Today’s guest post is from Jane Lewis, who created a paper mache elephant for her brother Andrew. What a lovely tribute for a very special guy. Thank you, Jane, for sharing this touching story with us.
I’ll let Jane take it from here…
An Elephant for Andrew
©2017 Jane Lewis
Sometime in March this year my family received the sad news that my brother Andrew had liver cancer. Andrew was born with Downs Syndrome and lived in supported living. With only a few months to live the family started making memories with Andrew by spending quality time together on special days out.
One of these days out was at the zoo where Andrew loved the elephants and giraffes. I decided from there to make a life size baby elephant in Andrew’s memory.
I decided to make the elephant out of paper mache and searched the internet for guidance when I came across Jonni’s lovely example.
My husband found some ply board in the garage and helped me to cut out the armature.
Evenings and any other spare time that I could find I worked on Andy the elephant as Andrew was shown pics throughout the process and loved him!
In the photo above shows the bubble wrap, newspaper and masking tape stage….starting to take shape.
Now Andy the elephant is at the paper mache stage. Friends rallied round to collect newspaper for my project, like Jonni says this requires plenty!
Ok so now the ears have been added, I made up some paper mache clay to get some fine detail on Andy’s face. This stuff is amazing and I found it worked really well! When I was happy with the finer detail I used the kitchen towel with flour paste to achieve the wrinkled skin effect. Once dried it was time to paint Andy
Sadly, Andrew passed away at this stage, we managed to say goodbye.
Finally with the original idea to put Andy in the garden on dry days I have given him a few coats of marine varnish. This has made his colour a lot darker which I wasn’t sure I liked but the family think he looks good.
The finished elephant is extremely heavy and very sturdy so it wouldn’t be practical to carry him in and out of the garden. Jonni has also advised me that moisture may still get in, despite my attempts to protect with the varnish, so I won’t risk ruining my work by putting him outside now.
Andy now takes pride of place in my lounge where the grandkids can sit upon him!
I am so grateful to Jonni for sharing her plans that have enabled me to enjoy creating and sharing this wonderful memory for my little brother. The photo below shows me and my brother just before he died 🙁