The Big F

Me with the Big F, Vasilia, and Mark.

Recently I was contacted by Vasilia Scouras about a project she was overseeing for the upcoming Festivall in Charleston, WV. Vasilia asked me if I would be one of the nine artists to decorate a four foot tall letter that would be put together to spell out the word “Festivall”. It sounded like fun, and I enjoy an artistic challenge that takes me out of my normal studio format. On Memorial Day, which also happened to be my birthday, Vasilia and her friend, Mark (percussion ninja), made and trek from Charleston and dropped the plywood letter off at my house in Wheeling.

The Big F makes friends with a tree in my back yard.

I studied the Big F as it stood in my yard. It appeared manageable and I figured it would be a cooperative letter form. As I began to work on the F, I discovered I had my work cut out for me. The Big F wanted no part of me making any changes to it!

Struggling with the Big F.....

.... the battle continues....

.... and it seemed the Big F was too much for me!

I pushed back, and finally showed the Big F who was boss!

The Big F is made of two plywood letter forms with two small pieces of 2×6 sandwiched in between. I felt the letter was not strong enough to withstand my decorative treatment, so I pulled the letter apart and rebuilt the inside using 2x4s and 2x2s.

Adding a new, stronger core to the Big F.

Making the Big F stronger....

Cutting more material for the new core.

The new, improved, super-strong Big F!

I had put the Big F through a lot in one day, so I decided to take it on a tour of Wheeling. The Big F and I stopped at several of Wheelings points of interest.

The Big F visits the Mingo Indian at the top of Wheeling Hill.

The Big F visits the old mill, now empty, but has a history of being several businesses. (I would love to make a studio in this thing!)

A stop at the famous Wheeling Suspension Bridge.

The Big F makes a stop at Wheeling Heritage Port.

The Big F stops for lunch at Later Gator and meets proprietor Susan Hadad.

The Big F at Wheeling's Capitol Theater.

The Big F takes a well deserved rest in a safe place.

Day 2: The Big F gets a coat of primer.

Day 3: The Big F gets a coat of canary yellow paint.

Day 4: The front of the Big F gets covered with cut tin.

Day 5: The front of the Big F with it's festive assortment of tin "bubbles".

Day 6: The back of the Big F receives some simple illustrations.

Another detail of the back of the Big F.

The back of the Big F is completed!

The Big F is done, and awaits it's trip back to Charleston, WV. It was a fun experience!!!!


2 Responses to “The Big F”

  1. June 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    F-ing brilliant. Glad you were able to strengthen the Big F so it could withstand your decorative efforts!! Well worth the effort.

  2. June 9, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Didn’t have an idea where this was going when Vasilia asked our school (Bridgemont CTC) to cut the letters. So far the two I have seen (also the “L”) are far beyond what I would have imagined in such a short time. I’m excited to see the end result in a couple of weeks! Great work!

    It was also nice treating the F to a tour, even after winning the wrestling match.

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