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October 22, 2013

The magnificent gorilla of Andrew Chase — "Hand over hand"

Gorilla - hand over hand

He emailed me in late July as follows:


Hi Joe,

I finally finished the animation and in the process was forcibly reminded why stop motion guys use small and above all lightweight puppets.

Working underneath a 100 pound metal gorilla dangling from a thin wire seven feet in the air certainly focuses the mind, I highly recommend it to all my fellow ADDers :)

Here is the back story:

The gorilla was originally intended to be a quick rough draft for a much larger life-size static sculpture. I didn't really understand how gorillas were put together and the client and I were unsure what the best pose for the final piece would be. So I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make a rough, fully-articulated 2/3 scale model to work out the anatomical puzzles and to really nail down the correct pose. In the long run, I reasoned, whatever time I spend on the model will be more than made back on the final piece, so a rough draft will actually save me time. And with that thought foremost in my mind, I happily began to build.

Around week four, I realized to my horror that I had done it again. Somehow, I had lost sight of the larger goal and instead of making a rough and ready design aid, I had spent the last month and a half fiddling with it as if it were the final piece, remaking the head twice, obsessively redesigning the knuckle joints and making multiple versions of the legs and arms because at certain angles they just didn't look quite right. To make matters worse, I was nowhere near close to finishing. The head and arms looked pretty good but I still hadn't figured out the hind legs, the chest was skeletal and his torso was disturbingly anorexic. I suppose at this point I could have declared it good enough and started on the final piece but I hate leaving projects unfinished and surely, if I really focused up, I could have this sucker whipped in to shape in two weeks, two and a half at the most.

Eight weeks later, a mere month and a half past my self imposed deadline, I finished. 

I really have to work on my time management skills.

A couple stats in case anyone is interested:

The gorilla weighs somewhere around 100 pounds. On all fours he is 30" long and 24" high at the shoulder; standing up, he is 46" tall.

He's made from recycled transmission parts, conduit, black pipe, four trailer hitches, odd widgets I found at an industrial salvage yard, and a (hopefully) unused plumbers snake. The eyes are glass marbles, hand made by David Salazar at salazarglass.com.




His previous creations, all featured here, include the Steampunk Mechanical Elephant, Steampunk Mechanical Giraffe, the magnificent Steampunk Mechanical Cheetah,

Robotic cheetah runcycle

and most recently T. Rex.

Can he make something for you?

You bet — give him a holler:photographer@andrewchase.com

Tell him I sent you.


October 22, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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