Metal Plumbing Tape, Foam, Worbla Thermoplastic, Window Screening, Ribbon, Jewelry Pieces, Foam Core.
I am inspired by the discovery of a new material or medium. The stimulus behind Iron Mantis lies in the beauty of metal plumbing tape as an art medium. I was recently introduced to this versatile medium by Patti Euler, owner of The Queens Ink. The strong, shiny, adhesive backed tape was easy to work with, very blingy, and behaved differently depending on how and to what it was applied. In this case, the tape inspired me to create armor.
Insects are basically warriors. The praying mantis has been described as one of nature’s perfect predators with its hard exoskeleton and deadly spiked front legs. I designed Iron Mantis to have the look of metal armor while mimicking the anatomy of a praying mantis, and wanted the model wearing Iron Mantis to project a strong warrior presence.
The torso of Iron Mantis combined the look and feel of a human breastplate with an insect-inspired plated back and tail. Additional articulated plates were created using foam and worbla. I then molded them to the body and legs to complete the look. The gauntlets were finished with the praying mantis’ trademark spikes to mimic the look of the insect and give the illusion of swords. I integrated both black and gray window screening to the tail piece to continue with the metal façade and balance the design. Besides, my granny always said, “Every warrior needs a tutu.”