Crafts & DIY
Girl combines plastic waste and newspapers to make magnificent ‘flying whale’
It's incredible to see how she made everything come together in the end. It turned out so beautiful.
Jaclyn Abergas
10.31.22

What can you do with cardboard waste? Do you throw it away, sell it, or reuse it?

This young artist chose to gather the leftover cardboard boxes and create an art installation with them.

She envisioned a flying whale

YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng
Source:
YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng

First, she gathered cardboard boxes.

She cut them into smaller panels and submerged them in water to soften the material. That way, it’ll be much easier to mold and shape.

She placed all the cardboard in a large bucket before filling it with water.

She even added a large rock on top so the material would stay submerged until ready to use- about three days.

YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng
Source:
YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng

While waiting, she started the body.

She used PVC pipes and connectors, wire mesh, old newspapers, zip ties, scotch tape, and even an electric saw, hammer, pipe cutters, and a torch.

She is an artist who’s very committed to her craft.

She shaped the PVC pipes and connectors to form the body of the whale.

YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng
Source:
YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng

It wasn’t easy.

She had to cut the pipes according to the sizes she needed.

She had to use an electric saw to create ridges in the pipes to become easier to bend.

Then she covered the entire body with wire mesh and secured it with zip ties.

Once those were both in place, she covered the entire piece with newspaper.

YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng
Source:
YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng

She had to be careful.

This was going to the base that the cardboard would follow.

She formed the mouth on one end and part of the tail on the other end.

Once she had the tail, she created another part with wire mesh and thick wires. These were the flukes, which she also covered with old newspapers.

Before she covered the body, she inserted long, thick wires in four areas in the middle and attached wire mesh once again. This was going to be the flipper wings.

YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng
Source:
YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng

She added two fins on top and three hooks on each side and on the back.

She used the hooks for the rope she would use to hang the art installation.

She needed to hang the installation for the next step.

Paper mache.

The artist covered the entire whale with paper mache, making sure every square inch is covered.

The whale needed to be suspended so she didn’t miss any spots and so it would dry evenly.

YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng
Source:
YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng

Now, it’s time for the cardboard.

The reason she needed to submerge it in the water is to make it easier to pound into pulp.

The consistency and texture became similar to drier or firm mud. This will be easier to handle and mold.

Before adding it to the installation, she mixed the cardboard pulp with white latex so that it’ll stick to the body.

The dedication of this artist to her art is just so admirable.

YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng
Source:
YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng

Adding the pulp

She only grabbed a handful at a time so it was easier to apply.

Once she covered the entire piece and it had dried, she drew the patterns she needed to follow.

She covered them with pulp and used the patterns to carve the features of the whale.

The next day, when it dried, she began to paint the whale with black, gold, grey, and white colors.

YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng
Source:
YouTube - 小芊枫 XiaoQianFeng

When it was finally finished, she brought it outside and hung it up in the trees for a majestic presentation.

See how stunning this paper mache ‘flying whale’ turned out in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Jaclyn Abergas
hi@sbly.com
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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