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Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation construction

Artists Joel Dean Stockdill and Yustina Salnikova sit atop scaffolding while making design decisions at the construction site of Monterey Bay Aquarium's life-sized blue whale art installation made from discarded single-use plastic. Building the whale took four-and-a-half months, including 15 weeks to hand-recycle the plastic panels, four weeks to fabricate the steel frame and three weeks to sculpt and screw on the panels.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation construction

A welder works on the underlying steel structural support of Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation made from discarded single-use plastic. Construction of the whale took four-and-a-half months, including 15 weeks to hand-recycle the plastic panels, four weeks to fabricate the steel frame and three weeks to sculpt and screw on the panels.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation construction

Construction progresses on Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation made from disgarded single-use plastic. Building the blue whale took four-and-a-half months, including 15 weeks to hand-recycle the plastic panels, four weeks to fabricate the steel frame and three weeks to sculpt and screw on the panels.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation co-artist Joel Dean Stockdill

Joel Dean Stockdill, co-creator of Monterey Bay Aquarium's life-sized blue whale art installation made out of recycled single-use plastic, inspects one of the 750 panels that composes it. 

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Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation co-artist Yustina Salnikova

Yustina Salnikova, co-creator of Monterey Bay Aquarium's life-sized blue whale art installation made out of recycled single-use plastic, sorts through plastic trash during the inital building stages. The plastic panels that compose a majority of the whale’s exterior are made from hand-recycled type #2 plastic (HDPE).

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Tiles made from hand-recycled plastic that compose Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation

Artists Joel Dean Stockdill and Yustina Salnikova hand-recycled plastic to create the 750 panels that compose a majority of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation's exterior.

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Molding a tile made from hand-recycled plastic that compose Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation

Artists Joel Dean Stockdill and Yustina Salnikova hand-recycled plastic to create the 750 panels that compose a majority of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation's exterior. One plastic panel is made up of four cookie trays of melted plastic and weighs about 4.5 to 5 pounds.

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Donated plastic for Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation

Monterey Bay Aquarium's life-sized blue whale art installation was made using donated plastic trash from recycling centers. The artists received more than 4,000 pounds of donated plastic.

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Tiles made from hand-recycled plastic that compose Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation

Artists Joel Dean Stockdill and Yustina Salnikova hand-recycled plastic to create the 750 panels that compose a majority of Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation's exterior.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium's blue whale art installation steel frame

A metal frame provides structural support for Monterey Bay Aquarium's life-sized blue whale art installation is steel and took four weeks to fabricate.

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