It was a dream come true to have an opportunity to walk through Blain Kern’s Warehouse. I felt as if I'd taken a sip of Alice’s potion, shrunk into a tiny person and gotten lost in my own studio!
If you want a most fanciful and magical New Orleans experience, be sure to tour Blain Kern’s Mardi Gras World.
This is where a great majority of floats are built each year (actually hundreds for the different Krewe’s who will parade during the Carnival season). A float will only parade one time.
A small group of twenty artists work all year to create these amazing floats. The colorful structures (or sculptures) that typify a Mardi Gras float in New Orelans (for example this lady with the wings above), are called "The Props".
Armatures for the props are usually created out of of carved Styrofoam which is covered in papier mache, afterwards it is gessoed, then finally painted. Themes for floats are specified by the different Krewe's.
* A Krewe is a club where members are selected and then must pay yearly dues. These are social and pleasure clubs, where the dues are used to build the floats, for costumes, also for a grand ball. The "throws" must be purchased by individual Krewe members and I've heard can cost around $2,000.00 per person (depending on the Krewe and the throws).
On Ash Wednesday, (the day after Mardi Gras), the artists at Blain Kern will start deconstructing and begin the process again, to create floats for the following year. All the props are saved, to be recreated, hopefully in the future.
My love affaire with New Orleans continues!