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1/28/18

An Unexpected Edition, the W3


For those of you who follow this blog regularly, I know in my last post I said I would be settling in for the winter to work on a large sculpture project. And I promise that I have started it, but something rather unexpected has come up. A compelling little sculpture I have designated "W3"

Over the last three or four months, this little bug of a sculpture has been forming in my head. Given its small size, and relative simplicity (which is deceptive actually), I just couldn't resist taking a few days to try and make a few. 

This was supposed to be a quick sketch, just to get the idea out of my head and proof a concept, maybe for a later work. But what a great little piece it turned out to be. So as with many things that take on a life of their own, I now I find myself readjusting my schedule slightly to make a small edition of these beauties.

Rather than one large sculpture this winter, it now looks like I may be doing two things at once for a little while. 


Part of the reason I could not resist this experiment is that I have been wanting to investigate further a type of offset turning I use with some frequency. Offset turning, as a process, basically entails turning a profile in a lathe where the workpiece is revolving eccentric rather than concentric to the center line of the machine.

Doing this allows one to cut arc segments into the surface of your material rather than full circular profiles (I apologize if this is hard to follow for some). Indexing the work between cycles and repeating this process can yield some very interesting geometry. 

The wood turning community has a long history of using this kind of process Click this link to see a video about wood sculptor Mark Sfiri on multi axis turning (which is another way of describing what I am talking about). I have had the pleasure of sharing quite a few conversations with Mark about his work and visited his studio a few years ago. You would all do well to get to know his art if you are unfamiliar. (Hi Mark!)


This type of metal turning is something I have used off and on over the years. In past works, I have used only two index locations (or axis) with various profiles. This time I wanted to try using three different index locations to see what new opportunities for interesting geometry this would create. 

Since I was expanding on an existing concept, I thought I’d keep the design inspiration in the same family as some of my other small offset turned works so that the similarities and differences would be apparent.


While this sculpture may share visual similarities to some of my past "Slider" works, this piece is not intended to be a kinetic object, it does not move at all, and I will explain why. 

The purpose of the kinetic pieces I have been making has been to bridge my sculpture practice with some of the utilitarian trends I have been observing in the machinist community. So while those editions have been successful (and very popular) the plan for those projects has always been to bring that exploration back to what I feel is fundamental about machining as a sculpture medium. 

With this work, I want to take what I have been doing lately with Ratchets and Sliders, and return to something purely sculptural and non-functional. I like designing kinetic works and I plan to keep following that thread in the future, but I want to be clear that my heart is primarily with pure, unadulterated, sculpture. 


So I know full well that this work "could be" a lot of things, a clicker, a pen, a flashlight, but that is rather the point, it alludes to potential uses, while just being sculpture. The simplicity of this is what works for me. While the novelty of mechanics is a lot of fun, I want people to appreciate this form for its own sake. So no mechanics this time, I am insisting the work remain a non-functional sculpture, albeit one that conveniently fits in your pocket.

I realize there is an opportunity for confusion so I hope you will all appreciate what I am going for here.





That being said, given this works petite size (just 2" long), I could not resist the urge to play around with a magnetic stand to display the work. My impulse control is not great these days it seems.

To achieve this, I had to use a different alloy of stainless steel. The 303 stainless I typically use is non magnetic, so I had to switch to 410, an alloy which retains magnetic properties. This metal swap lets the little pills in the center of each of these works delicately dangle from the magnet in the prototype stand you see in the video above.  


So here is the part where people might get just a little annoyed with me.

While I think the stand is interesting, it is something I consider extraneous to the artwork. So although I do plan to make a small edition of the W3, I have neither the time, nor the resources to properly make the stands in any quantity for those of you who might want one. 

The two stands you see above were printed on my home-made 3D printer. They take an excruciatingly long time to print and are not exactly the quality I am comfortable sending out into the world. Machining them would make them prohibitively expensive compared to the work itself, so I am left with a bit of a dilemma.

