James Capper


Makers Manual #18: Hydraulic Marquettes

Makers Manual is a collaborative project between exciting makers and STORE STORE. These downloadable manuals are a practical guide to making at home for beginners and experts.

This small mobile sculpture is influenced by the locomotion of a six legged insect, this form of locomotion is called the ‘Alternating Tripod Gait.’ The gait allows the insect to always have three points of contact to the ground when walking on six legs, this gives the insect a great amount of stability. An insect’s nervous system is far simpler than other animal species, making it an ideal case study for mobile engineering. By making a simple parallelogram mechanism with the linear movement application of hydraulic cylinders it is relatively straightforward to demonstrate the walking motion of insects such as honey bees, ladybugs, woodlice and stick insects. This table top sized mobile sculpture once made will give you further ideas of adaptation to improve its walking and climbing abilities. ⁠
James Capper makes sculptures that deal with the pathways and journeys in the evolution of life on this planet and the increasing interest in modern forms of engineering and technologies that are informed by nature. His work explores hydraulic mobile and static structures. Many of my sculptures are developed for a purpose, to take me on a journey away from London and out to the mountains of Switzerland, the Pacific coast of Mexico or the arid lands of the Australian outback. These sculptures some- times act as vehicles to take me on journeys and other times are evolving experiments that adapt to their surroundings.⁠

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