Giant Insect Made of Scavenged PartsJuly 2, 2009 at 8:31 am | Posted in News | 1 Comment
Using scavenged airplane parts and other scrap metal, a Canadian welder has crafted “the world’s biggest dragonfly.” Frank Phaneuf (shown at left, in photo by Shaugn Butts of the Edmonton Journal) wanted to make his contribution to the ever-increasing list of “world’s biggest” structures in Alberta — a list now topping sixty and including Vegreville’s giant Easter egg, Dewberry’s gargantuan chuckwagon and Glendon’s massive pierogy. According to the Edmonton Journal, the thirty-foot insect now graces “the lakeside village of Wabamun, 70 kilometres west of Edmonton. ‘I tried to get it as anatomically correct as possible,’ says Phaneuf,” who “constructed the giant insect in his spare time….
“The abdomen is a 490-litre propane tank welded to a light post, staggered wings borrowed from scrapped airplanes span nearly 10 metres, and the insect’s one-metre-diameter eyes are cut and fitted from another tank.
“A local artist airbrushed the bug blue, black and brown, adding a clear lacquer finish for good measure.
“The assembled sculpture sits on a six-metre pole.
“Phaneuf says he didn’t get much response when calling area junkyards for parts. ‘I finally went in, because they thought I was nuts,’ says Phaneuf, who prefers the title of ‘welder with an imagination,’ rather than artist. While Phaneuf provided the muscle and design, the idea was the brainchild of Mary Thomas, Wabamun’s special events and marketing co-ordinator. The idea came to Thomas a year and a half ago as a way of drawing tourists to the town. ‘Curiosity brings people in,’ says Thomas. ‘We’re hoping it puts us on the map.'”