I feel the best way forward, since I know there may be some interest in displaying the work this way,  is to make the solid files for the stand publicly available. I have uploaded the STL model for the stand to the Thingiverse website where you can download it for free. From there you can print one yourself in any material available to you. If you would like to modify the file further and make the design your own, I say go nuts.

If you lack access to a 3D printer, there are also links to 3rd party printers right on the Thingiverse website. There you can order a print from someone better equipped to do so. 


The only other thing that you will require to complete the stand is a 8mmx3mm Neodymium magnet. They are cheap enough that I can probably source them in advance for those who are interested and include one when I ship the work.



So now to the business of how does one go about getting one of these? For those of you interested in adding one of these little works to your collection, I am going to make a small run of the "W3". I will do the usual pre-order style sign up sale. 

The only caveat is that the build time and shipping schedule for this project may take slightly longer than usual, as I will be making these in parallel with my current long term project. I have the equipment capacity in my shop to make two projects at once, the only limiting factor is the human (me!) that runs that equipment. I will give everyone my best guess on shipping once I know how many sign ups I have received. 

So, that all said, I will post the link for this sign up sale on Wednesday January 31st at 11AM EST. I will post it here on this blog, as well as on my Instagram account.

The W3 is going to be one of the more affordable offerings I do this year as they are relatively small, but as always, you will have to wait for the sign up link to go live to learn the exact $$$ as I do not post pricing on publicly facing media. 

I will leave the sign up open for as long as I can, but I will shut it down as soon as I feel I have too many orders to handle. 

Fair warning, this could be just a few minutes, it will likely be a few hours, it WILL NOT be days. 

It is hard to judge these things in advance. Either way, this will very likely be your only opportunity to get one.

So check this space on Wednesday for the sign up link, and I will have the rest of the details sorted out and included on the order page. 

As always, comments and questions are welcome. 







10/31/17

Introducing "The Bathgate Ratchet"



Hello again everyone. 

I have something really fun to unveil today. I'm calling this new kinetic work
"The Bathgate Ratchet" 

This series is another entry in my growing line of mechanical experiments intended to bridge my sculpture practice with the utilitarian trends I am observing in the machinist community at large. 

This one borrows from both my slider work, and my Netsuke project. It is a detent driven art piece that incorporates influences from the machined metal lanyard bead community as well. 


This work uses a unique ratcheting mechanism. Basically the center sphere has a stepped bearing guide that only allows the ball bearings and springs that are nested inside to ride around the track in a single direction. This has the effect of revolving the inner geometry in steps when you sort of move the outer parts in a butterfly motion. It is similar to how a socket wrench works. 

The design also has a hole running  through the length of the work to enable it to potentially be strung on a lanyard or worn however one might like. However, like the Netsuke project, this is a bit large for an actual bead so that design choice is there as both an homage and a challenge.


While the design of the sculpture took on many forms during its development, I was ultimately able to come up with something that required zero compromise as far as how I wanted the final artwork to look. Even if this work was non mechanical, I feel quite confident I would have designed a stand alone sculpture that looks just like this. 

The sculpture functions perfectly as a static art object, while also performing its intentionally trivial, yet entertaining, function. 


The mechanism was initially inspired when I handed a version of the S2 Slider to a friend of mine and they mistakenly twisted the work rather than sliding it open. Not what you are supposed to do with an S2, but I thought it was a great idea so I immediately got to work sketching something that could operate in a twisting fashion.  Eleven months later and here we are.


The mechanism worked surprisingly well on the very first prototype and makes a great clicking noise that is sure to delight (and annoy others) in equal amounts. 



I have settled on four colors, Deep copper Orange, Charcoal Black, Deep Cyan Blue, and the very much requested as of late, purple violet. 


While I could have chosen any number of colors for the anodizing, I think a limited palette is preferable. These are the colors I feel work best for this geometry, so lets save some of the others for the future.


But just because I am limiting colors, it does not mean that I am not open to the idea of doing a two tone combo though!


So as with my other editions, a limited run of these works will be on offer. Because previous projects have been so popular, I am really going to push myself hard to make a larger quantity of these available (though it may kill me...just kidding I'll be fine). 

