STEREOHYPE | OUTDOOR SQUIRREL SCULPTURE | #SaveTheStereohypeSquirrel
In the surreal summer of 2020 we self-isolated in rural France to relax, hide from the apocalyptic herds and work on some amazing new projects.
___ One of our projects was to save the good old squirrel sculpture we designed and built for Stereohype's 10th anniversary exhibition back in 2014. Save the squirrel, save the world.
___ The polygon sculpture was originally built with cardboard and created for the duration of the 2-month-long exhibition. We did not have the heart however to destroy it after the show ended, and held onto the squirrel since. After numerous attempts to patch up the slowly collapsing scuplture it was a question of everything or nothing when we moved house and studio in the summer of 2020.
___ The idea was born at this occasion to save the squirrel by transforming it into a waterproof fibreglass epoxy resin outdoor sculpture. We shipped the cardboard version to France for a last attempt rescue mission. A fully collapsed carcass arrived eventually but layer by layer we managed to revive it again.
___ The experiment and first-time experience was successful and after about a month of hard work, enormous amounts of packing tape, fibreglass, epoxy resin, yet more mask-wearing and sandpaper, the squirrel was back to its former glory – this time in fluorescent technicolor.
___ In the end the Stereohype party squirrel found a beautiful new home in a protected forest in beautiful Ardèche. We hope to visit every now and then and will ensure the squirrel's continued well-being.
STEREOHYPE | THE SQUIRREL HISTORY
Since FL@33's sister-company Stereohype was launched in 2004 we have created numerous squirrel mascot illustrations for the graphic art label and online boutique.
___ The squirrels have become part of Stereohype's ever-evolving visual identity and some of them featured on T-shirts, postcards, the online boutique, in exhibition catalogues and a cardboard sculpture.
___ Selected squirrel motifs are now also available for the first time as button badges and gift boxes. Some of them were also chosen to become part of the FL@33-curated Button Badge Motif Print edition while even larger squirrel prints are available in Stereohype's Graphic Art section.
___ Part of Stereohype's flexible identity system has always been a mascot squirrel. The fourth and latest incarnation of the squirrel is a low-polygon squirrel we designed with a sculpture for the 10th anniversary show in mind. Based on front and side view wire drawings we made as 2D vector graphics and commissioned a 3D designer who developed the 3D model with us, and generated a net layout in order for us to be able to build the squirrel sculpture ourselves. Resulting 3D renders were also used for animations and visuals for the exhibition campaign.
___ The challenge to build a huge real-life squirrel sculpture – 1.5m tall plus plinth – led us to experiment with styrene and plastic weld before abandoning failed attempts to successfully build the final sculpture using E-flute cardboard and mirror material.
___ If you would have told us then that we would be working for another month with epoxy resin one day to transform the sculpture into a boat-like waterproof outdoor sculpture – we would certainly not have believed you.
In the summer of 2021 we returned, repainted the battered acorn, firmly reattached it and we also anchored the squirrel to the ground after it apparently wandered off in the harsh weather conditions of winter up there on the French Massif Central plateau. Did it work? We will have to wait and see for the next opportunity. A few pictures from 2021 were also added to this page. To be continued...