Butte County Exhibit

The Butte county exhibit was designed to feature the figure of Ishi, a famous Indian from near Oroville, California.

I had last heard about Ishi when I visited the California Indian Museum on my quest to make fire with two sticks. Apparently he was very skilled at it. 

Kristin was given the task of making a complete half-size Ishi figure out of blue styrofoam and paperclay. This photo reminds me of C3PO in Empire, with his torso behind him.

She studied two photographs and went to work carving out his various parts, patching the parts together with 2-part expanding foam.

The yellow stuff between his legs is the 2-part expanding foam. Ishi was only going to be wearing a loin cloth, so there were a number of jokes regarding those details.

Kristin attaches his head.

Blue foam chips away if it is honed down to tiny bits, so she used paperclay on the feet, hands and face. This allowed more intricate details. 

The display was shaped kind of like a skateboard ramp, with a hole in the center, which would be painted into a break in the trees, where Ishi would sit.

To the right, you can see my little blue 9.6v Makita drill, which was stolen out of my car a few days after this photo was taken. I had scratched "Non-transferable" and my name into the drill handle, maybe I'll get it back someday.

Until then I'll borrow Ishi's hand drill.

The view from higher up. That table next to the display is called the paint cart. Nathan painted the sunset (some of which is covered with paper in this photo).

The blue sky backdrop the left is a competitor's display.

Closer view. Richard using the display platform as a worktable.

Ishi was also an awesome break-dancer, in keeping with the fair's theme for 2003.

That's me, approximately where Ishi would soon sit in the cutaway. I did not paint the background, I'm just posing there.

Alright, That's about it for under-construction photos. Large photographs of Butte county were suspended in front of the display, and several guest-controlled lights were added onto the front panel.

The completed Ishi figure sharpening his spear in the river.

A bit farther away. This Butte county display won a Gold award.

It was an excellent display. This guest leaned in to ask Ishi about his shampoo.

More about Ishi, the last of the Yahi, from the Mohican Press.

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Last updated August 19th, 2003.  

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