Alright, I’m going to be real with you guys. It’s week five, and I feel like we’re close enough now that I can really start to chip away at that fourth wall… so here it goes. I might have found that coffee shop that I was talking about earlier, but like, a real-life manifestation of it. And it’s called Dutch Brothers. Have any of my beautiful readers been there? If not, I’d highly recommend waiting for a morning that you’re feeling a little sleepy, maybe a little bummed, potentially slightly indulgent- go drive through Dutch Brothers and get yourself a Caramelizer Freeze. SO good. If the super kind, energetic staff doesn’t cheer you up, the coffee will. Anyways, thanks to Silas, week five of Design and Build was when we all became slightly addicted to Dutch Bros, along with a ton of other totally exciting and productive things that I will proceed to tell you all about!
    The creature creation began this week and was kicked off by a trip to Rocky Mountain Clay by Justin and myself. With help of their staff, we picked a clay body that we felt would suit Justin’s needs for the creatures of the forest based on durability, sculptural body vs. plasticity, and color. Tracy began formulating some really beautiful fiberoptic flowers this week too. The crystal crew continued growing and casting crystals, and everyone else continued to work on their more personal projects, while we definitely had some bigger-picture-type tasks on our collective plate.
Jen called for all hands on deck to finnish up the texturing and painting of the walls of the installation. One of the most challenging aspects of creating Natura Obscura has been the temporality of the build that we must maintain. All of the walls that will make up the walls of the installation are being built in the studio, and will be installed in the gallery space of the museum months after they are created. It’s really challenging not being able to create the elements of the installation in the space that they’re being created for, but that’s where our appreciation for Alex, Tracy, and Andrew really comes in. They’ve been responsible for the planning and building of the larger walls and fixtures. Jen had goaled us to finish constructing most of the walls this week so we could texture and paint them in time to send them on their way to storage by Friday. “Why storage?” you may be wondering. Well, we’re getting to the point where we’re basically in each others laps trying to build things. These walls are taking up a ton of our studio space, and we’ve got a few more walls and many other majical creations to build! By Friday, we had accomplished our goal and all of the finished walls were off to storage, leaving us refreshed and ready for a productive sixth week in the studio!
Thus far, week five has been our most socially demanding week, and I hate speaking for the group, but I think it’s safe to say it’s been our most fun week so far! We worked really hard, but we also had the opportunity to play hard too, and when a group clicks as well as ours does, it’s kind of super special when we all get to spend time together, inside and outside of the studio. We’ve been bonding more and more each week, trying to spend as much time together after work as possible, because we know this internship will be over faster than we know it. I truly believe that that’s one aspect of our group that not only improves our cohesive, productive, and positive work dynamic, but makes this experience more special for the hands that are creating it, and in turn, we will hopefully provide that warm, positive energy to our viewers. It’s like your grandma’s chocolate chip cookies opposed to the store brand- both may be yummy, but you can really tell that one was made with love and attention to detail, while the other… hmm not so much.
Writing about this week has been particularly fun, but also relatively challenging due to the massive amount of unique endeavours that this week held, so I’m just going to outline it for you guys!
  • Tuesday, July 10, 2018 Cow Appreciation Day
    • What really made this day so much fun was the “creativity” that we used to make cow costumes out of paper and tape that we could find in the studio, in less than 5 minutes, might I add, just so we could get free Chick-Fil-A for lunch.
  • Wednesday, July 11, 2018- Design and Build Pool Party
    • Cynthia Madden Leitner, the President & Executive Director of the Museum, generously invites the Design and Build crew over for a fun evening of dinner and swimming every summer. We declared this particular day to be “Tacky Tourist” spirit day, and we all had the most fun- visors, fanny packs, socks-and-sandals and all. Seriously though. Eggs brought a inflatable camel pool float named “Toe,” and along with the floats that Cynthia already had, Toe made for a great deal of poolside entertainment! It was such a lovely evening of chatting and fun, enjoyed by the museum staff, Prismajic staff, and the Design and Build team!
    • Also: Free slurpee day at 7-11, so yes of course we came to the pool party fully equipped with slurpees!
    • Also: During work on Wednesday, an extremely kind group of three older museum-goers came in and graciously donated their seashell collection to us! It was a really sweet and uplifting, random act of kindness! They’d been collecting these sea shells for over 60 years, even one of the newspapers used to wrap and protect one of the shells was dated 1969! We were so thankful, and beyond excited to breathe new life into them!
  • Thursday, July 12, 2018- Daniel’s Birthday
    • We all wanted to make sure that Daniels birthday was a super special day, so Alex Ward and I picked him up on our way to work and brought him Dutch Brothers and Panera Bread for breakfast. Little did Daniel know, he also had a surprise waiting for him at the museum. A beautiful hand-decorated cake and a crew of friends dressed up in all sorts of costumes singing him “Happy Birthday,” greeted him as he walked through the door. It was a super lively and energetic way to start a very busy Thursday in the studio.
    • Also: Build-A-Bear’s failed attempt at pay-your-age day… we were all planning on going as a group, but it turns out that that promotion worked a little bit too well, and Build-A-Bear stores across the country were having to close their doors. Once we saw the line at our location, the plan quickly changed to just having a nice dinner and enjoying each other’s company.


    Earlier, I broke the fourth wall with you all, as I do again now, and thank you for letting me do that, and thank you for continuing to read this blog. It’s reassuring for me to be writing to an audience that has a tolerance to that kind of up-front reality. It’s promising, promising that our readers that do indeed come and visit Natura Obscura in January are open to the idea of going on a subconscious internal voyage, discovering Mother Nature around us, and bringing the unconscious of the forest, and maybe even of yourself, into the light of consciousness.


Until next week, this is Lexie signing off. (: