Creative Collaborators Pascale Pryor and James Bauer recently finished a permanent installment at SPARK! So we sat down with Pryor to get a few answers about the magical, mermaid-making process.
Q. What did the creative process for this installment look like?
A. The mannequin was donated from Neiman Marcus. I had two to choose from. I welded each scale, starting at the waist and then went down and built the tail. Then James built a little bracket to screw into the concrete, and hold to the floor. The tail looks a little funky at the end, but it helps stabilize her. So she has more than one point of attachment to the ground. After welding I painted and installed it. I took the mannequin and got her a wig to match color of scales. I used the same paint to match the fabric and scales. I tried to make it as fluid as possible. Then finally just a little bit of makeup.
Q. Were there any unique challenges in making this piece?
A. We talked about doing a mermaid sitting on a rock. Even though I took the mannequin’s legs off, it was more of a standing body than a sitting body. I tried to design a rock that was very minimal but I couldn’t make it look good. So I decided to make her standing up. Another challenge was the amazing amount of scales I welded while trying to keep a fluid movement.
Q. How long did it take you to complete?
A. Way too long. I don’t write down my time. But I know I worked on it for a good month.
Q. What was your inspiration for the mermaid?
A. I’ve been wanting to make a mermaid for awhile and this was the perfect opportunity to propose it to SPARK! I was most interested in making a tail that had movement. Something elegant, yet simple.
Q. What was the most rewarding part about making the mermaid?
A. When I could see the movement that I was looking for and when it started looking like I was following the right line. Because it’s one scale at a time. If you look at the tail it’s not straight and stiff. It has a twist and a curve. If you stick scales together in a row, you’ll get something that looks like an ice cream cone. I’ve seen mermaids look like that before and I think they look too stiff.
For more information on Pryor, check out her website here.