Phew is there a lot to catch up on. Let's go bird by bird, starting with my first ever parade float in October.

The Mystic Aquarium asked me to design a permanent float structure that incorporated fiberglass animals made by their shop carpenter Gary Grimm, including a 14 foot beluga whale. It had to come apart so it could be stored in a small space, and be able to change from season to season.

For the pitch I made a model of a wave pavilion, two crossing arches that could come apart to be stored flat, and sides to cover the trailer. Then I had fun making a stop animation of how it would look as it traveled by (the column in the center represents a human figure for scale):

By the time I got the green light I had two weeks to build it by myself, the staging, plus 3 penguins and various sealions, corals and seaweeds. And all on this challenging metal U-Haul trailer. Hello float marathon!

Thankfully my mum lent me her ballsy jigsaw, and do I love cutting plywood with it.

With cutting, painting and carving all going on at once, my makeshift studio expanded from my living room, to the dining room and kitchen. And with the pieces all being BIG (and almost always wet with paint), I was at over capacity.

And luckily my mum lent me herself for a many long days and nights. I worked her hard. Here she is carving penguins. The picture is fuzzy because she made me promise not to post her.

A few days before the first parade I drove it all up to the Mystic Aquarium shop where I spent the day helping to cover the U-Haul with my staging together with Gary's amazing whale and Ron's beautiful fish. We found a spare rock from the aquarium grounds that fit perfect.

Here's Gary and Ron, who were so gracious to let me in their shop:

I couldn't be at the first parade, but the aquarium took some photos.

I'd loved this project, a float was so right up my alley. I hope I get to keep working on this one, and get more opportunities like this. Though I could really use a warehouse next time.