Tizz Ausome Diorama Ausomeness

By Katie Phelps, Curatorial Assistant/Visiting Artist Coordinator

In our new display, Glass-o-rama: Habitats for Kids Design Glass, we challenged local high school art students to design a diorama inspired by one of our Kids Design Glass pieces. The three selected dioramas are currently on display in the Grand Hall through September 7, 2014. I interviewed Kenai Brazier, Courtney Cox , and Justin Kon, from Federal Way High School to find out more about the diorama they created for Tis Ausome Landshark Ausomeness.

Kenai Brazier, Courtney Cox, Kara Hatcher, Justin Kon, Jalal Lawrence, Elizabeth Abramchuk pose with their diorama

Kenai Brazier, Courtney Cox, Kara Hatcher, Justin Kon, Jalal Lawrence, Elizabeth Abramchuk pose with their diorama.

How did you make the Sea Cave featured in your diorama? It looks so realistic!

KB: For the bulk of the diorama we used pink insulation foam that was nailed together, and then sawed into the shapes we wanted it to be. After that we hand-carved into the foam with a heat knife, and sanded it with sandpaper. We dry-brushed the cliffs with a wide assortment of acrylic paint. Glitter Glue was then added to parts I knew I wanted the light to hit to create an underwater feel so that way it would separate it from the half with the Landshark on it.

Planks of foam were sculpted and then glued together to make the Sea Cave.

Planks of foam were sculpted and then glued together to make the Sea Cave.

What other materials did you use to create a realistic environment for your diorama?

JK: We used air dried clay to sculpt the mushrooms and the clam. We used a ping pong ball for the pearl. We used actual sand and pebbles for the sea floor; we also used a real clam shell. For our sea queen we used a Barbie.

Sand is carefully applied to make the sea floor.

Sand is carefully applied to make the sea floor.

Which part of the diorama are you most proud of?

JK:  It’s hard to choose just one when everything turned out so “ausome”, I am especially proud of how the cliff turned out since it was such a large task.

CC: The most challenging part of making the diorama was making sure everybody agreed on things like the structure.

KB: The Sea Queen….definitely the Sea Queen. Originally she was going to be cut out of the diorama because she would be a distraction from the Landshark. However, I fought for her to stay in the diorama because I thought that it was critical for our diorama to tell a story. In a story you need a plot, a conflict, and a meaningful ending. The Sea Queen ended up playing an important role in our diorama because of her critical role in our story. And, all of the hard work Kara put into making her  is what I believe put our diorama idea above the rest.

A 25lb weight was place on top of the diorama to make sure that the Sea Cave was strong enough to support the glass artwork.

A 25lb weight was place on top of the diorama to make sure that the Sea Cave was strong enough to support the glass artwork.

Who worked on the diorama? Which parts were they responsible for?

CC:  There were a total of six people in our team, Kenai Brazier, Courtney Cox, Kara Hatcher, Justin Kon, Jalal Lawrence, and  Elizabeth Abramchuk. Everybody pitched in to create the diorama and offered up ideas and solutions. Kenai did most of the designing. Kara did most of the work on the Sea Queen. Elizabeth did a lot of the painting; she helped paint the rocks, the cave, the throne and the mushrooms. Jalal helped with sanding and carving the foam. Justin helped a lot with the carving. He also, worked on the electronics. I mostly helped with sanding and painting.

Katie Phelps is the Curatorial Assistant/Visiting Artist Coordinator at Museum of Glass. She is an alumnus of Whitman College (BA) and University of Washington (MA). In her life outside of the Museum she is outside as much as possible, wearing skis as often as she does hiking boots.   

2 thoughts on “Tizz Ausome Diorama Ausomeness

  1. sevenbluepickles

    Hey! I’m actually the kid who made the original land shark piece-and no, my spelling has unfortunately not improved. I almost didn’t submit the drawing into the contest I was so embarrassed-but I’m over it now. That was such a fun experience for me- thanks for adding to it so well. The sea-queen is an especially good addition. Great job!

    Reply

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