Currently, I plan to make 99 of theses works. I am leaving the door open to add a few additional units if demand gets too out of hand (as frequently happens). So I am reserving the right to add extra units that I will distribute in as fare a way as possible if I see it fitting to do so.

I'd like to leave the sign-up open for a few days (instead of a few minutes) so everyone has a chance to add their name, so if the first 99 units sell out quickly, I will likely add just a few more that I will assign randomly to a some lucky people on the remaining wait list.


So lets set a date for the sign-up sale then..  if you are interested in adding one of these works to your collection....

The pre-order will open this coming Thursday (Nov 2nd) at 4PM (EST). I will send out the link via my email newsletter (mailchimp). I will also link it on my various social media, but the email will go out first for those of you trying to get in early. 

The link will go to a google form where you can fill out your contact info and allow you to specify your preference for color. The form will also detail the pricing, shipping, and how payments will be processed. I do not post pricing on publicly facing media so you will have to wait until the link goes up to see the price. (Think more than an S2 and less than the NHVB for those who are familiar)

The first 99 people to sign up will be guaranteed one of the works. Everyone who signs up after the 99 limit is reached will go on to a waiting list. 

Any additional units I decide to make, as well as any cancelations will be assigned to the remaining names on the list via random name drawing. I am limiting everyone to just one work as I want to get these into as many different hands as possible. 

Do not sign up more than once or I may disqualify you. 

If you are not on my mailing list, please sign up here before Thursday morning and white-list the following email address in your mail client to ensure you receive the email: "chris@chrisbathgate.com" 

So again, keep an eye out for the Thursday pre-order email. And if you are reading this at some distant point in the future, I am sorry, but the moment has passed.

As always, comments and questions are welcome and thank you again for all of your enthusiastic support. 






10/10/17

Sculpture BV 753. Big Brother to the "NHVB".

Machined Sculpture, CNC art, Purple Anodizing

Hello again everyone. Today's post brings a project I have been tinkering with for a very long time, to fruition.

For those of you new to this space, this work is directly inspired by my NHVB pocket sculpture edition, which is a design collaboration I am making with the fine fellows from Nova labs and Revolvemakers (Otherwise known as Mike and Callye)

While my collaborators have been diligently working to put the final touches on the NHVB project, I have been developing this one of a kind piece in parallel. 

The design takes most of its cues from its smaller counterpart, but it also more directly addresses the original inspiration for this whole project, a small Urn that I made well over a decade ago. 

(the whole story is "Here" if you want to dig deeper)


My intention with previous kinetic editions has been to use the lessons learned developing them as a springboard for more ambitious sculptural works. Works that have, until now, eschewed the utility of the edition it was inspired by in favor of a kind of abstract formalism. 

But in this case, I decided to embrace the vessel idea as a traditional craft form, and put my own modern machinist spin on it. I saw it as an opportunity to experiment within a decorative art context (something I have avoided in the past).


CNC art, Machinist, Sculpture

While still very sculptural, this mechanical object retains its utilitarian trappings in a wonderfully exaggerated and impractical way. In scaling the design for a larger object, I left a lot of the chunky-ness (for lack of a better term) of the original while making many refinements to the mechanics that would better suit its increased size. 

You can see the size comparison (above) with the rather diminutive NHVB prototype.

Machined metal sculpture

As far as vessels go, this work is quite thick. Rather than make side walls and other elements as thin as possible to create maximum interior volume, I intentionally left a lot of extra meat on the design to give it visual (and physical) weight. I wanted to retain certain qualities that engineered objects often have. Some of the qualities I am looking for come from inefficiencies with material removal in favor of manufacturing simplicity. It is not an easy thing to explain, but it has a certain look to it.

In scaling the work, I was also able to take many of the purely decorative elements in the original NHVB and put them to an actual mechanical use in the expanded design. What were merely decorative pins around the outside of the NHVB are now necessary fasteners to hold and locate various elements, such as the stainless inner liner and the feet.


