My house has run out of room for any more critters, even if they don’t eat or shed, so I’ve decided to be brave and try to make a paper mache elephant sculpture that will survive outside. I’ll try to waterproof the paper mache with marine varnish, like I discussed in a previous post. Wish me luck.
Note: I chickened out, and didn’t put the elephant outside. I tested marine varnish on another sculpture, and it died. 🙁 If you’re looking for ideas for outdoor sculpting materials that actually work, check out my waterproof squirrel video, here.
As you can see, I haven’t got very far yet. I looked up a lot of baby elephants on Google and chose an Indian elephant baby for my model. I created the sketch and turned it into a pattern by adding a grid, and then transferred the pattern to a piece of press board to create the “bones” of my sculpture. Once the armature is all glued together I’ll start adding crumpled paper muscles and paper mache skin. When I post the finished project I’ll include the pattern in case you decide you need an elephant in your back yard, too.
Another note: When the elephant was finished I made a video about this whole process. You can see the video about How to Make a Life-Sized Paper Mache Elephant here.
The finished sculpture is about 30 inches high. If I thought anyone would ever climb on it I would make it out of plywood, which is much stronger than the press board. However, I don’t have any plywood on hand, so I’m making do with what’s already here.
Click the link above to see how the elephant came out. And then click this link to see just a few of the elephants that have been made with my pattern since the video was put on YouTube.