Materials: PLA Bioplastic, Cardboard Box
‘Falling Deer’ is the first in a series of playsets depicting peculiar events in my life. While they are very different kinds of experiences, they share one important aspect. For me they provide hints of a non-ordinary reality. Large or small, these events stopped me in my tracks and made me look back and wonder. Over the years and decades, my mind keeps looping back to these events, as if they beg to be remembered.
I made the figurines by a combination of real-life sculpting, 3D scanning and digital modeling. The models are 3D printed by me. 3D printing is not an exact manufacturing technology, it’s more of a machine aided craft, and the pieces will have slight variations. The image on the box is photographed at the actual site of the event.
The playset consists of:
2 Bushes (1.25“) (changes color in response to temperature)
1 Deer (3.3“)
1 Woman (4.4“)
1 Wave (4.3“)
1 Printed box for storage (6.75” x 6” x 4”) and opened up for use as a cliff (6.75” x 4” x 16”)
Small plastic fasteners for holding the box open
The scale of the figurines is approximately 1:16. The box-cliff is not to scale. The real-life height of the specific cliff is around 40’ so the height of the model should be 30”, which felt too large as a box. Just imagine the height of the cliff being as least twice the height of the opened box.
The bioplastic in the figurines is not as sturdy as the plastics used in commercial toys and they need to be handled with some care. The set is not suitable for young children, broken off parts could pose a choking hazard.
The Falling Deer, September 2001:
It’s early morning on a rugged beach in Northern California. Summer is shifting into fall; the sky is gray and the air is cool. There is no wind. Apart from the rumble of the large pacific swells, it’s quiet.
I’m suddenly awakened by a rustle from the cliffs high above. Leaping up from my sleeping bag, I see two small bushes falling down a near-vertical drop right in front of a little waterfall. Then, before my eyes, the jumble of branches transforms into a deer.
In shock, anticipating what will happen to the deer as she hits the rocks at the bottom of the tall cliff, I scream and wake my friends up. Time is slowing down to a trickle. Together we witness the deer in free fall.
She reaches the ground. She stands up. Unharmed. Unimaginable.
The deer darts towards the ocean, past us, out in the big swells. Just as a wave is readying itself to break above her, she spins around. Unscathed by her violent fall and the powerful waves, she runs back up on the sand, towards us. She turns and lopes down the beach, quickly fading into the distance.
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