I come from a fine art background, so there are days when I’m ready to stop staring at a computer screen and go back to getting my hands dirty. (This is one of the reasons that we always do preliminary sketching by hand at the start of every Oxide project, but that’s a whole different post.) Last spring, an opportunity arrived that I couldn’t pass up.
Paul Berkbigler, the Director of Education for AIGA Nebraska, asked me to moderate a group for his “Me, Myself & Design” event. Agreeing to the panel also meant agreeing to customize a mini-Munny, to be auctioned on eBay in support of a design education scholarship fund. While customizing these figurines can sometimes mean just drawing or painting on their markable surface, I had loftier goals. I’d been yearning for an excuse to do some sculpture work, and this was it.
Early on, it became clear that the plain white surface of the blank mini-Munny would match well with white Sculpey to craft a monochromatic figure. (Sculpey is a soft modeling clay that becomes rigid when you bake it in the oven.) Since I’m an avid scuba diver and love all things ocean-related, a sea creature seemed like a good direction. Then after discovering the mini-Munny had removable parts, it set the perfect stage for an “octopus attack”, la 40,000 Leagues Under The Sea.
There were a number of times during the building process that I began to feel like maybe I’d bitten off more than I could chew. Thankfully, they were regularly offset by unexpected bonuses like finding that the mini-Munny head turned backwards makes the perfect octopus head, with eyes where the Munny’s ears are supposed to be. So, half a pound of Sculpey, two tubes of super glue, several attempts at a tinfoil skeleton, and more than 30 hours later, an octopus was born and mini-Munny met his unfortunate fate, torn limb from limb (and his head already eaten).
Local designer Ryan Sorenson won the eBay auction, and is now the proud owner of Octo-Munny.