Another Dolphin's Tale

This is Penelope, one of the famous "Clearwater's Dolphins" smiling for the crowds during the public exhibition "Pod at Pier 60 Park" in Clearwater Beach, FL. A project conceived of and created through a partnership between the  Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, the City of  Clearwater and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium .  This is her story......

Penelope's life began in Nebraska where she and the rest of her pod were lovingly sculpted by the artists at Icon Poly . Penelope and three artists ( Bonnie Bowman, Sarah Butz, and Kathleen Fulmer were then sponsored by Dr. Zena Lansky and Warren Rodgers.

 After a long road trip,she arrived in Clearwater and was picked up by the artists on July 13th, 2012.

At Bonnie's studio Penelope Sarah Butz(left) Kathleen Fulmer (center) and Bonnie Bowman get acquainted.

Won't she look lovely in magenta, purple, turquoise and ......
 Yes but the challenge is to create a design with textiles, while constructing art that that would with stand Clearwater Florida’s bright sun and summer showers and... She has to be ready in only two weeks!!!!!! 

Is that Possible?

Creating Custom Fabrics for Penelope

With no time to waste, the fiber artists dyed yardage of kona cotton with an Ice Dying  technique to create a fabric patterned with beautiful crystal like watermarks.

The Aqua, turquoise and blues turned out PERFECT!  The other piece is was a disappointment, way too dark.
It is bundled and put in a discharge bath to lighten some of it.
Sarah Butz brings her custom made silk screens to layer the fabric with wonderfully whimsical patterns.

That night Penelope is up late excitedly anticipating how she'll will look dressed up in those wonderful fabrics.

The First Day of Fitting.

After a day of measuring and making tissue patterns, the fabric is cut, saturated with Paverpol (to make it weather resistant)  fitted and applied to Penelope.
Uh Oh...we are going to need a lot more of this color fabric.

With so little time this creates more then a bit of stress.  But more fabric is prepared for the dying and printing process.

The Deadline Is Imminent

 Having to dye more fabric was a bit of a set back.  With so little time to complete this project, we'll need to put in some long hours for the next few days to be finished time!

Kathleen Fulmer's quilting expertise was essential to the process of piecing this all together

Another big challenge was that perfectly measured and cut pieces of fabric tended to stretch out of shape when saturated with the Paverpol. Although sometimes that was a help when easing the cloth around Penelope's curvy figure.
Bonnie realizes that if the mosaic base isn't sarted NOW the adhesive won't be dry in time to finish before our deadaline. So the team continues to work tirelessly.....well maybe not so tirelessly.
We really should mush on to stay on schedule, but....

Bonnie and Kathleen have gotten a bit tired and punchy so the team decided it was in every one's best interest, especially Penelope's to call it a night.

The Home Stretch

Sarah Butz rallies the team bright and early the following day.  There is no longer any spare time so hopefully we will not run in to any set backs.
Fitting the fabric around the face is tricky, but is going we'll as we have all reached a learning curve with working with the Paverpol saturated cloth. 
The mosaic base is grouted and painted.

All she needs is a little "eye makeup" and "lipstick."

And Penelpope's looking GOOD!
Penelope will now rest while the Paverpol cures then she will receive several coats of JosefineVarnish.

Saying Goodbye

Looking lovely, Penelope waits on the front porch of the studio for her ride back to join the rest of her Pod. 
It was a little hard to say good-bye.
But after one look back...
She is on her way!

Rejoining the Pod of Clearwater's Dolphins

Penelope is back at the Armory with all of her friends.  Wow everyone looks fabulous!

The Dolphins will have a week to rest and get to know each other before the big exhibition.
Is that "Sunset Sam" winking at Penelope?

Show Time!

August 9 2012.  The big day is here!
The public was invited to meet the sponsors and artists  at Pier 60 Park, Clearwater Beach to see the exhibition of all 50 beautiful and uniquely decorated dolphins.  The exhibit will be available for viewing through September 4, 2012

Here is Sarah Butz, Bonnie Bowman and Kathleen Fulmer posing with Penelope.  They are so happy for her and proud of her.
Penelope seems to enjoy all of the attention and smiles for the cameras.
Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted a gathering of sponsors and artists to celebrate CLEARWATER’S DOLPHINS.

Kathleen, Sarah and Bonnie raise a toast to Penelope!
Penelope and friends wave good-bye to the crowds.
Penelope enjoys the night time summer breeze on Clearwater Beach and anticipates meeting more visiters!
See Penelope and all of the other beautiful Dolphins at Pier 60 Park Clearwater Beach, FL until
September 4, 2012.

And finally but most importantly we would like to thank  the  Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, the City of  Clearwater,  the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, .  and especially our sponsors Dr. Zena Lansky and Warren Rodgers for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful project.