At the beginning of the project we were given a full brief and divided into groups of four on the first day, we were encouraged to work with people we didn’t know, meaning people from courses other than our own, my group had two fine artists, an illustrator and a maker though I had worked with two of them before in field last year, this meant I know I like working with them. It was very clear what we had to do and what was expected of us throughout the project and the outcome we should have at the end of it as well as the quality of work we should be aiming for.
I felt that as a group the four of us were able to work effectively, we all seemed to gather similar thoughts and feelings from the text and when discussing it every one was very enthusiastic about the themes and ideas we were coming up with. The cross discipline of subject and skills were very useful in the beginning and throughout the project. I feel that everyone put an equal amount of work and the disciplines gave an equal amount of input each while working well with each other.
We each seemed to find an area of the project we wanted to invest our individual focus, for me it was the rocket and to some extent the cities. Later on in the development of the project there were some differing opinions but because we all had a good view of the broader picture we were able to find a balance that suited everyone and most of all benefited the project.
This project provided few workshops, all of which I had already encountered in the Maker subject, so that aspect was somewhat underwhelming. We used a lot of colour in our work as a group, this was very new to me, I usually work with materials in a bare state and any play with the colour or tone is quite specific to the material and or process, so the painting was different for me, it wasn’t something I did myself and I found my input when discussing colour came from what the story told me or what I knew of the materials, for example the decayed metal and the red ground of Mars. With in my subject rather than painting the decayed look for metal I would attempt to find decayed metal or force the decay on metal.
To finish the work I laser cut the floating cities. The joining slots were slightly miss calculated across one direction so i had to saw them apart and glue them in place for it to look as intended.
The boat was painted white so it could stand out more against the other colours, the characters are in the boas for most of the story and it needed to draw attention. It also has a slight touch of moss to match the rocket.
We then attached side panels and the back drop. We ran a metal rod across the top to attach the alien cities and the stage was finished.
While I was working on the CAD for the floating cities the others worked on colourful rocky side panels to cover the bare matal strips at the sides for the stage frame and add a little more depth over all.
They also made the necessary changes to the rock formation and ground pieces.
We then fixed the frame to the board and the decoration to the sides.
Molly painted the rocket to look mossy and dirty on the out side and red and yellow on the inside to look flaming when it explodes and blend in with the ground after.
She also came up with another design idea for the cities unfortunately this is probably too heavy and the other design will look much better when laser cut.
We discussed the issues with our stage form, it could not stand up on its own and we decided to decreasing the size and shape of the frame making it easier to move and more stable. I worked on this for the day creating a stage with the dimensions of 55cm x 68 cm; this was a vast improvement on the structure as it was the day before.
Alysia and Zoe worked on the base of the stage working on the texture and colour, we decided to use Molly’s idea of mixing paint, PVA glue and sand to develop this grainy surface. They also carried on with the method they had previously used for the water:- using paper to create the texture and then painting over with purple and white. This needs some small improvements, more paper joining the waterfall and river, the sides need to be painted black, small rock formations need to be added and some lighter sandy tones should be added to the painted ground.
We also created some quick mockups for the floating cities, these can slide along a rail to pass by. I can laser cut these with coloured acrylic to give then an alien colour and glow.
We started working on the final design for our theatre set, reflecting all our ideas over the past weeks we decided what ideas we would carry forward to final production. Zoe and Alysia will be working on the scenic ideas, Molly and I will be looking into the props, mechanics and structure of the theatre. With this in mind we started working together to plan our priorities for the day; Rock formations, Rocket and the stage framing.
Zoe and Alysia started carving into polystyrene creating a more uneven rocky texture, this was a softer material so it was easier to remove parts and create different depth.
Molly and I worked on creating the final rocket and the frame for the theatre taking into consideration the size of the new rock formation. I decided to continue making the rocket out of foam as it is easier to create the jigsaw cuts with the wire cutter than it would be anything else and there was no real reason to use a different material. I then discussed the colour with them and we settled on earthy colours (brown, green and blue) this represents where they have come from and how different it is to the reds of Mars.
Zoe and Alysia started painting the rock formation, we wanted to use similar colours to the models they made before as the light and dark shades worked well so again using- Pink, crimson, red, yellow, purple and blue. As they built up this texture we wanted to produce a light glow to define the layers they did this by dry-brushing metallic paint over the top of the base coat.
I then worked on a quick frame for the stage, spot welding metal strips. Unfortunately I was given the wrong dimensions and it wasn’t stable enough to hold its own weight but this can be altered tomorrow by cutting it down and adding more supports.
We were asked to focus on creating a 3-D prototype model. We had already made a blue foam prototype and decided to create a cardboard based model. We started by looking for materials we could find around the university and started gathering ideas. We decided as a group to discard the pathways – as we thought it could be too difficult to suspend with size and weight, the backdrop would be lost for a path characters would not be able to interact with and it would make the stage seem too static.
Zoe and Alysia focused on the rock formations and the back drop scenery, redesigning the rock formations so that it fits to the back of the stage, they use polystyrene and cut out of it creating an uneven rocky surface.They were developing ideas and decided to have rocks moving on a pole as a pillar this was made using wire, bending it into a spiral and impaling polystyrene rocks on it. They want me to find a way to make them spin around continuously. Alysia painted a quick backdrop to explore the size and dimensions we need to make the stage to. Meanwhile Molly and I focused on the boat and rocket.
Since then Zoe and Alysia have painted the spirals and the polystyrene rocks. Next we will begin to finalise ideas and designs.