For the fourth time since I moved to Virginia Beach, my old work in San Diego flew me out to work on a major project. This time, it was to help build the San Diego County Fair again! I have an entire section of my website now updated and devoted to the work PEP has done on SDCF through the years. This years theme was How the West was Fun. Perfect for an Arizona born girl!
Generally, my job on the SDCF builds consists of projecting / drawing out large scenic pieces on MDF, luaun, or ply, then cutting them out with a jig saw. The goal is to provide other artists with pieces to paint. This year's theme meant giant canyon walls, saguaros, coyotes, and tons of western style lettering.
Here's the renderings! Artwork by Beau Carney. Unfortunately, they were not to scale, so the final product will look a bit different. Think of the artwork as... guidelines rather than rule of law.
Below is a photo of my plans as I drew out the canyon walls. This is just the diagram for the front side. We used these diagrams for purchasing lumber, drawing out the outlines, and finally onsite to put everything up on the platform.
We placed the appropriate sheets of MDF on the ground, Michaela Stein drew out the outlines, and I cut them out.
Final step in the shop was painting by Michaela before sending them onside for assembly!
Here's me with my book of renderings attempting to put the worlds largest jigsaw puzzle back together onsite. A few of the labels had been lost in transit.
In addition to the canyon walls, I jigged a few saguaros, a cowboy, coyotes, and a ton of letters.
My favorite individual build was probably my giant moon lightbox. I didn't get all the steps, but here's a few photos of the process. First step was drawing out a 9' circle on luaun (1/4" ply). I scabbed those together with lumberlam. Then placed a million (like 90) 4.5" blocks around the outside, stapled and glued to the luaun. Bendy board was then cut down to wrap my circumference. A billion staples later and I had the back all finished.
The top was two 9' rings (5" wide) I cut out of MDF. Jennifer Dodge lent me a hand and stretched my fabric for me, sandwiched between the rings. Now we basically had a big drum.
Michaela Stein came back in to paint the moon for us! I braced the top after removing it from the back piece as it was a bit weak and had a tendency to "taco" on it's own. There's no images of this, but LED tape was installed along the blocks I had placed in the back piece, creating the "light" part of the lightbox.
The next day, it was put up onsite. I couldn't wait til lighting check to see our neon and my moon glow!
A few thousand other projects later and the San Diego County Fair was ready to open!
Six weeks after my adventure began, I had an opportunity to check out the fair before hopping on a plane back to Virginia.