Bringing Cloudy to Life: A Photo Essay

As initial planning for the Los Angeles version of the Black Cloud Game unrolled, we knew very early on that the Black Cloud, in effigy, would dance at the game’s concluding celebration. Often times, what’s been great about the Black Cloud Game is coming up with ideas, concepts, and processes that are innovative and not necessarily worrying about how those ideas will actually be executed. Case in point, the Pufftron sensors and the Black Cloud Monitoring Network are so advanced technologically, that I constantly admire the hard work that goes into creating them. In regards to creating the Black Cloud persona – aka Cloudy McPufferson – there was always a sense that a costume would be ready for our final event. However, not until mid-July was someone selected as the official designer for the Cloudy costume. After making several inquiries and concluding the no one was available to complete the costume within the required time frame and budget, Rhea took it upon herself to create the costume. Below is a series of photos documenting Rhea’s design process.

Initial Planning and Storyboarding

Rhea sends out an email to the Black Cloud team as well as a series of source photos, sketches, and miscellaneous ideas.


Building the Form and Outline

Selecting a general attack strategy, Rhea converts her room into McPufferson Headquarters.

After rolling in sewing form, Rhea goes shopping for the initial materials to build the costume. Where do you go when you need to build a cloud of information? Home Depot of course.

This is one of two bags of batting that were used to give Cloudy volume. Cloudy will never be as muscular as I am, though.

Using a canvas base, a hoop-skirt based design is used for the Cloudy’s underlying form.


The top of Cloudy will be secured with a traditional hard hat. The inside of the hat seems a bit tricky. I don’t think this is how you wear it.

Pillow test.


Rhea presents samples of possible Cloudy fabrics both in person and via email.

The Black Cloud Team looks, touches, and discusses the various options (lots of pictures were taken).

Very nice, Greg.

Eventually, 17 yards of this fabric were purchased.


A significant portion of the fabric used for the costume is hand dyed. Sadie looks concerned, as usual. Not pictured, Kevitron and Dorka helped dye and eventually sew part of Cloudy. Thanks!
Sewing and Building

The different cloud pieces are slowly layered onto the hoop form.

Hmmm … Cloudy’s nose is looking a bit too phallic. Eventually it seemed to blend in just fine. [For the record, Cloudy McPufferson is “androgynous and anomalous” as clarified by Laura.]

Cloudy has twenty-five eyes. They vary by five different colors. Currently it looks like he may be missing a few.

At Last

To a killer musical concoction, Cloudy McPufferson did indeed dance! Check out Cloudy’s last-minute built spats.


Although an occasionally frightening figure, Cloudy is a benevolent cloud. Thanks for bringing it to life, Rhea!

Leave a Reply