Indiana JOnes Bullwhip

Created as a gift to my dad, the inspiration of my creativity and support throughout the years. This whip was made completely from scratch using kangaroo hide and traditional braiding methods to create the unification of form and function to make this whip functional. Not only does the whip display well, but it cracks like the real deal.

 
Photo by Stacy Tsai

Photo by Stacy Tsai

 

A Tribute to My Hero

For my whole life, my dad has always supported me in everything I do. He's helped me with countless school projects ranging from elaborate dioramas for which we made acrylic boxes for when I was in 3rd grade to large contraptions for science projects that I needed extra hands to put together. Seeing the pure joy and happiness that my dad felt when I gave him the whip as a gift really made this project unlike any other project I have created. To be able to give back to the one who has done so much for me has really not only been fun, but also an honor. 

 
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Weaving Form and Function

This whip is unique in that it uses over 100ft of real, authentic kangaroo leather lace hand cut from kangaroo hide. Since it is made out of natural leather, the whip will turn from a natural tan to a very dark brown as time passes, creating a natural weathering effect. The braiding process itself took over 20 hours to complete, with the longest single-sitting braid taking 12 hours to learn and execute. 

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2 Belly, 12-Plait

This whip is a 2 belly, 12-plait kangaroo hide bullwhip. Made in the same way as the original whips, the whip contains within itself a 2 other whips. There is a 4 strand braided core, which was wrapped by a bolster of leather before a 6 strand braid was braided on top. Following the 6 strand braid was another bolster, and finally the 12 strand overlay. This layering of braids gives the whip the density to snap with incredible force. 

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From Hide to Strand

Creating the strands for the whip was a challenge in itself. Each strand needed for this whip was measured to be different lengths, and then tapered down their entire length from an average of 7mm to 4mm. The strands were also beveled on opposite corners (pared) to allow flat braiding. Each strand was also treated with leather dressing and stretched out before being incorporated into the whip. Two kangaroo hides were used to create the over 100ft of stranding needed for the whip.

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12 Strands, 12 Hours of Braiding

While braiding the 12 strand overlay for a whip, one uses two types of braids: a chessman braid pattern and the whip maker’s plait. As the strands move down the whip, they are dropped into the whip itself to allow the whip to taper. This resulted in the 12 strand braid reducing to a simple 4 strand braid at the end of the whip 8ft later. This braiding process alone took over 12 hours to complete. With the quality of the braiding affecting the whip function, each braid was done meticulously and carefully.