Sunday, August 26, 2012

Today, August 26, 2012, marks the 49th day of work done to the Pratt Museum's Homer Community Gray Whale Skeleton. It is also the day that your Blogster can finally say that the skeleton is . . . done-done. During the last few days Lee, Sam, Gaye and Wes, have been working on the finishing touches. Today the paint fairy again waved her magic brush and put a coat of primer on the metalwork that will hold the skull and jaws in place. By Tuesday all coats of paint on the metalwork should be dry. On Wednesday the skull will be put back together one more time, and will be hoisted to the ceiling for storage to await its debut.

51 individuals at some point worked on the articulation of this skeleton, amassing roughly 840 volunteer hours in 49 days (exact time not yet calculated). Whether they donated 30 minutes of their time or 100 hours, we are very grateful for each and every minute. You were all wonderful!!

After Lee's final state of the whale address is posted, your Blogster will place this account to rest until January when the skeleton is put on display at the museum. We will then return to post photos of the skeleton all in one piece. I leave you with these few photos of final events.

Mary Maly

This is the outer tail (flukes) that Sam Smith sculpted for our whale, using aluminum tubing. The measurements for the flukes were taken from a same-sized gray whale from West Seattle, salvaged in 2010. Kristin Wilkinson of NOAA Fisheries graciously provided those measurements to us, gathered by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Cascadia Research biologists.
Sam attaching the sculpture to the tail vertebrae.
Arial shot!
The notch was attached to the very last tail vertebra with brass.
This photo of Wes Cartey is dedicated to his wife, Cheyenne. Now the whale too, has double nose studs.
Sleep tight whale. We'll see you again in January.

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