Sunday, October 25, 2015

Wall of Weird - "Trading Card Board"

For the "Common Read" Program at Cardinal Stritch, I was asked to help create some accessible programming to go along with this year's book - Gris Grimly's graphic-novel adaptation of Frankenstein.

After some brainstorming, we decided on a fun low-tech activity for people on campus to partake in: The Wall of Weird.  Frankenstein's monster is basically a weirdo - an outcast.  So we are asking passers-by to create a "weird trading card" to contribute to our Wall of Weird.

My job was to create the template - and we decided it would be fun to create a giant board for people to stand behind and have their Polaroid photo taken... à la how people made fake IDs in the 70s?

Warning!  This build is quick and dirty.  I had very little time to complete this, so I rushed through and knocked it out in one evening.

So participants can write in their info onto the template, I selected some white-board finish Masonite as the material for the board.  I have used this before to create some low-budget dry-erase boards in the Atelier (my fabrication lab).

After drawing a rough window (with a dry-erase marker!) I drilled corner holes with a spade bit.

I then scribed adjacent lines with an x-acto knife. These will serve as cutting guides, but ensure that if the dry erase paint chips curing cutting, it will not interrupt this line.

I cut each line with a jigsaw - very carefully so I would not have to revisit with sandpaper.

I decided I wanted to add handles to this thing so participants could easily hold it in front of themselves while having their photo taken.  To avoid have any exposed bolts on the face of the board, I cut some small plates from the window scrap.  I will instead mount the handles to these, and epoxy them onto the back of the board.

Drilled and countersunk to accomodate 8-32 bolts.

I then used two-part epoxy to adhere these to the board.  Using binder clips and a brass weight in lieu of clamps.

Based on the window I cut, I (quickly) drew up the graphics for the board in Adobe Illustrator.  I based these roughly on the cover of the book, and this font artwork inspired by the graphic novel.

Rather than printing out huge vinyls (I am using a 12" cutter so that's not always possible) I am creating the borders by cutting the corners on the plotter, then connecting them with black electrical tape (which is essentially just matte black vinyl anyway.)

A close-up of the vinyl corners meeting the electrical tape sides.

Not perfect, but it will look great in photos.

For the rest of the decals, I cut, weeded and transferred each vinyl.

The finished board.

How the board will be used.  I am definitely going to write something better when I actually participate... to be honest I dream about cats more than robots...

Though this was rushed and there are many flaws and imperfections, I am happy with this for being a one-evening build.

The last thing to do for this is to create a backdrop - I am planning on blowing up a background from a frame in the novel, and printing it on the architecture plotter at Kinkos.  I'll most likely post the final images on my Instagram.

**Update: I stopped by Kinko's today to run a backdrop from the Architecture plotter there.  It's about $10 for a 3 ft x 5 ft print... not the best quality but well worth the price for a quick large grey scale print!

Here's a snapshot, with my feet for scale reference!

This backdrop was created from the background in a frame in Gris Grimly's novel.

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