AUTOMATON ANCIENT ELECTRIFIED VIPERFISH
INTENSE MULTI-COLORED ELECTRICAL ARCS INSIDE THIS MOVING METAL CREATURE SIMULTANEOUSLY TRIGGER RESONATING HIGH AND LOW FREQUENCY ELECTRICAL SOUNDS FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE SCULPTURE!
History of the build
This fascinating sculpture was developed from a client's sketch, and I added the animated legs, rear fin, inner rotor, mechanisms, 4 motors, multiple lighted areas, such as the eyes, rotor area, and the blue glass lure on the bottom. I also loved the bioluminescent abilities used by deep sea creatures to lure in their unsuspecting prey, so I added a plasma globe with neon and argon gases to give different color "lightning" arcs dancing inside the sculpture metal framework.
This is where having an extensive career in electrical and electronic industry was crucial. That knowledge allowed me to create a correct gap around the glass sphere to prevent repeated arcs in the same area from damaging the glass, and also prevented a charge from building up in the metal frame that could cause a substantial static shock if it were to be touched by curious fingers. I also added added support to strengthen the globe at it's base with a 2-part non-conductive sealer.
The fish lightning bolt style ribs and head are fittingly created from salvaged metal electrical conduit pieces. The deadly tail is made from garden sheers which wave back and forth. They are moved by linkages that connect to the rear spinning rotor, which in turn is powered by a commercial mini gear reduction motor.
The front and rear feet are an accentuated version of an actual fish that has "hand fins", called Thymichthys politus, or Red Handfish, discovered in 1844. Using that scientific name, "politus", I came to the conclusion that this sea monster looks anything but "polite", and decided upon the last name of "Impolitus", which research revealed means "rough" in Latin. So, adding the ocean name in Latin, "Atlanticus" to "Impolitus", I came to the inevitable, "Atlanticus Impolitus", meaning a rough fish from the Atlantic ocean depths!
The eyes are made of glass and epoxy and are opaque, allowing the LED lighting inside the head to light the eyes. The glass swirled design marble lure features a hidden mini LED light underneath and glows a beautiful blue and light blue. The front legs move independently from the rear legs and are controlled by totally independent mechanisms and motors in different locations.
In the base is where I worked some industrial automation tricks to control speeds of the individual motors as well as the lighting brightness. I also built in two programmable sound cards that drive two separate 1-1/2" speakers in the fish's abdomen to produce the electrical sounds.
In the base is a DIN mount multifunctional cyclic timer that controls the movement run times and off times which is all adjustable. Separate linked timers run the plasma arcs, sound, and lighting features. I was also able to tuck away 3 power supplies, appropriate relays, on/off switch, and a buck/boost circuit to run different motor circuits.
It took well over 160hrs of labor to create from scrap metal and automation products, not including designing the circuits, but I am extremely pleased with the outcome of this effort, and the client was overwhelmed with the advancements and artistic interpretation of his sketch into a real life 3D creature.
If you have any ideas that you would like to see brought to real life, no matter how impossible it may seem, feel free to contact me and I will be happy to work with you in creating a one-of-a-kind piece just for you.
Price is typically dictated by intricacy and design difficulty, but prices on a 34 inch long piece such as this usually range from $4100 and up. As a note, the finishes I can create are of a wide variety. This particular sculpture finish uses real copper plating and rust patinas created through processes I have developed over the years. I can easily create bare metal, polished, blued, or even oil bath heat treated dark finishes.