Barney the Owl

Creating a giant model of Barney the owl to celebrate Lady Barn House school’s 150th anniversary was a fascinating project undertaken by Europlanters.

Here’s a breakdown of the process:

  1. Design and Maquette Creation: The project started with the Europlanters team obtaining an image of Barney the owl, the school’s mascot (see above). They used this as a reference to create a small-scale model called a maquette. This maquette was then presented to the school for approval. This step ensured that the final sculpture would meet the school’s expectations.

  2. Sculpture with High-Density Foam: Once the maquette design was approved, the actual sculpting of the giant owl began. High-density foam was used as the primary material for sculpting Barney. The foam was carved and shaped into sections to create the detailed features of the owl.

  3. Size and Perch: The sculpture was carefully crafted to reach a height of almost 2 meters. Barney was also designed to stand on a log perch, which adds to the overall visual impact of the artwork.

  4. Hard Shell of GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic): To give the sculpture durability and longevity, a hard shell made of GRP, or Glass Reinforced Plastic, was applied to Barney. This shell serves as a protective layer and a sturdy base for the artwork.

  5. Base Coat and Preparation for Painting: After applying the GRP shell, Barney was sprayed with a base coat. This base coat provided a smooth and uniform surface for the final painting process.

  6. Children’s Involvement: Meanwhile, the school children were actively participating in the project by designing patterns in bright colours for Barney’s feathers. This involvement not only engaged the students in the celebration but also added a personal touch to the artwork.

  7. Artistic Transfer: Toubie Jack, an artist with experience in collaborating with Europlanters, took the children’s artwork and transferred it onto Barney. This step involved carefully reproducing the colorful feather patterns onto the sculpture, bringing it to life with the children’s creative contributions.

The final result is a spectacular 2-meter-tall Barney owl sculpture adorned with vibrant, child-designed feather patterns, a fitting tribute to Lady Barn House school’s 150th anniversary. Such projects not only celebrate milestones but also provide an opportunity for artistic collaboration and community involvement.

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