Dr. Allan Drummond works with his metallic replicas of spiders with big eyes, ants and other winged insects at the intersection of art, design and science. He is advancing his research in the Medicine and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology departments of the University of Chicago into a creative practice that throws biologically realistic specimens with a focus on anatomical elements of prehistoric organisms most likely to be lost in the fossil record, including the lower abdomen.
Each creature begins with a digital rendering made in Blender that is then 3D printed in individual parts – you can see examples of this these first models on Instagram. Drummond then, with the help of jewelry designers in his current city of Chicago, casts the replica in bronze or silver, and later assembles and refines the metallic components, resulting in a meticulous replica of the actual insect, be it life-size or enlarged to enlarge its features.
In a note to Colossal, he writes that the work shown here uses more advanced techniques than its predecessor models and came together with the help of two mentors, sculptors Jessica Joslin and the jewelry designer Heath Oleari. “Feeling the parts for the beetle snap together in my hands – a total rush – was less a relief from stress than a confirmation that at least I know what I’m doing when building giant metal arthropods,” he says.
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