The lid on this work still operates in a similar manner as its smaller companion. But rather than a 1/3 turn iris mechanism as on the NHVB, this work has a finer scroll that requires over two full turns to actuate the locking pins. The scroll mechanism runs on two roller style thrust-bearings which allows it to operate very smoothly. 

It is a very satisfying sensation to open and close this thing, if not a little harrowing to remove and replace such a heavy lid without denting or scratching anything.


The use of the color purple is sort of new as well. There still exists a loose association with the color purple and royalty, and in this particular situation, it felt like an appropriate choice given the extravagant nature of the design. 

Urn, metal art, machinist art

Having decided on purple, I was still unprepared for just how brilliant the purple anodized coating would turn out. Some have already commented how the photos just don't seem real, but I can assure you, this is exactly how it looks when you hit it with studio lights (I promise I did not touch the saturation setting when editing these photos).The color you see is "in camera" as they say. 


The piece sits freely atop its base. The feet nest into divots on six small plastic inserts in the stand. I also made threaded plastic feet to protect any surfaces this rather heavy piece might rest upon. This gave me a rare opportunity to machine some Acetal rod, which is something I rarely get an opportunity do.

Mechanical Vessel

The internal volume of the vessel is just over one pint.  The base is 12" Diameter, while the vessel itself is approximately 7"D x 7" tall.
Cad drawing, CADCAM, Blueprint, art

The technical print includes the NHVB technical details as well (lower right corner), How could I not include it when it is such an integral part of the project.

Netsuke bead, machine art, sculpture

It was loads of fun developing these two projects in parallel, I feel like a vessel series may be in my near future. I still have a bunch of sketches from my original brainstorming session developing various mechanical urns, so there is a good chance I may bring one or two more of these off the drawing board over the next year or so.


While I continue to explore collaborations that expand my conception of my own sculpture work, as well as ideas surrounding craft and fine art, I am also finding a larger community of makers and craftspeople with whom to share a dialogue. It is very exciting to see my work so warmly received in so many different maker and artist communities. It is even more heartening to hear stories about how my work has influenced others to pursue their own art.

So I just want to thank you all for continuing to follow what I do, and for sharing your work  with me. I am doing my very best to keep this adventure interesting for everyone involved.


As always, thoughts and questions are welcome.



8/22/17

OO 62113344522


Hello everyone. 

Having dedicated a lot of energy over the last year to making a series of small kinetic sculptures, I thought the time had come to turn some of the accumulated visual capital from those projects into a more substantial sculptural endeavor. So today’s post marks the culmination of many months of experimentation.


For those of you who are new to my work. this project is based off of a series of pocket sized Slider Sculptures, as well as my Artifact spinner collaboration (links for all of my design projects). These pieces were the creative framework for this design, and served as an excuse to attempt a rather ambitious technical challenge involving a method of turning metal usually reserved for much smaller parts.



It was built around a turning process known as "offset turning" which is exactly what it sounds like; turning a piece of metal that is offset from the center axis of the machine. Think of how a jump rope swings around as apposed to a spinning top. 


In metal, this process is usually reserved for smaller parts such as my slider sculptures, or with parts that are conducive to balancing and support like crank shafts. In smaller works, vibration is not much of an issue as the weight of the machine is more than sufficient to compensate for the wobble produced in the cut. With larger works however, you are swinging much heavier pieces in such a fashion that vibration must be accounted for, lest the machine shake itself apart or even fall over. 

In order to attempt this process on larger work pieces, the entire assembly must be balanced in some way, usually by adding counter weights to the assembly, or in some cases, taking the cut so painfully slow that the wobble is mitigated. 

To balance the weight in my case, I simply designed the parts so I could cut two of them at the same time. Having two parts diametrically apposed on the assembly, they would always counter balance each other throughout the entire cutting process, even after a significant amount of metal had been removed.


Some machinist would say there was likely an easier way to make these parts, and you are correct. Most modern machine shops would likely have attempted to realize these forms through a process that completely avoided the trouble of balancing the assembly. They likely would have used some form of 4 or 5 axis milling operation, essentially carving them using ball end mills on very advanced machines.

