Dan Swearingen | August 24, 2010
Andrew likes making projects that make people laugh when they see them. He particularly liked buildings found in this great book California Crazy.
We spent a couple days tagging pictures across many sources and then I photographed his choices and we printed them out and sorted them on the floor.
This technique really helps because you can start to see natural groups — clusters of pictures with similar themes.
Next we asked Andrew to pick his favorite group of pictures. The focus came down to storybook architecture and crazy roadside architecture.
I proposed a project that had a bit of each: part of the building could be a huge bust of Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the structure would be a storybook style building.
The left part of the building is based on a portion of the Normandy Village storybook apartments in Berkeley, California.
Andrew and I roughed out a “sketch model” in 1:12 scale (1 inch to one foot dollhouse scale) to see if we liked the shape and Andrew really liked the direction.
Andrew loves being a snappy dresser when photos or video are being shot in the studio.
Next we committed the project to lumber and plaster.
The Rush-bust part of the project is based on a hand puppet Andrew made for his previous project enlarged by a factor of three.
We made the head out of plaster cloth laid over a balloon and then squashed it between two pieces of plywood to give it a head-like egg shape.
We roughed up a base to hold the head at the right height.
Using strips of cardboard that Andrew cut and sorted we built up the framework of the bust.
Using more plaster-cloth we covered the framework.
With the head added the effect was looking really good.
We started preparing wood to use for the walls of the storybook portion.
We bought several dollhouse window sets and pre-painted them.
We went ahead and built up the walls like a real house with studs and siding. This gave Andrew lots of practice cutting and gluing.
The bust need additional coatings of plaster cloth.
The back of Rush’s head is left open so small people can be installed inside.
Framing the attic.
The attic was framed with small pieces of redwood.
We have not finished yet but here’s where we have left off:
The dining area inside Rush’s torso.
We are still building and should finish this semester but That’s all for now folks!