Mendocino County Exhibit - Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Ten days of work and the display looks like a train wreck. The background is base-coated white, and one of the tall redwood trees is leaning over the lighthouse platforms.

This small platform was supposed to secure this signpost pole. Unfortunately, the pole provided a long lever, which fairgoers might be tempted to jostle and shake. I had to spend almost 3 hours reinforcing this thing so it would be sturdy enough.

Finally it was time to spray the entire display with expanding foam. This stuff is pretty fun to use, but if you get it on your shoes, or your arm-hair, you will be very unhappy.

The spray sticks to the screen and foams up, giving the screen a solid surface which should look like rock.

It took about 15 minutes to cover all the screen. It is important to work fast, because the nozzle will clog if allowed to sit.

The expanding foam doesn't smell bad, but it puts off heat while its chemical reaction is underway.

Michael carved a couple of characters for the display, including the train conductor, a canoeing girl, a pelican, a blue whale and a wine patron.

Here is a front view of the canoeing girl. Roger is in the background painting the "hall of flowers" poster for Sacramento's display.

Chunks of blue foam litter the floor.

Michael's blue whale is built in three parts so that its fins can be animated. He used blue foam and paperclay to make this guy, and the results were incredible.

The yellow foam was dry in less than an hour. 

We use the largest expanding foam kit available: two five gallon pressurized containers. The two chemical components flow through the two tubes and are mixed on the fly in the black spray gun. It is expensive, but it is probably the best way to achieve a fake-rock look.

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Last updated August 26th, 2003.  

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