But where is the fun in that I ask?  I felt a milling approach was just too perfunctory a step, showing no relationship between the end result and the process used to achieve it. I liked the idea of using only 2 axis of motion and a clever set up over something much more advanced. The relationship between shape and process is how I get many of my ideas, so this felt like a way forward that might yield further inspiration. 

Offset turning is also a process that would have been more commonly used for this purpose 30-50 years ago (probably much more), which is interesting in its own way.


I had originally intended to only make one version of this sculpture, but a compositional split occurred at some point while finalizing my plan. The design seemed to suggest multiple ways of mounting the work (on the wall, or free standing) and rather than abandon one version over the other, I thought they worked far better as a set, complimenting one another in a way I had not anticipated.


Above, you can see the difference in scale between the new works, and the many small projects that inspired them. The dimension are 23" tall for the freestanding work, and 16" tall for the wall mounted piece. 

The copper colored anodizing was also something that I tested during my S1V2 series run. Materials are anodized aluminum, stainless steel, and brass.


The technical drawing is 36"x36" square


Process notes: In order to attempt my offset turning operation,  there were dozens of preparatory milling, drilling and turning steps that had to occur to prepare the pieces. Additionally, I had to build a very special arbor to hold the works in the lathe at just the right offset and to support everything exactly where it needed to be. Above are some images from that long technical journey. It was a lot of fun to have everything building to a process moment that I had no idea if it would even be successful.  


Above is the end result. 

As always, comments and questions are welcome. 

7/25/17

A Reluctant Designer, The Netsuke Hybrid Vessel Bead. (NHVB)

Mechanical Vessel, Sagemono inspired lanyard bead





Project Preface:

Since I began exploring modern machine work as an artistic medium over 15 years ago, my focus has been predominantly on creating a kind of machined fine art sculpture. Over time however, the connections I’ve made between my work and various spheres of design, engineering, and even the decorative arts have slowly expanded my conception of what my sculpture practice could be. In the past, I would never have undertaken some of the mechanical design projects I am now pursuing, likely out of fear they might distract, rather than compliment, my creative output. This fear I have come to realize was largely misplaced.

As I have sought to articulate my intention with my work on this blog, a recurring theme has emerged. From my position as a creator, (as apposed to a viewer) distinguishing between what is fine art, what is design, and what is craft, has become highly problematic.

From a process perspective, the act of making art is largely indistinguishable from making anything else. There is as much value (from a domain knowledge standpoint) in making something like a tool, as there is the most inspired work of sculpture (emphasis here on the making and not the viewing). I’ve also come to understand that domain knowledge is the well from which most creativity springs. It is the work that leads to inspiration, and not (as is popularly thought) inspiration that leads to the making of work. So whether you call it design, craft, or art makes no difference to the artist. The result of any single project may or may not invoke a sense of awe in others, but regardless, it is quite likely a step toward something that will.

Machined metal lanyard container, CNC art, Sculpture, EDC

With that said, today’s post is a new design collaboration that directly addresses this evolving outlook on my craft. It is my second project with Mike and Callye from Revolvemakers. This vessel-like work is an expedition into what most would characterize as the decorative arts. A bit of a departure for everyone involved, this work is an amalgam of disparate ideas I have encountered over the years that perfectly encapsulate the many intersections between art and design as they are popularly understood. 

The following is an attempt to describe all of the various inspirations and how they connect.


funeral urn by Chris Bathgate
Urn design from 2008

Inspiration For The Netsuke Hybrid Vessel Bead:

The earliest seed for this work came in 2008 when I was asked to make a small funeral Urn for a friend of mine who had lost her mother. I obliged this friend (of course) and made a small-machined metal vessel (as seen above). When I was finished, I was pleased to find that it had many of the qualities I was looking for in my regular sculpture work. Sadly, my preoccupation with only making sculpture at that time stopped me from pursuing the concept further.

