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This project was successfully funded on August 7, 2013.

panda made of bike tires

Grand Rapids, MI Art
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nick jakubiak
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nick jakubiak

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About this project


Tired Pandas!

metal substructure of mama pandas head
metal substructure of mama pandas head
sideview of mama panda
sideview of mama panda
inner tubes being rivetted to mama panda
inner tubes being rivetted to mama panda

My project 

Tired Pandas is a sculpture that will display a way that old tires which are generally disposed of and discarded in land fills can be utilized to create a piece of art. All the tires and inner tubes utilized for this project have been collected from bicycle repair shops.

My entry for Artprize this year is Tired Pandas. A 7 foot tall mother panda and a baby panda made from recycled bike tires and inner tubes. My entry was the first to land a venue at Artprize this year and will be located at The B.O.B a great venue which draws one of the largest crowds at Artprize.Tired Pandas is shaping up pretty well so far but still has a very long way to go until completion. Most of the metal, utilizing old 55 gallon drums has been cut and welded  but I am still working on welding her paws and feet on. After the feet are attached I will be riveting inner tubes and tires to the metal. 

Mother panda will be joined on display by a young panda as well who will be strolling along side of her amongst some stalks of bamboo.

Old Tired Crow, my entry from last years Artprize. This finished in the top 50 out of 1517 entries
Old Tired Crow, my entry from last years Artprize. This finished in the top 50 out of 1517 entries

Old Tired Crow was my entry from last year and is shown here to show how the pandas will appear when finished and covered with tires.

I displayed my entry Old Tired Crow at the B.O.B last year and finished in the top 50 out of 1517 entries.

Risks and challenges

The mother Panda is almost 7 feet tall and is nearing the finish of it's metal substructure. This process involved the cutting and welding of 7 55 gallon steel barrels together to shape out the panda form. This substructure will be covered with bicycle tires and inner tubes all cut up and attached by riveting and gluing each piece to the metal substructure. a long and tedious process. I also have to paint the white inner tubes and most of the white tires as I could not find a large supply of white tires. Finding paint that not only would adhere to the tires but withstand flexing. I discovered that using and automotive flexible primer worked for this purpose. Also while testing this process on safe areas of the mother panda I have discovered that some of the tires and tubes weep oil residue into the primer and must be replaced as the finished paint ends up turning beige instead of white. So these tires must be cut out and replaced. Painting the white parts of the pandas will take first priming and than two to three light coats of white paint. So although the tires are recycled there is still the expense of rivets, drill bits ( to drill each and every hole for each tire) Polyurethane glue, used to secure each piece of tire as well as the rivets and plenty of cans of white primer and paint.The panda will weigh approximately 7 hundred to 8 hundred pounds when completed which will create the problem of moving it. I will need to build a crate and rent a forklift to lift it in to a truck which I will also be renting. I also will be designing and printing postcards that I will be handing out during the show to promote this piece.

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    I will send a signed promotional postcard to you

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    7 backers

    For a fifteen dollar pledge you have a choice of one of three small prints I have. these can be seen on my website http://nickjakubiak.com/nickblog/

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    For 30 dollars I will send you all three of the small prints

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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    for $50 dollars I have a limited number of copies of a print of my Carney painting which can be seen on my website http://nickjakubiak.com/nickblog/

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    I have a small selection of some of my smaller paintings (no larger than 16x24") first come first served. paintings can be seen at http://nickjakubiak.com/nickblog/

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    I have a selection of some of my larger paintings up for grabs.

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    For 10,000 someone can get my entry from last year "Tired old Crow" a 7 foot tall Crow made from recycled tires. shipping and delivery is not included and must be arranged by the purchaser

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Funding period

- (30 days)