Over the last year or so, I’ve had the privilege of watching this amazing topiary elephant come to life, as the creators, Ernesto and Marlis Looser, sent me regular email updates from Switzerland. Now that their elephant is all done and waiting for the plants to fill in, they agreed to write up this guest post so we could see the entire process, from start to finish. What an inspiring project!
How We Made Our Topiary Elephant
©2015 Ernesto and Marlis Looser
First of all we would like to thank you Jonni sooo much for your grand inspiration, and generous instructions on the baby elephant.
We are very pleased to send you, as you requested, pictures of our elephant and short description for people who could be interested in creating such a “monster!”
We got the idea out of the book of two famous artists and designers : Terrence Conran & Diarmuid Gavin: OUTDOORS … probably made for a garden show ….. of course they do not tell you about the making.
Topiary Elephants exists in many places in the world—-the Romans were the inventors of topiaries.
You can also make it smaller and plant a shrub inside…then let it grow and trim around the shape of your sculpture
go in internet: Walt Disney topiaries.
What you need is the skill of welding.
How it was done:
1. We drew our elephant on a paper sheets ( ours is 3mx5m).
2. Then made a copy on a transparent plastic sheet.
3. Follow the lines, cutting, bending & welding.
4. Erect, first low then original height.
5. Add all the membranes 4 feet and trunk.
6. Paint with anti-rust the welding junctions.
The teeth are out of chestnut wood from our forests.
7. Place 4 rings (50 x 30 cm) from chemical barrels into the ground and ram in 3 armoring irons (70cm) in the surface.
– Put in the centre an L iron with long hole, on which you fix later on your sculpture.
– Pour over the concrete.
8. Cover the whole elephant with a strong grid… the saddle belly with armoring grid.
Fix together with armoring wire.
9. Lay over big pieces of felt you use for gardening etc.
10. Cover again the whole elephant with chicken wire.
11. Plant at his feet ivy= hedera helix.
12. Saddle and boxes filled with flowers and herbs.
13. Let mother nature let him grow
Best regards and wishes from Switzerland
Ernesto & Marlis Looser
PS. Our First Elephant – Made With Paper Mache: