The ability to free my art mannequin from that annoying piece of wire support has allowed me to use different configurations in looking at the way in which limbs move. In the full disclosure mode, I am not an artist or even an art student. But, I am interested in bio-mechanics and that is what motivated me to free my model. (If you want to know more about how the mannequin is fabricated, check Google Patents for the 1945 patent, (2,451,023 for one of the methods of construction.)
I originally planned on using small neodymium magnets embedded in the hands and feet to allow positional control but did not like the idea of drilling or cutting the model. But, while discussing the problem with my son he happened to mention Velcro as a possible solution. That, and in some instances coupled with magnets, solved the problem. But, the story would be incomplete without the magic of Velcro, (A trade name for a hook and loop fastener) and a video. The name Velcro comes from the words velvet and crochet.
In 1941 Swiss engineer George de Mistral was walking his dog in the woods of the Alps and was perplexed by the fact that the burrs (seed) of the burdock plant were sticking to his pant legs and his dog’s fur. When he returned home he examined the burr under the microscope and discovered that the burr was covered with hooks that locked together with the loops on the dogs’ fur and on his pants. He immediately thought about making a temporary cloth connector that could be used like a zipper. It is the perfect example of biomimicry where natural phenomena can be translated into other useful processes.
He began his work with cotton but had many failures until he finally used nylon. His first patent was filed in 1955 and granted in 1958. The product really did not really catch on until the 1960’s, when NASA began using it to secure space suits and tying down equipment on spacecraft. But since then it has been a standard method of making temporary connections on many products. The patent expired in 1978 and is now manufactured by many other manufactures. But Velcro is still strong and is still manufactured right here in New Hampshire. Velcro, by the way, is a trade name. Here is the macro image:Now, on with the video!
Note: I found that my mannequin had a threaded post and took some effort to detach.