Sean Kenney: Art with LEGO bricks
Whooping Crane     ‹ Back to portfolio
Whooping-crane LEGO art by Sean Kenney
52" x 30" x 42"        43,678 LEGO elements.        Completed October 15, 2015

Come visit! This sculpture is part of Nature Connects, my award-winning, record-breaking exhibit of LEGO sculptures, currently touring the U.S. and Canada, Read more and come visit!

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I was shocked to learn that there are just over 300 Whooping Cranes alive today.  This critically endangered mother bird is tending to her nest, complete with tiny white “eggs”, one for each Whooping Crane alive at the time we built this sculpture.

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See those 318 white dots?  You are looking at the entire world’s population of whooping cranes.

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Building it

Getting a sculpture like this to look like it defies gravity requires a lot of planning and structure.  The body of the bird is very large and heavy, but it is supported only by tiny, spindly legs.  These legs, if you look closely, are actually metal rods welded to the base that are painted to look like black LEGO pieces.  The metal continues upwards and reinforces the entire body and neck.

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Building the sculpture row-by-row from the bottom upwards requires a lot of scaffolding and clamps to keep things aligned straight, and rigid.

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