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Topic: Where The Wild Things Are inspired fort - Photo heavy!  (Read 3196 times)
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FunnyFace
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« on: June 21, 2010 10:17:27 AM »

Hi everyone, I've never posted anything in this community before, and I'm not sure if this goes in here but I made it for an art show my colleagues and I organized, so I hope it qualifies!

Though I don't consider myself an artist, I do work as an art educator and a while back, my colleagues and I decided to use the studio space where we teach to kids and hold an art show featuring our own work, instead of the kids', for a change. The theme was 'Making Space' and my idea was to literally create a space by building a blanket fort installation.

I don't recall exactly how, but I think the idea for a fort manifested in a dream. In the dream, I was under layers of sheets and blankets, all curled up and comfy like in a womb. Then I remembered that even Max made a fort in Where The Wild Things Are, and then it just sort of turned into an excuse to wear my Max costume that I had made for Halloween last year.

I made the sheets from scratch with calico cloth and batting, and tried to give it the look and texture of tree bark by running jagged stitches through it on my machine. The sheet on the inside was also sewn from calico, then printed with acrylic paint and leafy sponge stamps. After that I just dragged in my furniture and all my favorite nostalgic things, like vintage adventure and mystery books (hardy boys, famous five and the like) and kitschy toys, and after an all-nighter of tethering with cable ties and cord, and draping fabric, I built my ideal idyllic home in a home. I also made some firewood out of cardboard for a tiny piece of a woodland fantasy, and scattered leaves cut out of felt all over the roof and bed.








That's an old Hardy Boys hardback called The Clue in the Embers, handed down from my brother. I hung a reading torch fixture.


That's a picnic basket filled with more books like Famous Five and You, it also has an old wooden toy piano and a transistor radio that I used to listen to every night when I was young. My brother and I tuned in to the jazz station and had tap-dance offs. Neither of us took dance lessons.


It was a hit with kids during the night of the launch. They loved playing with the felt leaves, feeling the sheets, tinkering with the piano and banging the keys on the typewriter. This darling baby girl started to cry when her mum peeled her away from the typewriter! I left notepaper in there for anyone to leave a message or note.


The lady sitting on the bed is reading Where the Wild Things Are for the first time!

I'd never exhibited anything before this, and unlike my colleagues who are excellent fine-art trained painters and sculptors and illustrators, I just like to sew and craft for fun. So I think I made this for my own pleasure and satisfaction more than anything else, hoping that random strangers would step in and find a common memory.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010 10:50:46 AM by FunnyFace » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2010 10:45:00 AM »

Awesome! What a fun and creative space for kids!

And why would you not consider yourself an artist? It sounds like you're an artist to me!
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2010 11:14:05 AM »

What a sweet installation! I love the thought you put into it. I featured this project on Craftster's Facebook page. Thanks for sharing.  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2010 11:29:22 AM »

Awesome! What a fun and creative space for kids!

And why would you not consider yourself an artist? It sounds like you're an artist to me!

Thanks for the encouragement! I showed my mum photos of my work and she just went 'that's a furniture display!' and that the table sticking out in the corner is 'weird.' Haha.

What a sweet installation! I love the thought you put into it. I featured this project on Craftster's Facebook page. Thanks for sharing.  Smiley

Thanks Rackycoo! You made my night! Smiley
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AndreaDeniell
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2010 12:10:20 PM »

What a fantastic step back into childhood! I love the picture with you(?) in the costume sitting on the bed... It sort of embodies the whole idea of building your own little place to read and imagine, and become the character and have your own adventures all in your room. 

and on a technical note, I love the way you sewed the tree texture onto the sheets... looks awesome!
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2010 12:11:56 PM »

This is one of the cutest things I've ever seen! It made me feel all warm and fuzzy. 'Where the Wild Things Are' is one of my all time favorite books! Fantastic job!
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2010 01:39:37 PM »

This is beyond awesome! I've been working on the canopy for my own bed and you've given me some fabulous ideas!! Love love love the nature theme. I'm gonna definatly have to find a way to incorporate that into my own designs. <3 Maybe some dangly leaves from the top of it or something.
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2010 06:40:14 AM »

This is oh-so-great!!!!
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2010 08:05:17 AM »

What a fantastic step back into childhood! I love the picture with you(?) in the costume sitting on the bed... It sort of embodies the whole idea of building your own little place to read and imagine, and become the character and have your own adventures all in your room. 

and on a technical note, I love the way you sewed the tree texture onto the sheets... looks awesome!

Hi Andrea, yes that is me sitting on the bed in my Max jumpsuit. Haha it was sooo comfortable to lie in, I didn't care that there were people staring at me funny. And I'm absolutely thrilled that you can see what it was all about! I grew up living in a high rise apartment in an urban jungle where I rarely venture into the great outdoors so having building forts with my brothers was the best way to travel! Sometimes we were in spaceships, sometimes castles, trees, and most of the time, we pretended we were in battle armed with paper ball grenades. Haha.

This is one of the cutest things I've ever seen! It made me feel all warm and fuzzy. 'Where the Wild Things Are' is one of my all time favorite books! Fantastic job!

Thank you! I love the book too! I live in Singapore and it's not a well known or well loved story here, the film got pulled out of our local theaters and I was livid! I tried to make use of the opening day of our little show to spread the love of the story to children and adults who had never heard of it. Some of the kids saw Max in the pictures and pointed to me and went 'Hey, that's you!' Smiley

Thank you all for your kind comments! I'm chuffed to bits that it made you feel a feeling! Thanks for the encouragement!
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2010 07:45:06 PM »

wonderful and inspiring!
I study art at tafe and we just had an end of semester display and it was interesting because I love fabric so much, most of my work featured fabric in some way.
You are a true inspiration.
I used to live in my head during most of my childhood and can definatly relate to this space.
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