The Good Ship Popsicle Stick

Craft & Design
The Good Ship Popsicle Stick


He used to break bones. Now former Hollywood stuntman Robert Mc-Donald uses popsicle sticks to break world records. McDonald has built three Viking-ship replicas out of ice cream sticks. All have been seaworthy. including his latest beast, built from 15 million popsicle sticks over three years. He’s now working to break another record by sailing the ship across the Atlantic Ocean in true Viking fashion “I have a dream to show children they can do anything:’ he says. “If they can dream it, they can do it” In fact. That’s what started McDonald down this popsicle path – he wanted to encourage his 8-year- old son to aim high and believe he could succeed, all the while making the world a better place. He is adamant about creative recycling – all the ice cream sticks he used were previously used or imperfect, and were donated by the Ola ice cream company in Europe. McDonald’s home port is in the Netherlands. “[We’re] demonstrating how amazing objects can be created from everyday, recycled goods,’ he enthuses.

“Creative” and “fun” pepper his conversations. And he lives what he speaks. In April 1986, McDonald rocked his way into the world record book by rocking in a chair for 340 hours. Last year, he grabbed another record by sailing a ship made from 370,000 ice cream sticks, the Baby Ola Bison. The bigger replica is 5O feet long and weighs in at a hefty 13 tons, including more than two tons of glue Named Mjollnir (milner) – the Viking god of thunder – she is an open craft with no protection for the sailors whatsoever. The 6-person crew 51eeps in true Viking style: hammocks strung across the deck. Her voyage across the Atlantic began in mid-April McDonald heads the Sea Heart Ship Foundation, a group spreading fun to kids in hospitals around the world. Captain Rob (as the kids call him) recently returned from a hospital tour of Florida, the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, where he gave away 28,000 stuffed animals in 14 days (yet another record).

From the column Made on EarthMAKE 6, page 24 – Shawn Connally.

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