After four days in Martinsville, VA, our latest dino is complete. We made a 20-foot acrocanthosaurus, a dinosaur from the early cretaceous period. I’ve always enjoyed blending art and science. This event was a perfect opportunity to do that.
We’ve built dinosaurs before, but this is the first time we were able to build alongside a cast of an actual dinosaur skeleton. Having a life-size model next to us sure made the construction a lot easier. Our design, based on images we found online, was pretty accurate, but it was nice to be able to look up and take measurements off of the real thing.
As is usually the case, Kelly Cheatle and I designed this together. And as I mentioned in previous blog entries, our crew consisted of Marsha Gallagher, TJ Michael, Phil Cosmos and Dee Cosmos. A few more people joined in over the time we were building. Didi Pancake, the woman responsible for getting the museum to bring us in, showed up early in the build and hung out with us as we worked. As time passed, she would step in and do a little bit of twisting with us, until she eventually became part of the crew. She twisted her first balloon under our instruction. By the end, she was weaving branches. Deborah Fellman, a longtime member of the balloon twisting community also showed up to lend a hand for a day and ended up staying for two. Of course, Didi and Deborah are only two of the people that participated. Dozens of others gave from fifteen minutes to a few hours over the course of the build. Several classes of kindergarten and first grade students learned to twist balloons and helped make some of the ground cover in the display.