Friday, March 12, 2010

Sarah Matthews: InflataBlog

I have had an interest in inflatables since helping my mom with a science project she was doing with the kids in her preschool class. They were learning about air pressure so we made, what she calls, a wind tunnel. This is a nearly 20' tube made of plastic tarp and duct tape with a box fan attached at one end. In order to keep the structure inflated we had to cut a vent to allow air to circulate out while the fan is circulating air in.

I did this project again during my 3-d class making a tube as well. My mother and her class did not need a lot in their wind tunnel, little kids had fun just running in and out of it. I, however, wanted to be more creative seeing as I am an art student. The project was to create a monument to something in our culture. I chose to make a monument to the rave culture. I painted the outside of the inflatable like a brick wall and had my friends and I graffiti/tag on top of the brick. The inside was painted in bizarre patterns based on music I was listening to. The idea was that it would blend in if posted in front of a graffiti-ed wall and the ravers inside could continue in peace.

I decided to grow on this inflatable idea. I really wanted to make a different shape than a tube. In Maya I made a shape out of polygonal objects then Prof. Scott put it in a program that unrolled it. I would have unrolled it myself, but I didn't render it in NURBS (woopsies). Unrolling the shape gave me pattern pieces to cut out in tarp. First I printed out the unrolled shape and grid on an 8X10 piece of paper.

Then I used the grid to draw the pieces out on pattern paper, which I rubber cemented to the tarp and cut out each piece.

I put the pieces together with duct tape and left a hole on the base for a hair dryer (with cooling option so the plastic and adhesive will not melt) and voila! InflataStuff!

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