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My entry for the Summer Joust 2022 "12 x 12 Vignette" category!

The Kelp Harvest (1)

In the coastal waters of northwest Avalonia lie dense forests of giant kelp. Fueled by long daylight hours and cold, nutrient-rich waters cycling in from the north, they provide a bountiful ecosystem supporting all forms of life, from giant stingrays to diminutive hermit crabs. The forests are also home to large populations of merfolk, who harvest the kelp for food, garments, medicine, and much more. Merfolk communities will often have designated “kelp harvesters” (a prestigious position due to its importance), who go through the forests with ivory sickles.

The Kelp Harvest (2)

Other merfolk forage for clams. One such mermaid is Katalina, who has spotted a large one under a rocky outcrop. Excitedly reaching under, she fails to spot a lobster next to the clam – the crustacean will make sure that she pays for her carelessness!

The Kelp Harvesters

From left to right:

Petra

A kelp harvester with a love for the dark red algae that grows on the kelp forest's rocky terrain. It can be found in her wardrobe (such as her skirt and cuffs) and even in her hair! Some merfolk chafe at the “monotony” of harvesting kelp all day, but Petra actually enjoys it, as it gives her time to think and “unwind”. Plus, the prestige for holding such a valued position doesn't hurt!

Katalina

Young and headstrong, Katalina's recklessness has often gotten her into trouble with the village elders. They figured that assigning her to clam harvesting duties would teach her patience and keep her out of trouble – they were wrong!

 

More Images:

Spoiler
The Kelp Harvest (5)

 

The Kelp Harvest (6)

 

The Kelp Harvest (3)

 

The Kelp Harvest (4)

 

I finally found the time to post this to Eurobricks! I had a bad case of COVID during the end of the Summer Joust - thankfully, I had already completed the MOC, so I only had to photograph it! I've made a full, so I figured I would belt out a backstory for it!

Background

This MOC was inspired by the kelp forests that line the west coast of North America - particularly those off the coast of Southern California. I snorkeled amongst these kelp forests while on a school trip to Catalina Island (also the inspiration for the "Katalina" name). Most of the creatures in this MOC are inspired by the local wildlife, such as garibaldi (represented by the orange fish), hermit crabs, the giant pacific octopus, lobsters, various anemones/starfish, and stingrays.

Katalina's accident with the lobster was actually inspired by an incident involving one of our snorkeling guides. We were night snorkeling, and our guide (seeing a lobster in a burrow) wanted to dive down, grab it, and bring it up to show it to us. As he was about to reach into the burrow, he noticed (at the last possible second) a scorpion fish next to the lobster! He quickly drew his hand away; had he not noticed it, he would have likely been "stung"!

I was inspired to create the "ocean surface" when I saw Grant Davis's "Seaside" at Bricks Cascade 2022!

 

This is the largest MOC I have ever posted online. I've mostly stuck to "figbarfs" in the past, but I'm trying to broaden my horizons. Creating it was a lot of fun, and it has inspired me to add even more to it. I have already created several more merfolk, and want to develop a village scene of some kind!

This challenge was incredibly fun, with some great entries from everyone. As we continue into the "judging period", I wish everyone the best of luck!

Previous MOCs:

Cobold's Crusader's (REVAMP)

Citizens of Historica Figbarf

CDC2 CMF: socalbricks

Edited by socalbricks

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Cool scene!! I really like the rippling water on the surface and the wide variety of sea life you managed to include(especially the lobster pinching Katalina 😆). I know you mostly stick to figbarfing, but it’s great to see some scenes like this from you and hopefully you build some more larger buildings in the future!

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I don't know that I've seen olive used for underwater vegetation before--it looks really neat and gives a unique atmosphere to the scene!  Some other creative parts use in there too! 

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On 8/9/2022 at 9:18 AM, LordDan said:

Cool scene!! I really like the rippling water on the surface and the wide variety of sea life you managed to include(especially the lobster pinching Katalina 😆). I know you mostly stick to figbarfing, but it’s great to see some scenes like this from you and hopefully you build some more larger buildings in the future!

Thank you! I'm really happy with how the water turned out. I definitely plan to focus on larger builds in the future! I already plan to "add on" to the kelp forest - I'm currently developing an underwater arena, complete with merfolk gladiators!

On 8/9/2022 at 1:12 PM, Kai NRG said:

I don't know that I've seen olive used for underwater vegetation before--it looks really neat and gives a unique atmosphere to the scene!  Some other creative parts use in there too! 

Thank you! When I was browsing parts, olive green immediately struck me as the most "kelp-like" color! Those pieces were sort of the "seed part" for this build. 

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Great job on the mermaids!  the sea floor looks great with all the different angles too.  Good placement of the sea creatures to show movement, and nice use of the limb pieces to frame the build.  Nice work!

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very nice , I like all the details and animals in there. also the water on top looks cool :D. nice work!

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On 8/22/2022 at 4:58 AM, jtooker said:

Great details and techniques in such a compact space!

Thank you! The "12 x 12" limitations were fun to work with.

On 8/22/2022 at 8:03 AM, Grover said:

Great job on the mermaids!  the sea floor looks great with all the different angles too.  Good placement of the sea creatures to show movement, and nice use of the limb pieces to frame the build.  Nice work!

Thank you for the kind words!

On 9/3/2022 at 2:32 AM, Simon_S said:

very nice , I like all the details and animals in there. also the water on top looks cool :D. nice work!

Thank you! The water was very "parts intensive" (it also made the MOC a little "top heavy"), but it was worth it!

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