What has finally brought me back to the vessel idea, and the rest of the inspiration for this peice, was my search for other contemporaries who are exploring the aesthetic side of machine work. Instead of finding other sculptors, I found a number of professional machinists who are branching out from their traditional roles to explore the more creative possibilities within their trade.


Lanyard  bead vessel, engineered craft, Netsuke design

These machinist craftsmen are primarily creating functional objects and do not necessarily consider what they are doing to be art. Their aim however, is not so different than mine, they wish to express themselves and maybe make something beautiful in the process. Rather than sculpture, they are making lanyard beads, folding knives, spin tops, fidget toys, pens, flashlights, and other tactical type accoutrements. Many of them are progressing into the type of embellishment and thoughtfulness of craft that has seen many industrial crafts blossom into a fine arts movement. Crafts like wood turning, glass blowing, welding, and ceramics have all transitioned from commercial industries to fine and decorative art traditions.

Sagemono, Chinese Snuff bottle, inspired art, cnc design,

My interest in how industrial processes morph into arts movements is what first set me on a path of exploring a kind of functional art of my own. Looking for similarities between the decorative arts and machining is where the rest of the inspiration for this work was found.

In doing my research for these functional projects, I began looking for older forms of utilitarian art. My earlier adventures in small sculpture had brought Japanese Netsuke to my attention (see below). Further digging revealed that Sagemono as it relates to Netsuke, as well as Chinese snuff bottles had qualities that I could relate to this project. These object forms with their long and storied histories seemed like they would be perfectly at home in the contemporary environment of machined decorative arts.

(Left) Sagemono with obi and Netsuke. (right) Carved Netsuke


What is Netsuke and Sagemono?


For those who are unfamiliar with Netsuke and Sagemono, I whole-heartedly suggest you take a look into this amazing tradition, but for simplicity sake, I have copied a simple description from the International Netsuke Society page.

In Short: A netsuke is a small sculptural object, which has gradually developed in Japan over a period of more than three hundred years. Netsuke (singular and plural) initially served both functional and aesthetic purposes. The traditional form of Japanese dress, the kimono, had no pockets. Women would tuck small personal items into their sleeves, but men suspended their tobacco pouches, pipes, purses, writing implements, and other items of daily use on a silk cord passed behind their obi (sash). These hanging objects are called sagemono. The netsuke was attached to the other end of the cord preventing the cord from slipping through the obi. A sliding bead (ojime) was strung on the cord between the netsuke and the sagemono to allow the opening and closing of the sagemono.



The entire ensemble was then worn, at the waist, and functioned as a sort of removable external pocket. All three objects (netsuke, ojime and the different types of sagemono) were often beautifully decorated with elaborate carving, lacquer work, or inlays of rare and exotic materials.


Assortment of Snuff bottles

What are Chinese Snuff Bottles?


Chinese snuff bottles, well? were used to hold snuff of course. But they were also highly adorned objects that represent a decorative art form displaying a wide range of experimentation with materials within a narrow range of designs. This art form echoes trends within the machining community where a single design is often iterated in a variety of metals and exotic alloys to achieve distinct looks and qualities. A link is here for further exploration.

CNC design, lanyard bead vessel, modern sagemono

My Take on it all:


Together, the Netsuke, Sagemono, and Chinese snuff bottles seemed analogous to some of the finely machined and decorated lanyard beads and other tactical pieces I was seeing in the machinist community. I sensed the potential for collaboration with the past. Both my recent past, which involves my urn project, and the distant past with these venerable decorative art forms.

While the look of these traditional forms may be quite different from the machined objects to which I am referring, I am more interested in the shared impulse they both represent. The impulse to decorate and improve ones most cherished utilitarian possessions, and how this act often grows to the point where the art begins to take priority over the original function of the object. Anyone who follows how gloriously large, complex, and impractical modern luxury watches have become can attest to how this can play out.

