What’s the Deal With Resolution Trout?

  • Project Create / Madeleine Buck / October 10, 2019

  • Visitors to the Town Kitchen this summer may have noticed the overhead presence of Resolution Trout. While it is certainly eye-catching, it also has the distinction of being a collaborative, community art piece almost six months in the making. 


    What is Resolution Trout?

    A sample of resolutions made in the workshop

    Resolution Trout began with Project Create’s first workshop of 2019, where visitors were invited to create a piece of tin art expressing a resolution for the coming year. Project Create staff had been looking for an opportunity to create a permanent, community-sourced art piece, and the abundance of colorful, eye-catching resolutions contributed by our visitors seemed like an ideal medium. 




    The ever-expanding wall of resolutions, created over a three-week period, encompassed everything from hopes about the future of our planet to personal goals and mottos.

    Resolution Trout is modeled after the rainbow trout native to Sausal Creek, which flows behind Chabot. We wanted to pay tribute to a species native to the Oakland Hills, and highlight the ecological diversity surrounding the Center. 



    The Building Process

    Resolution Trout was built and assembled by us at Project Create!


    Sketching it Out

    Resolution Trout began as a tape sketch on the floor of our workshop.






    Piping and Shaping

    Using the tape guide as a reference, we created an armature out of flexible siding and thin PVC pipe. We suspended the armature between two tables to maintain a symmetrical shape









    It’s Chicken Wire Time!

    Following the completion of the armature, we wrapped it in segments of chicken wire to form the body of the trout. After the layer of chicken wire was completed, we created a tape guide for the distinctive rainbow band across the center of the trout




    Next came the “re-scaling” of the trout. By hooking the corner of each resolution tile around a segment of chicken wire, we were able to create a pattern of “scales” that closely resembled that of a real trout. 






    The back fin before adding color

    Approaching the FIN-ish line

    While the scales of the trout were made of heavy-duty aluminum foil, the fins required a sturdier metal to maintain their shape. We used tin sheets and etching tools to replicate the trout fins. After each fin was complete, we would hook the edge of the fin onto the exposed chicken wire, then secure each side with metal brads.




    It’s All In the Details

    Once the fins were all attached, it was time to tackle the trout head. We used the same heavy tin as we did for the body, though we chose to attach the gills and eye sockets separately. Note the weights inside the head–at this point the tail of the trout was far heavier than its front end.



    The eyeballs were made by dismantling a small plastic globe and painting each half with acrylic and several coats of varnish.






    Fun fact: Trout have teeth! Known as vomerine teeth, they help the trout grab and hold onto food.






    The Finished Work: Resolution Trout

    Resolution Trout in its final form, before migrating downstream (downstairs) to the Town Kitchen.