Made On Earth
Mighty Mini Men of Metal
Amsterdam native Mark Ho was at film
school, working in stop-motion animation,
when he built his first articulated metal armature. That project sparked his imagination
with visions of a kind of “ultimate puppet”
— an intricately jointed, fully poseable figure
with all the grace and range of movement
of a real human body.
After graduating, he apprenticed in the
workshop of a veteran machinist for more
than two years before starting work on his
prototype. He began, fittingly enough, with
the hands. Together, the hands account for
202 of the completed figure’s 920 parts. Once
they were finished to Ho’s exacting standards,
the rest of the body had to measure up.
Made almost entirely of bronze and stainless steel, Artform No. 1 was produced in a
limited, numbered edition of 25. Not counting
its switchable magnetic display base, each
figure weighs a bit more than 17 pounds,
stands almost 17 inches tall, and has 85
moving parts, allowing remarkably lifelike
and expressive postures. The piece was
featured on the covers of Scientific American
and Bright magazine, and earned Ho the
distinction of being featured in Joe Martin’s
Internet Craftsmanship Museum.
Following the success of No. 1, Zoho
International has started production of
Working primarily with a lathe and a milling
machine, using a number of custom fixtures
of his own design and construction, he spent
more than six years refining the design before
fixing it, in 2005, as Zoho Artform No. 1.
Artform No. 4, a figure built to the same
pattern as the first statue, but substituting
anodized aluminum, in an array of colors,
for the original bronze parts.
—Sean Michael Ragan
22 Make: makezine.com/30