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Project 602 - The Voodoo Doll Project
Project 602
(Something about otters)
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The Voodoo Doll Project
Posted - May 29th, 2013 12:47am
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I'm not much of an artist when it comes to the classic mediums - but give me a home depot and I can build you just about anything.  Thus I think I've known ever since I went to Burning Man a few years back that I wanted to build something for one of these desert festivals which are all about artwork made from random urban materials

I finally got my chance earlier this month when I volunteered to build a giant Voodoo doll for this years Saguaro Man.  The theme of this years local burn was "Superstition", and our camp decided to go with a voodoo theme to go along with that.

From the moment it was mentioned, I had a picture in my head of what I wanted to build.  Not the dark device found in the back alley of a new orleans bar, but a giant silly stuffed animalesque critter with a giant heart and a big ol head.  Something to make people smile and something to make my neighbors wonder what I'm doing this time.

The following pics should lay out pretty well what I came up with and how.  Hope you enjoy it and if you ever need to build one yourself maybe it will come in handy.
I searched through a lot of voodoo doll drawings before settling on this design.  As you can see - the technical drawings were very detailed. Joan's supplied the right style/color of burlap.  The ever helpful folks at home-depot suggested the cardboard pouring tubes as well as the redwood (for its weight).  I tried to keep the duct-tape use to a minimum but a little bit couldn't be helped.  Testing the burlap wrapping.  Even this little bit took a few hundred staples.  Some more boards and some more cardboard tubing helped the body take shape.  The boards go all the way to the end to give the burlap/staples something solid to go on.  Some chicken wire across the front gave it a nice smooth shape.  Obviously the burlap was going to take a lot of work to tidy up. About 50 hours in its really starting to take shape.  The arms and head needed to be removable to fit in the trailer.  These brackets and a few bolts were the solution. I realized once I got the arms on that my original design of smaller legs looked terrible.  I rebuilt them with larger concrete tubes over the next few days.  One of the arms completed and ready to go.  Notice the 4 holes at the top for the bolts. Just eyeballing the head here with some cardbard balanced on an oil pan.  Very professional stuff here.  I wanted a little shape to the face so I built it in three parts making the middle panel slightly larger.  Super happy with how the heart came out.  Thanks to my wunderbar wife for drwaing and cutting that out (my attempts were less than stellar).  I added some stitching and a darker tone of burlap to the hands/feet. This was the first time I assembled all the pieces.  So happy with the result. I sewed on a few buttons I made from leftover wood and stitched on a quirky smile to finish the look.   The pins were a last minute addition.  Just some aluminum tubes and spray painted spongeballs.
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