Monday, November 21, 2011

The Makin' Of Mardi Gras (NOLA)

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Page started on location,
finished after the trip
We actually started off at Tujague's for dinner on Sunday night. Because I haven't finished that page yet, I've skipped ahead to Monday morning. We started the day off at Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World! We started with a video tour about the Kern family and the history of Mardi Gras. We also has a taste of a tradition King cake and then went out to the work area and warehouse.
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Note the golf cart in the image above. I took this for scale in this huge warehouse. Everything seemed larger than life! Mardi Gras World makes a variety of props and floats for 40 of the 54 krewes that have a parade during Mardi Gras. They will often repurpose a prop from year to year. The example shared was taking a hobbit's house and restructuring it into Shrek's head the following year.
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Here we see one of the artisan's creating a pelican's head out of styrofoam. Most of the props and floats are made of styrofoam and paper mâché as the materials are inexpensive and the labor less intense than the fiberglass props they complete.
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This little jester is made of fiberglass. He only stood about 3 feet tall, but weighs considerable more than the styrofoam pieces as well.
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This giraffe loomed high above over our heads. He seem to have a benevolent look to his face though so it wasn't so bad to have him looking over our shoulders.
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This isn't a great photo, but it does give you a sense of scale, and if you click to enlarge the image, you'll see several folks walking around in this kingdom of props and it gives you a better understanding of just how huge this place was! It was so much fun to be in the warehouse and walk around in, let alone sit down and sketch!

We had a great time sketching and painting these larger than life "caricatures!" It was really cool being able to take the tour, spend some time looking around at the "sights" and THEN deciding on what we wanted to sketch and knowing we had time to do so.

5 comments:

  1. These are all terrific, Laure! Your work is wonderful, yet again, and the photos are just terrific!

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  2. Wow, your paintbrush must have been jumping in your hand wanting to sketch all these beauties! Very fun tour.

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  3. I want to be locked in that warehouse for three days just to sketch .... but I'd need some of the good New Orleans food too.

    What fun!

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  4. Thanks, Ellen, it was a wonderful place to sketch and play!

    Teri, I think I could have spent a week there!

    Make sure you go in the winter, Elva, as that warehouse was NOT air conditioned and I would imagine in summer, it would not be fun! And, yes, you'd definitely need to break for food—it's not to be missed!

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  5. Laure,
    I love the page you sketched and painted. You really captured the flair of Mardi Gras World. I loved sketching there, too. Great photos - bring back the memory of all the sights, sounds, and fun of the day spent there.

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