Tiger Sculpture From Scrap Wood




Introduction: Tiger Sculpture From Scrap Wood

This sculpture is made for scrap 1/4 inch plywood. the idea is to use the small scraps as much as I could to make this sculpture.

Tiger has been a creature with many symbolic attributes in Asian countries, the tiger is one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. In Chinese art, the tiger is depicted as an earth symbol and equal rival of the Chinese dragon – the two representing matter and spirit respectively. This sculpture is based on an ink sketch by one of my favorite Chinese artist Huatunan you can find his work here http://huatunan.tumblr.com/

Step 1: Find Wood Scraps

At Pier 9 a lot of awesome projects are made every week, many was done with laser cutter. the throw away pieces all have nice clean edges and the burn mark of the cut out also gives the piece extra dimension/depth. I picked 1/4 inch plywood that still have some area to work with. alternatively, I could use card stock or anything that is easier to cut.

Step 2: Make the Sketch

I sketched it in illustrator, and knowing that the scraps are quite small, I drew as many layer as possible. there is a little overlapping so each piece can be glued. the canvas is 36in X 24in.

if you dont have access to laser cutter print it on letter size card stock is also a good idea.

Step 3: Laser Cutting

I roughly measured the workable area on the scrap wood, then pick out the similar size pieces from the drawing. and let the laser cutter do the magic. I was able to cut 32 pieces from these scrap pieces. the goal here is too make this sustainable and waste as little as possible.

Step 4: Enhance the Burn Mark

Once have all the pieces cut. pre assemble it to see where are the overlaps. I didnt mind have the exact look as the illustrator sketch. it looks good anyways.

I roughly marked out the areas I want to burn with a pencil. it is all free hand, and there is no guide, what I am trying here is to suggest the stripes on tiger.

Take all the piece outside to a concrete ground and I just used a propane torch to quickly char some of the edges. the burned area also covered the pencil marks. the tip here is too burn it quickly, and try not to rub it off and dirt the wood

Step 5: Assemble

I used nail gun with some tiny nails. and superglued it from the back side. it just comes alive after everything glued.

Step 6: Finish

I just rubbed some linseed oil and let it dry for a day. It also looked very cool when back lit. I hot glue it onto a piece of plywood that is been lightly white stained.

it is ready to be displayed on the wall.

to come up with a sketch was the hard part. making it took me a weekend from start to finish.

Practice N Enjoy

1 Person Made This Project!


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5 years ago

Nice work. I think it would pop even more... with a nice translucent coat of orange... and some glossy wood coating like Minwax.


6 years ago on Introduction

Подскажите а сколько стоит такой лазерный резак и где его можно купить????


6 years ago on Introduction

Beautiful work. I would like to learn how to choose another subject and make the sculpture along the lines of your tiger fabrication technique. For a non-artist like myself, what advise would you give? I imagine I can start from clipart in vector format and divide the image into curved pieces, but I'm not clear on how to design it so that the pieces overlap instead of making it look like a jigsaw puzzle overall.


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

I usually just start with pencil sketch, get the contour right, so even just with the silhouette it can still be recognizable. then you focus on the details and features of the subject. like eyes, claws, body proportion, it doesnt have to be precise but you want to have some emphasis. and pick the top and bottom layer .in this case is the head and tail. if you are not sure try with paper first because it will be easier to cut.


So fantastic! So cool to see some of that scrap material being put to great use!


6 years ago

Beautiful work. I love the design.