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.
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
A 1’x1′ grid system was used to enlarge the maquette silhouettes. This is the starting point of the gigantic head
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)
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
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
Whale eye! This took Tusk 12 times before he had the right one
Not pumpkins! Coronula Diadema or Humpback whale barnacles. There are four different sizes, they look like pumpkins. These barnacles are specific to humpback whales.