This transformation from functional craft to creative art form can happen over years, decades, or centuries, but the process is usually the same. The focus of the work becomes less and less about the usefulness of the thing, and more and more about the craft itself. The object becomes secondary to the act of making; eventually the original object can be completely abandoned in favor of new technical or conceptual challenges within the craft. What remains is a medium ripe for art for art’s sake.

Sagemono Vessel, machined metal, engineered decorative arts

Conclusion:

So to bring this all back together and how it led to this design. After my experience making my small urn, I have often thought of returning to making a vessel form of some kind. The thing preventing me from doing so was my inability to conceptually connect it to the rest of my work. But as I have pursued more functional art projects to explore a broader design and craft context for my work, I realized that I could link all of these disparate influences into one project.

The “Netsuke Hybrid Vessel Bead” is the result. It is something that I hope speaks to how universal the impulse to make something both useful and beautiful can be. How an items function can influence design across time.

Machined Metal art, urn vessel, Bead

Build Notes: 

Callye, Mike and I have been bouncing ideas and parts for this prototype back and fourth for months. The piece has slowly taken shape since January as the team worked out the bugs in the mechanics and made small adjustments to the design. We still have a little fine-tuning to go before we start producing an edition of these, but we could not wait any longer to share the project with all of you.

Dimensions are a bit over 2" Diameter by 1.5" Tall.  

So what is it for? What does it do? Some people may feel like this is a project that tries to do too much, tries to do too many things and so does not do any of them well. I say that is sort of the point. As functional art goes in my mind, the creative content is always the foremost consideration over practicality. 

Lanyard and Caribiner demo, ring box demo
(left) sagemono arrangement, (forgive my rookie knots).........(right) test with ring adapter (still needs work)

So, it is many things, it is a container (but a rather small one), but it is also a lanyard style bead (a rather large and impractical one) with a through bore to receive a piece of paracord. It could be worn sagemono style when paired with a second lanyard bead (obi analogue) and a carabiner (netsuke analog), something other machinist in the community could easily contribute to this project on. Those of you who machine or collect rings, you can use it as a ring box (something we have tested). Or use it as a snuffbox (something we have not tested), what ever you like. I am sure many of you will come up with interesting uses.

 That the work has such flexibility in what it can be used for opens the door to additional collaboration with makers in the future. I am looking forward to seeing how it is interpreted by others in the machinist community.

Mechanical Iris vessel

Other thoughts: 

One of the final noteworthy considerations in designing this was wether we should leave the mechanics of the iris visible to the user. There is no doubt that it looks incredible, however leaving the mechanics exposed opens the door to getting particulate matter into the iris, which could lead to a jam. For now we have decided the benefit of leaving the mechanics visible outweigh the risks, so a bit of care may need to be taken when considering what to use it for. This is a limiting factor of the design, but my aim all along was to put the aesthetics of the piece ahead of other considerations.

Machined metal Lanyard Bead Vessel

How can I get one?

We are planning on doing a preorder later this week for those of you interested in collecting one of these works. The initial run will likely be around 50 pieces total (that is our working number, we may adjust this some). Whether there will be a second batch or other variants in the future is unknown at this time.

Because demand has been so high for my small projects (the last edition sold out in under an hour), we will be following a similar protocol to previous releases.

The pre-sale will go as follows.

I will post a link to a sign up form on Friday July 28th at 11:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time). I will send the link for this form via email newsletter first, I will then post it here on this blog, last I will post it to my Instagram account.

I know time zones and distance play a factor in how quickly the link shows up, but for those of you who want to attempt to sign up first, I have done my best to give you accurate info to give you the best shot.

The pre-order will stay open for exactly one week.

Everyone will be limited to just one piece, and one sign up per person.

First 25 names on the list will get to reserve one of the works outright. The other 25 or so spots will be distributed raffle style to the remaining names on the list. 

As is my policy, I do not post pricing on publicly facing media. Pricing info will be included on the sign up form. Obviously this is a very complex project, those of you familiar with the price of previous editions might be able to arrive at a reasonable guess. But simply check the form on Friday if you are curious and decide from there if it is within your means to collect.

If you are Late to this project, I am sorry to say the moment has passed.