more mechanical figures

One of the things I enjoyed creating with my last couple of figures was the mechanical bits coming out of their backs and the robotic arm. I have a few ideas for developing this, one is a bulky cyborg type figure, possibly a mechanical Mr Hyde, another is a development of the wheel chair bound figures, but this time with a smaller seat actually built into a giant robot, possibly with a wizened old man driving it.
However with school holidays nearly over and the restrictions work place on actually making anything complex I came up with a simpler figure of a bent old man with mechanical bits coming out of his back. This figure was originally inspired the electric cables coming out of the back of a piece by Stephane Halleux, I liked the body shape too. (kind of reminds me of Belleville Rendez-Vous)

Over the next few posts I thought it would be helpful to explain how I make a sculpture.

Here you can see the basic body taking shape. It is just a basic cardboard shell roughly taped with masking tape. I use quite thin corrugated card which is very flexible. The corrugations allow it to bend nicely in one direction, in this case they go upwards so the shape curves towards the rear. I sometimes score the card if I want it to flex in more than one way.
It takes a bit of playing to get the shape exactly as I want it but once I'm happy I reinforce with gaffa tape. The top of the shape which will become the hole in his back is reinforced with florist wire.
Here you can see two plastic shapes for goggles bound onto a piece of wire for the neck with a bit of newspaper to pad out the chin. I've used two bits of flexible palstic tube for arms with stiff wire inside so they can be bent into shape. I normally use rolls of card but I found this and thought it would look good for him to have thin arms.

Because the figure leans forward he kept falling over so I slit open the back and packed it with a lump of clay moulded to fit.

I've skipped a bit here to show the figure nearer its final incarnation with bits of plastic and cogs just poking out of his back. I had originally planned for him to be pushing some kind of cart with cables coming out but I like these slightly claw like walking sticks. They are just slotted into the arms so may change.


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