Thanks to Melbourne Zoo and their 150th birthday celebrations in 2012 and their beautiful baby elephant Mali, they commissioned 50 young and aspiring professional artists to create 50 individual life-size Mali sculptures to be painted and presented to the Zoo in August. These elephant sculptures went on display in various locations around the city and were presented on August 10 to celebrate the 150th anniversary and of course Mali herself.
My elephant went on display in Melbourne Central in front of the Shot Tower (above).
This page is a timeline of the process I underwent on my Mali elephant, hope you enjoy the pics!
50 Malis at the zoo awaiting collection by the artists
My Mali on the trailer
arrived home safe and sound
Surprise here he is!
Me & my Mali
Application of the weather shield undercoats
These soft elephant heads will be part of the elephant’s slippers
Preparation of the spray booth
Spraying on the blue body paint
Blue body paint covers ONLY the back legs
Blue paint having some trouble sticking to the elephant’s hooves
1 x Milky way stripe
2 x Milky way stripes
Each snowflake stencil was hand-cut (small one to begin with)
First stencil test
Mid-way through the major (biggest) snowflake
I was very pleased with the outcome of this snowflake!
Further repeated symmetrically on the other side
Making the elephant’s scarf pattern
I used a template to gauge how much material was needed for the trunk warmer
With a form-fitting practice trunk warmer done, I could move onto the real one
Sliding the final trunk warmer down onto the trunk
The final trunk warmer in place, it will be glued down a little later
Working out how long the scarf needs to be and whether the pattern is right
I wanted to see all scarf, trunk warmer and hat in place
More snowflakes (bigger and different coloured) were applied
This snowflake didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, it will get redone later
Working out the arrangement of elements on the slipper
Cutting out the templates for the slippers
The sides were sewn up like a shower cap so it would wrap around the hooves
They were stuffed with foam to mimic the puffy slipper type
My painting palette
The finished slippers (aside from the added foam)
Me applying another (stressful) snowflake stencil
The first time all four slippers went on
A view from afar to judge they were correct size
First coat of gloss varnish being applied
The last of the snowflakes have now been added
The glueing down of the trunk warmer
The all-completed Mali!
The all-completed Mali!
Close-up showing how the slipper is worn (leaving a slot for the struts to extrude)
Mali’s hand-made winter hat
Dropping Mali off at Melbourne Zoo
These two guys managed to lift her with a bit too much ease if you ask me! lol
Bye bye Mali!!