What Is Black and White and Bashed All Over?

Pinata Project - Zebra

The sketch was the easiest part

When Reg Tiangha floated the idea of our providing a piñata for Awesome Foundation – Calgary, there was no question we had to do it. Awesome Foundation is one of the all-time cool things to come of the blogging age and we’re pleased as punch to contribute in our special way.

But what sort of piñata? Reg wanted to pay homage to Awesome Foundation – Boston’s project that saw meat-filled zebra piñatas fed to zoo lions as part of their animal enrichment plan.

Sure, no problem!


Dyson recall

Gear recall in the middle of your project is not a good thing

Let’s just say we learned a lot building this little zebra. In the interests of keeping this post short(ish), here are the high water marks:

  • hand forming with papier mâché is more challenging than simply decorating cardboard boxes;
  • papier mâché structural integrity drops quickly as it scales;
  • over-sized piñatas spread flour everywhere;
  • flour paste rinses easily out of yoga pants;
  • white glue does not;
  • yoga pants dry faster than papier mâché;
  • after the third rinsing of yoga pants you realize it is easier to just leave the pants off. We’ll leave it to dear reader to figure out which of us this was;
  • 20 hours is a lot to lose, but if the piñata won’t fit through your door, you simply must start over;
  • “necessity”—pffft! desperation is the mother of invention;
  • hot glue is really hot;
  • at its highest levels, art and engineering merge;
  • Heather can sew;
  • friends make the time go faster.
Pinata Project - Derek gets a head

It’s all good if you can laugh

• and you know what? •

it all worked out in the end.

The Pinata Project - zebra

Some loose thoughts before we wrap up

The Pinata Project - zebra feet

Zebra caulk. That’s right. I said it

The head of our zebra is roughly the size of a typical piñata. The body is comparatively cavernous. We used a japanese lantern as a form and built the body in two halves. Why, oh why, did we not get two lanterns? There is an integrated truss designed to keep the piñata from splitting into parts and pendul-arcing across the Endeavour Arts space and crashing into the expensive paintings. We’ll probably try chicken wire next time we have a large shape like this.

We tried to stay with environmentally conscious materials, but when it came to attaching the feet to the uneven surface, we had to make concessions. We’ll get better as we accumulate knowledge and experience.

The event was posted to Facebook. Hopefully our design holds up and everyone will get a whack at the piñata.

Report to follow. Thanks for coming by!

The Pinata Project - naked zebra

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Piñata Science, Project