I received so much help casting paper balls. It seemed like a never-ending endeavor!
All this hard work was to build my cloud installation entitled Cloud Gazing. As a child I remember staring at the white, puffy clouds in the sky and making out shapes and figures using my imagination. This memory was the inspiration for this installation.
Posted below are progress photos that were taken along the way. So much junk white paper was used to create all the components. I even took the time to tear off any ink that was on these sheets of paper to avoid any discoloration of the clouds. Gorilla glue and hot glue held the pieces together. Various buckets and containers were used as moulds for some forms. Styrofoam, cardboard, packing tape, and aluminum tubing were also used for certain figures. Pulp was pressed over glue seams to conceal them.
I spent the most time on the castle cloud. I envisioned it to be a very large cloud to hang from the ceiling.
At this point, the cloud was too big to proceed working on it in my studio. I took it to the campus workshop, flipped it over, and suspended it on wooden sticks to continue adding half-spheres to the bottom. But to my dismay, it was an extremely humid, rainy weekend. The wet areas of the castle cloud continued to spread to dry areas. Some friends and I tried to pick it up carefully and move it into another room, but then….….it fell APART! I was completely heartbroken. So much time, effort, and materials went down the drain. Fortunately, the top half of the castle was salvageable.
The next day, I got back to work to recreate a new castle cloud. This new version was so much sturdier based on my previous experience. Due to my time constraints in finishing this cloud, the photo below is the only in-progress photo I have of my new-and-improved castle cloud. It ended up not being as large, but I found it more aesthetically pleasing.
I wanted this component to be really whimsical. It ended up as a floor piece. A lot of styrofoam was used for the head and tentacles.
My first VHS tape when I was a toddler was The Little Mermaid. I was OBSESSED. I watched it way too much on a daily basis. The little girl in me had to have a mermaid tail component. A lot of styrofoam was used for it, as well. It also became a floor piece.
I used the side of a ruler to press fish scale lines into the body of the tail.
For the guys, I decided to make an airplane cloud. I found a styrofoam airplane flyer in the toy aisle, and it was the perfect size.
I wanted a scary component to mix things up. I intended it to be a lion, but I’ve also heard it called a bear and a monster, which is totally cool! That’s how cloud gazing works, right? To start it off, I had to create a pretty complex mould for the face. An Iron Man mask was a fantastic base. Then I used styrofoam and duct tape to make it more lion-like. I envisioned for the head to turn into the edge of a cloud.
The half-sphere paper casts were hot glued together, and Great Stuff insulation spray was used to fill in the gaps. Pulp was eventually applied to cover up the foam. These were to hang directly on the wall.
My next post will be photos of the final installation and the rest of my work in the MFA thesis show!
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