Friday, December 13, 2013 at 6:00AM
How did the Novogratz’ disco gnome go from shelf size to larger-than…”life-size”? First, we contacted Daddy-O Productions in Brooklyn—who specialize in…extra large disco gnomes…? To create the core, a small model gnome was laser scanned creating a wire frame rendering. This drawing was scaled up to the 6’ super size, then sliced into 4” thick layers—creating a virtual gnome layer cake. The slices were then cut out of 4” thick, 1.5lb Styrofoam bead board using a computer-guided CNC router. Next, the contoured layers were stacked into the rough form of a blank gnome which was then hand-carved into their final, smooth shape—requiring about 24 man-hours to sculpt each one. Now the hard part—mirroring the gnomes. To reduce breakage, chipping and weight, 1/8” thick acrylic mirror was used instead of glass mirrors. Each gnome required about 6200 mirrors in 4 basic shapes—mostly 7/8” square, then trapezoid, rectangle and triangle to fit smaller spots. Since there are 5 gnomes, the +35,000 tiles were cut using a special industrial saw—which can cut almost all of them at once. About half the square shapes were then individually shaped to fit the complex contours of the gnomes and—using 100% silicone and industrial grade hot glue—it took another 75 man-hours to attach the mirrors. That’s three people, about 4 days, to complete just one. Through Christmas Eve, look for a super disco gnome at these CB2 locations: Eastside New York (shown above right), Union Square, West Hollywood, Lincoln Park, and South Beach Miami.