Guy Makes A Life-Size Humpback Whale Sculpture From A Giant Piece Of Foam

Have you ever been to a museum and noticed how massively  huge the sculptures are, or how in the world they got there? In case you’re wondering, here is one of the ways a massive sculpture makes it into a museum. This life-sized 4,200 pound DIY whale hangs high at The Living Planet Aquarium in Draper, Utah.

The whale had to be delivered in 8 sections to fit through the aquarium doors and reassembled onsite with little to no mess.

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The aquarium received the two enormous Humpback whale sculptures courtesy of Stephen Kesler a.k.a Tusk. Tusk sculpted a 50-foot mother whale and her 20-foot calf which had to be delivered in 8 sections in order to make it through the doors at the aquarium.

The crew began with 32 blocks (4’x’3’x8′) of 1lb polystyrene foam

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A 1’x1′ grid system was used to enlarge the  maquette silhouettes. This is the starting point of the gigantic head

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Hot wires were used to cut the silhouettes and various carving tools then refined and shaped. EPS (white foam) is glued together using an expandable polyurethane (yellow foam)

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This is a tricky stage for carving. Tusk used the maquette for reference at this point but there was more than a few times he said he glued more blocks on thinking he had miscalculated the nitial cuts… only to carve off all the added foam down the road

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Cross sections silhouettes were drawn every 6 ft using the enlargement grid system. Our support system is a 3’x3′ steel frame, basically a tunnel. This is drawn on and used as registration points between the cross sectioned pieces

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Whale eye! This took Tusk 12 times before he had the right one
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Not pumpkins! Coronula Diadema or Humpback whale barnacles. There are four different sizes, they look like pumpkins. These barnacles are specific to humpback whales.

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Tuss also has a giant squid, sperm whale, whale shark and four manta rays at the same aquarium. (h/t imgur) (source: Stephen Kesler)

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