(Another) Big Wooden Whale

big blue wooden whaleI know what you’re thinking: “Didn’t she just post about making a big wooden whale like eighteen months ago? Damn. Get some new ideas, lady!”

And, frankly, I think you’re being a little hard on me.

There are many differences between this whale and that whale:

Martha: the old big wooden whale

That whale’s tail does not flip up.

That whale is stained dark walnut; the new whale is painted blue.

That whale’s name is Martha; the new whale is Kevin (Gus named him).

Also, this new whale is not going to live with us permanently.

Periodically, Dave gets all frustrated about some part of teaching, and I say, “maybe you should quit and stay home so we can make whales together.”

And then we contemplate this for awhile, until we remember that making whales does not come with retirement benefits or health insurance or job security.

But. We have long thought that it might be fun to try to sell some whales, even if not enough to become full time whalemakers.

So we made Kevin, and he’s on his way to my mom’s shop right now! Well. Probably tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes.

I won’t rehash whale making too much, since I did that other post about it. Basically, I sketched out a whale outline that I was happy with on some plywood (left over from the playhouse in this case, so this is 3/4 inch exterior grade plywood. We used 1/2 inch for the one in Abe’s nursery). Most of the sketches on this paper are actually Gus’s. He wants to make a whale for his room, too:

whale sketches and uncut plywoodThen I took it to Dave to cut out with the jigsaw and sand (if we make many of these, I think a better jigsaw for Dave is on the shopping list):

Dave cutting out whale with jigsaw plywood whale outlineI painted this one with some paint my mom gave me, called Farmhouse Paint. It’s advertised as needing no prep work and no wax or top coat….just a sanding after it dries. It worked well for this, and I like the color (“Pigeon Blue”).

After I painted it, I lightly distressed it and we put up picture hangers on the back. The one in Abe’s nursery we actually hung up by just putting anchor screws right through the front, since it was going over his crib, and we wanted to make sure it was freakishly secure.

hangers on back of whaleAnd here he is! He’s a little over three feet long.

front view of finished whale finished whaleWe’ll see how these guys do at the shop and maybe look into listing some on Craigslist or possibly Etsy (I need to see how reasonable shipping would be on them). If anyone local (to north metro Atlanta) wants a whale, this one will be at A Classy Flea in the next couple of days or you could e-mail us about commissioning your very own whale.

We’re thinking about what other variations we could do, too. I think I’ll do some chalkboard whales. And maybe try some other animals. Pigs? For example.

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(Another) Big Wooden Whale — 23 Comments

  1. Gretchen, I love your posts! Your humor always makes me smile! Darn the whole necessity of retirement funds and insurance and stuff like that… We should all be able to become professional whalemakers if that’s where our passions lie! I love Kevin & hope he finds a new home quickly & profitably 😉

  2. Last fall I briefly considered leaving education to sew pillow covers, until…yeah. Pesky reality! It was fun watching Cane’s face when I told him my plan, though. 🙂

    Your whale is very cute, and I missed the first one, so I’m glad you posted again!

    • You know what would be a completely reasonable plan, though? Pillow covers with WHALES on them! Couldn’t go wrong 😉

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