Monday, October 3, 2011

The Red Elephant, a photo journey.

This weekend we installed The Red Elephant at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA  Followers of this digital journal have seen the progress since it's inception in January.

Here is a photo journey of that process culminating in the sculpture fulfilling it's purpose: being played with by kids.

(click images to enlarge)

The Process:

Cutting lots of shapes, I discover an Elephant!

Final paper model

3rd draft or so, designs

Proof of Concept production.

Painted Proof of Concept (@ 3+' x 1+')

Changes in design are made, then we make the full scale pieces

Getting rid of the rough edges.

Assembling the border pieces

Attaching the ears.

Momma with the Proof of Concept and a smaller pal.
At the paint shop.

The Elephant is Red-dy.
The Installation:

The day before, the team uses a plywood model to suss out placement of The Elephant. It was sunny.
Most of the install team with museum director Alix Kennedy.
In the morning, The Elephant is loaded up after a night of pouring rain.
She got many looks on the road over from Easthampton to Amherst.

@450 folks were there to see the install.
We sure hoped the @1500 lbs. Elephant and thetruck wouldn't get stuck in the mud.

She got stuck in the mud.
The Elephant unloaded.

The truck was supposed to drop the Elephant over a retaining wall.

Now how would we get her over?
She was way too heavy for even these big guys to lift.

Solution: jack it up and jurry-rig a ramp, then winch her down.
I make myself useful
and explain the plan to the awesome, patient, and amused crowd.

It works! Fabricator Sam Ostroff is happy.

Architect of the Carle Museum and all around great guy,
Earl Pope and I walk around The Red Elephant for final placement.

A little to the right.  Now a little to the left.  Now to the right again.

Earl and I are happy and The Elephant is lowered from its casters.
Congrats and a promise of future root beers all around.

Then to signing books.

A quick lecture on the process and my metal and ceramic work with Sam.
Then The Red Elephant is put to use; being played with.

What a fun day!

Come visit The Red Elephant anytime
at the Eric Carle Picture Book Museum in Amherst, MA.
Many thanks to all involved, from the Carle Staff to the fabricators, painters, the truck guy, Earl, and most importantly the awesome kids who made the day a joy.