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Giant Squid kinetic sculpture from found materials

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Picture of Giant Squid kinetic sculpture from found materials
This sculpture grew out of a long time fascination with the Giant Squid. My name being Nemo has meant a lifetime of "Captain Nemo" references, thus making me aware of these monsters since an early age. I am a sculptor who works almost exclusively with found materials, though typically I like to build things that look more like classic robots. For that reason this project posed several challenges. For one, I really wanted it to be a Giant Squid which meant finding some large objects, and it would mean breaking a lot of habits to depart from more human like forms. I also decided not to limit myself to aluminum, as I had been at the time, and integrate some brass pieces as well.

 
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Step 1: Layout

I generally start all my pieces by laying parts out on the floor and arranging them until things start to look right. For this project, large street light covers were going to be the most important forms. These were used for the head, and determined the scale of the whole sculpture. Some rather cheesy brass chandeliers were easy choices for the smaller tentacles. The trick was coming up with the two long tentacles. They needed to look similar to the small ones, but still be flexible and durable. After some fooling around I decided that candle sticks, and fireplace hardware would work if they had aluminum electrical conduit threaded through them. Brass drawer pulls would later be attached to each section to act as suction cups.
It was important to me that the sculpture have a somewhat fluid movement, it is a sea monster after all. I liked the idea of a sort of antiquated machine look, so I came up with a simple belt drive mechanism based on some nice old belt wheels that I found.
I absolutely love your work!
randomray2 years ago
Really enjoyable artwork just wonderful .
well, nemo i came across your work by accident and i just love it! i was surfing for giant squid images, and you came up too. and, to top it off, your work is here in san diego at device gallery right now. i can't believe my luck. the gallery is closed on sundays, but can't wait to go later this week. looking forward to owning your book, too
nemomatic (author)  mollyaquarian5 years ago
Hi. Thanks for the kind words. Glad you like what you see. I don't have much work at Device at the moment, but I'm sure I'll send down some more before too long.
hi, my outlook account is lousy, could you please add me to your mailing list? thanks! molly mollyaquarian@yahoo.com
ddw365 years ago
This is pretty sweet, nice work.
Mac Imagery5 years ago
Well done!!!
DrCoolSanta6 years ago
Nice +5 fave
kyler236 years ago
Wonderful melding of "fantasy tech". Jules Verne would be proud!
Please make a smaller, cheaper version for instructables
bedbugg26 years ago
wow thats pretty good
Amazing !
I know the horrors of big scuplture but mine have never been kinetic before, beautiful work there oh and the chopper too.... If my 8 foot tree hadn't been so damn dangerous I would have had branches that swayed using a similar idea but I'm now intimidated by the quality of workmanship and finish of this piece.
ethomsen7 years ago
nemomatic (author)  ethomsen7 years ago
Hey, thanks for posting me! I really appreciate help getting the word out.
tw2sheds7 years ago
gettin that squid trained to turn those wheels.... thats just amazing!
Yes, we can use squid as an alternate source of energy! This is a fasinating project. Occasionally I think of doing something similar. Nothing so grand. Now I have some ideas on the mechanics. Unfortunately, sort of, we are using less metal so fewer pieces to reuse. Plastic is easier to glue, sometimes, and lighter, but this metal is beautiful.
CameronSS7 years ago
Wow....How much do you want for it? Please? SO COOL!!!
Charles IV7 years ago
man i would love to see ur house
Very Keri7 years ago
This is absolutely fascinating.
Excellent piece, very professional approach, love the ambient noise on the film, gives it that bit more drama.
xoshooter7 years ago
I am taking a welding and sculpture course and this is fascinating. The piece that moves your head on two planes is commonly called a gimbal mount. Many large telephoto lens have a design for this. I like your approach to it. Jealous of your workspace. I am going to class this evening and can't wait. Thanks.
carbon7 years ago
Out of that entire issue of Make, the squid was what stuck out in my mind the most. Very cool!
Honus7 years ago
This is just the coolest! The craftsmanship in your work is very, very impressive.
ewilhelm7 years ago
Incredible! The thing that really strikes me is how you see an object and can visualize the finished sculpture. The image in step 1 really drives home that this selection of stuff will be transformed into a giant Squid. But, that only happens because of your use of perspective and arrangement of the objects in the shot. I'd love to see other pictures like this of your work, or, even better, sketches on top of photographs or however you initially visualize what you are going to build.
nemomatic (author)  ewilhelm7 years ago
I am more diligent about taking process photos lately. In the future I will post projects with more steps recorded. Sketching is rarely part of it. The things work themselves out almost entirely by arranging parts on the floor, tack welding parts together to see how they look breaking them apart, trying others etc.
turbonegro7 years ago
Amazing stuff price ?
nemomatic (author)  turbonegro7 years ago
This one falls under the big-piece-big-price category: $25,000. If you like I can email you a price list of all available work, big and small.
canida7 years ago
Wow, that's beautiful! Thanks for sharing- I'm properly inspired. ;)
HamO7 years ago
Absolutely awesome. Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing.
crapflinger7 years ago
gebus...that sucker's big innit? nice...always liked giant squid...very beautiful gremlins....it would be nifty if you would set it up to spray people with ink when they walk by hehe....or maybe a version with color changing led's to simulate the chromatophores (think that's what they're called) on real squiddies
John Smith7 years ago
Wow, this is something I just don't have the patients to build... ....It's still cool, though.
I saw that in Make (I believe) I didn't realize it was huge. beautiful.
Hugo.B7 years ago
Steampunk?

H.B.
Elastometer7 years ago
Fantastiche!
LasVegas7 years ago
Beautiful! Wonderful work.