Continued from Part 1:
My job during casting was to mix white plaster powder with water so it was just right, saturate the burlap in it, and hand the pieces to Mr. Taylor and his assistant, David. Then they carefully laid them into the molds. Sometimes things became a little chaotic and very messy, as we had to work quickly because the heat was making the plaster set up quickly. I ended up going home splattered in plaster from head to toe the first several days. It was uncomfortable and hard on my allergies, but I loved it.
After the body sections set, we coated the plaster inside and out with lacquer, which is essentially clear nail polish that doesn’t smell as strong. This lacquer made our casts waterproof. After putting the body pieces together (which wasn’t easy), we worked on sealing the seams between the pieces and making the plates and spikes to go on the Stegosaurus’ back.
Making the plates was the first time I got to do a cast myself and the plate I cast happened to be a most significant plate: L4. This plate on the actual fossil had teeth marks in it from some creature that apparently tried to take a bite out of this dinosaur. We were so careful, you can see the bite marks right there on the sculpture.
The plates and spikes, which were more compact than the other parts, were filled with expanding foam, coated in lacquer, and painted. The body was then painted, with the head showing off super fine detail, and finally the plates were secured into place. The last detail was a sculpture of a little boy Mr. Taylor made to sit between its back plates, showing the idea that people and dinosaurs lived together.
Randall Gabrel, the man who bought the Stegosaurus, also requested a baby Stegosaurus to match the full-grown female. The baby Stegosaurus stands about four feet tall, so it is short and strong enough for kids to sit on (I even tried it out). Mr. Gabrel wanted the baby because he wanted to put up a sign with the two dinosaurs that asked the question of which one Noah would have taken on the ark.
After the main pieces of the Stegosaurus had been put together and she started looking more like a living animal, I began to feel that it was rather insensitive to continue calling her “the Steg”, so I decided to call her Methuseline, which is based off of the name Methuselah who died in the year of the flood just as this Stegosaurus would have died in the year of the flood (since Noah obviously would not choose a twelve-foot tall Stegosaurus when he could take the four-foot tall baby). Logically then, I should have called the baby Lamech, but I did not like that name, so I decided to call him Enoch. However, I am the only person who calls them that.
Finally, both mother and baby were coated in the same kind of clear paint used to coat cars. This coat sealed up everything and made it extra durable. They were loaded up and taken to Woodward, Oklahoma in late October, 2012. Methuseline barely fit through the underpasses, but by the grace of God, she made it safely to her new home.
The arrival of the dinosaurs happened just in time for the grand opening of the Woodward
Christian Academy, where Ken Ham was a guest speaker. I shamelessly skipped my college classes to go to the grand opening where I got to meet Ken Ham in person with our small Stegosaurus team.
It was exciting to be seventeen, fresh out of high school, with no previous experience in all the things I worked on at Mt. Blanco. I wasn’t the only young person working on the Stegosaurus project either. David was just fifteen when he started working on the project, long before I came onto the scene.
You don’t have to be over eighteen, have a college degree, or lots of experience to do incredible things that make a difference in the world – you just have to be willing to serve wherever God puts you. So look around you, and see what you can do in your community today, regardless your age. You may not get to do something as glamorous sounding as building a dinosaur, but God can use you for His incredible purposes if you are only willing.