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Dr. Owens

Merry Christmas, Ed!

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Ed-

Merry Christmas from Wendy & Brickworkz!!

This web site is a progress blog of your LEGO mosaic project. When this is complete, more than 16,000 LEGOs will make up the final piece. As the build continues, you can check this site for photos and writeups. Feel free to share this URL with others- this page's URL might change, but you can always get to your area of the site by visiting http://www.brickworkz.com/owens/

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!!
~Brian from Brickworkz



The Concept

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Look at those perfect chompers!!

With the original photo of Wendy's (perfect) smile, I began working on a design for the dentist office using the model teeth for the basis.

Incorporating pinks and dark reds into this project will make this by far the coolest looking mosaic I've worked on yet. It should be the perfect mix between artsy/fun. Especially if the background color is dark!



The Conversion

lego mosaic

In this photo, you can see the process of getting every pixel right where they ought to be. The larger design on the right monitor was the original plan, but the skin texture didn't come out right, and the cost was too high for the gray pieces, so I switched to a slicker-looking solid black background. (seen on the left monitor)

Converting the smile into a LEGO mosaic design took some time for this project, because the lighting in my photo didn't create as much contrast as I was hoping. I learned from the last mosaic (using teeth as a model) that the teeth almost need to look unnatural in the design in order to look right when converted to LEGO bricks. The photo offered lots of shading, which would only look like plaque in the final piece.



The Perfect Smile!


The Perfect Smile! ( 5' x 2.5' )      

I've been working on the design since yesterday afternoon- I want to always make each mosaic the best one I've created yet, and I think we've found a winner!! This piece will use some colors that I wish I had used in "Smile!," the last dentist mosaic I did.

The dimensions are different (better shaped for a mouth, with less extra background) The final size will be 5 feet by 2.5 feet (two rows of four large baseplates).

Also, it has a touch of artsy simply because of the background color being solid instead of a skin tone. The color will be very striking! This ought to be fun!!!



Parts are in!

Christmas came early! This week, all the parts for this project came in from all over the world. Thousands of pinks, reds and dark reds came in from England today, and last week I got some extra white plates from Wisconsin. On my way up to NY for the holidays, I stopped by the LEGO store to get the baseplates for this project (and to stock up before 2007). When I was there, the clerk asked if I was the guy at Brickfest who did the cool mosaics. heh. I'm a LEGO celebrity. I digress...

With 8 new plates for the project, and more than 16,000 LEGO bricks at the ready, I can get started today! Since I'm on the road, my plan is to work on the black background. That way, I can record the time-lapse video of purely the mouth.



This Weekend's Progress

This weekend's progress - I've finished the black background with the help of my family. We intentionally left the reds alone so that the majority of the build would be done with the overhead camera for time-lapse purposes. It'll be a much better video.



Biggest LEGO mosaic yet!

Brian Korte LEGO mosaic richmond

This is the layout of the piece- I have constructed the backboard first for this project, because I don't have a table large enough in the studio to hold it. The camera doesn't show it well, but it's basically spanning two tables- a card table and a modified sawhorse kind of thing. This is going to be the biggest LEGO mosaic yet!



The Lower Lip

LEGO art Brickworkz Brian Korte

After I set up the ceiling camera for the time-lapse portion of the build, I got right to work. I was moving along so well on this mosaic that I forgot to take a picture until a few plates had really taken shape! Here you can see the LEGOs forming the lower lip. It's already obvious what this project is. I'm psyched!



Don't Give me Any Lip!

lego art creative gift

Today, I was able to finish up the bottom lip and start working on the upper lip. I want to leave the white of the teeth until last- it'll work the best for the time-lapse video. It's also much easier to work with a few colors than several simultaneously.



Outline Almost Complete

LEGO lego art

Tonight, you can clearly see the gumlines. I'm almost completely done with the lips. Man, i have stared at so many red LEGO bricks, it's almost blinding. I absolutely love the subtle shadows that the dark reds create against the red. I am really happy about the look of this. It's turning out GREAT! ...if I do say so myself. ; - )



Starting the Teeth!

LEGO art mosaic creative unique

I started the teeth today. This is a progress photo of this afternoon's work. I'm going to take a break because I'm starting to see little squares everywhere. (it's a lot like when you play Tetris... you end up seeing Tetris blocks everywhere you look.) I think I'll come back this evening and see if I can finish it up by tomorrow evening.



All done! Just Drying a bit...

Brian Korte LEGO richmond

Late last night, I completed the teeth. It was great to finish the piece. This mosaic has more than 18,400 LEGO pieces, and my thumbs have the callouses to prove it. I set the project down and went to bed.

In the morning, I awoke and adhered the baseplates to my backboard mount. I have learned so much with experience, and one of the little clever helpers is actually... more LEGOs. :-) Seen in this photo, I use larger LEGOs to keep the plates together while they dry. Almost like Exactly like braces. ; - ) I'll remove these braces in the morning.



Smile! Project Complete

Brian Korte
(click for larger version)

Smile! It's finished!

Some stats: 18,432 1 x 1 LEGO plates on 8 LEGO baseplates, making the grand total 18,440 LEGO parts. The image is 192 x 96 studs, which is about 5 feet long x 2.5 feet high.

I hung it on the wall and removed the braces this morning. It took a while to hang because I was using traditional hangers. I found that bolts are much easier for a piece this big. It was a challenge to do one-handed and above my couch!

It should be noted that I'm about 4 feet in front of this LEGO mosaic. Because of the sofa, I can't get too close to the wall. So the mosaic is actually bigger than it looks here.

Yea. I know.



Smile: The Time-Lapse Video

When the project was done, I compiled the 1,400 photos taken from the ceiling camera (shots were taken in 30 second intervals) and put them to music. I enjoyed finding a good song. My brother Dan recommended a great song from the 80's by one-hit-wonder 'Shanice' entitled: "I Love Your Smile."

The video took several hours to compile and upload to YouTube. This was a really fun project, and I smile when I think about how it will be received. This will be placed in Dr. Owens' dental office in Williamsburg, and I love thinking about how many kids will be fascinated. I hope it gets their creative minds going!

Now to figure out how to transport this thing...



Some Dental 'Closure'

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There was a moment of closure yesterday when I visited the dental office of Dr. Ed Owens and got to capture this picture of Wendy smiling next to Wendy's smile. :-)





A LEGO mosaic from Brickworkz makes a lasting and memorable gift for you and your loved ones. Contact a Brick Artist for a free estimate today!

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