Beautiful insects (and other animals) made from old parts

November 21, 2013 • 1:28 pm

Colossal shows some wonderful sculptures by a French artist in a post called “New Animal and Insect Assemblages Made from Repurposed Objects by Edouard Martinet.” (You can see more of these at Martinet’s website, here.) I’m showing just insects, but there’s a nice fish, too—all made from old parts taken from machines and stuff.

Sladmore Contemporary notes:

His degree of virtuosity is unique: he does not solder or weld parts. His sculptures are screwed together. This gives his forms an extra level of visual richness – but not in a way that merely conveys the dry precision of, say, a watchmaker. There is an X-Factor here, a graceful wit, a re-imagining of the obvious in which a beautifully finished object glows not with perfection, but with character, with new life. Martinet takes about a month to make a sculpture and will often work on two or three pieces at the same time. It took him just four weeks to make his first sculpture and 17 years for his most recent completion!

Here are some of his amazing works:

Butterfly. 25″ x 14″ x 22″ H. Legs: bike brake parts, pieces of windshield wipers, bike chains. Abdomen: old acetylene light tank. Thorax: car suspension part, small spoon parts, cream chargers. Head: headlights, bike parts. Butterfly trunk: clock springs. Hair: pieces of a typewriter daisy wheel. Antennae: brake cables, drawer knobs.



Rhinoceros beetle. 13″ x 11″ x 6″ H. Legs: bike brake parts, bike derailleur chain, bike chain ring. Head and horn: small bike brake, pieces of a typewriter daisy wheel. Antennae: small bike parts. Thorax: shoe tree, bike Luxor headlight. Abdomen: motorbike light, shell-shaped drawer handles.


Dragonfly. 37″ x 49″ x 15″ H. Abdomen: patinated copper/brass bicycle pump, car horn part, parts of old acetylene bike lights (at the ends).Thorax: two motorbike rear lights, shell-shaped drawer handles, big upholstery tacks. Head: car or lorry old stop lights, parts of acetylene bike lights, parts of a daisy wheel for typewriter (hair from the mouth). Legs: tubes, bike cable guide, wing nuts, wire. Wings: umbrella ribs, wire, wire netting for hen coops.


Wasp. 11″ x 6″ x 16″ H. Abdomen: steel tips for boots, bike headlights. Thorax and head: steel tips and bells from bikes and typewriters.Eyes: vintage watch case. Antennae: spectacles arms. Legs: bike brakes, bike chain, spoon handles. Wings: glass.


Red ant. 25″ x 16″ x 9″ H. Thorax and head: sauce spoons, car parts. Eyes: marbles. Abdomen: bike or motorbike headlights. Antennae: small bike chains. Legs: cream chargers, brake parts, chains, alarm clock feet, spoon handles.


If you’re in London, you’re in luck, for Colossal notes:

If you want to see these new pieces up close, Martinet opens a new exhibition at Sladmore Contemporary in London, November 27 through January 31, 2014.

Oh hell, here’s one of his birds, too:


h/t: Su


17 thoughts on “Beautiful insects (and other animals) made from old parts

  1. Very nice! Evokes Steampunk.

    And a Ray Harryhausen vision of ancient greek mechanical wizardry, i.e. the owl from Clash Of The Titans.

  2. Wow. Usually this type of stuff looks, well, junky but this is really nice. I especially like the dragon fly.

  3. These are lovely.
    After years of picking and sorting fossil bones, in other contexts I occasionally notice bits of weathered wood (driftwood, exposed termite galleries, parts of uprooted stumps left after bushfires etc.) that resemble particular bones in shape or texture. I have a very long range plan to collect and assemble a complete and anatomically correct dinosaur skeleton out of such found items. I estimate it would only take a few thousand lifetimes at the current rate of discovery.

    1. If you don’t count the evolution of the artist.

      Which is awesome. I’m with Diana, usually these things are scruffy looking, but here the elegance of many imago insects comes trough.

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