I have always felt that the Praying Mantis is one of natures coolest creatures. As a sculptor, this insect proved to be the perfect inspiration for my latest project. I hope the community here will forgive me if this project is not necessarily the sort that is easy to duplicate. I have posted it here as a way to share the steps that go into my sculptures and to promote discussions about building things, creative reuse and fine art in general. As I will demonstrate in the following steps, this sculpture was made out of 99.9% found and salvaged materials. Even in instances where you see machined aluminum, know that it was scrap yard salvaged or pulled from the carcass of a larger machine somewhere else. This is also true of all wire, bearings, switches etc.
If you like what you see, please consider visiting my website to see my portfolio of other similar work.

Step 1: Parts selection and layout

I usually begin each of my pieces by arranging various found parts on the floor like a jigsaw puzzle until I start to see a shape that I like. In this case I had already collected a number of objects that I hoped would add up to a Praying Mantis. The main basic elements were: a pair of gas pumps to be made into pinchers, a set of four curtain rod brackets to be used as leg elements, a propane tank for the body, a hanging lamp for the abdomen, and the arm from a scroll saw to form the upper body.
Thank you for sharing! I got to see one of your pieces in the lobby of the Union Bank building in SF. I hope to meet you some day. I am making my own breed of insect sculptures.
I didn't realize the scale of this till seeing the parts layed out on the floor, first glance completed it looks like a table lamp........ THEN I wander over to your website....(excuse the caps!) ABSOLUTELY AMAZING WORK NEMO! Your site is definitely in my favs. <br> I didn't read your website completely but i would imagine your work is in galleries? <br>
Hey thanks! And thanks for following the crumbs out to my website. I show my work in a variety of venues, including galleries.
So do you start off with parts and an idea, or do you agglomerate parts, lay them down and then go for the idea from there? Very nice, by the way. I have a garage full of random bike parts, which is why I ask..
I typically start with gathering parts. I'm pretty obsessive about this, always on the hunt. Eventually I'll start to see potential relationships between objects and take it from there.<br>Thanks for asking.
What a beautiful thing! awesome,dont know what else to say,love it.thank you for sharing!
So cool looking! I thought this was much, much smaller, I'm saddened I don't have space to attempt to create something like this!<br><br>You need to do an 'Ible where this is like...Paperweight-sized. XD
lol,i also thought it was a small thing until i saw the parts he used! lol,now i understand also why it makes that cool sound too.i love that thing! great project! also very unique.
I too thought it was really small when I saw the main image! I was suprised when I realised the size of it.<br><br>Awesome work!
This is the coolest thing!
Waaaay too cool! I love it!
Awesome !! must've taken quite an effort to build that !! GREAT ! :)
Great stuff as always
Hey, thanks for all the kind words everyone!
OMG...that{s absolutelly Awesome...Way to go...
This is just cool!
My kind of project. Bravo!
this thing is so cool i wish i were as good of a sculptor as you
That is almost too cool,you should win an award for that,Im sure you could sell them also&nbsp;,I would buy one,if it didnt break the bank.
woooow, if that doesn't display mad skills, idk what does!!
WOW! So well done! Very original! 5*
Spectacular! Kudos for coming up with a way to turn refuse into art. The mantis was a perfect choice - I agree they are one of the coolest insects.
Very, very, very nice!
I don't know if it's the coolest evil thing I've ever seen or the evilest cool thing? Well done, thanks for sharing.
:-O When I saw the title on the RSS feed, my first thought was "I wonder if nemo's come up with something else." This is AWESOME! I love the demonic chattering of the arm drive motor, don't ever lubricate that.

About This Instructable


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Bio: I am a kinetic sculptor who works from found materials.
More by nemomatic: "Homunculus" Kinetic Robot sculpture from found materials Giant Kinetic Praying Mantis Sculpture from found materials &quot;Quicksilver&quot; Retro-Future Scooter from appliances and scrap metal
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