  I then sewed the foam piece over the whole thing with the hemp twine.  The bottom bun is also using a metal frame from the aluminum wire and then shredded paper soaked in water with some of the flour to make a paper pulp/paper mache.  The lettuce and cheese are made out of elmer's glue that I molded, let dry and painted.  The tomato is formed from the air dry clay.  Napkin is the left over canvas piece.  And the draft beer was formed out of paper mache using water and the flour provided.  I taped a pipe cleaner around the top for the lip of the cup.  I had a few little soap shavings left over so I microwaved them and put them on top of the beer to for the foam.  I painted everything with acrylic paint, including the box, which I used as a base for my sculpture.  The draft beer is then clear coated.

3rd Place - $200

"The Tale of the Canary in a Coal Mine" by Jeremiah Methven and Team from Raleigh, NC

Song: Canary in a Coal Mine by The Police

Description: Our Mystery Build project is an interpretation of the song "Canary in a Coal mine" by The Police. From, the title phrase is "an allusion to caged canaries mining workers would carry down into the tunnels with them. If poisonous gases such as methane or carbon monoxide leaked into the mine-shaft, the gases would kill the canary before killing the miners." Our Mystery Build reverses the traditional roles of man and canary, with the canary carrying a dead man in a cage out of the coal mine. In addition to depicting the canary in the coal mine, we also utilized the box in order to draw out the nuances of the scene. Our final product is a pop-up book with a rendition of the album cover for The Police's "Zenyatta Mondatta" on the front. We used papier mache techniques, paint, and of course, the materials in the box in the process of construction. Overall, we are quite satisfied with the final result and truly enjoyed our Mystery Build experience.

Prize Packages - $50-200

Pete Sack, Majbritt Payne, Elizabeth Mosier, Sara and Sandro Gisler, John Hitselberger and Team, Dave Berger, and Katherine Ball