Web redirect

New work, news and Images from the shop. If you would like to know more about my art, please visit my full website @ www.chrisbathgate.com


PCT 634521221311

CNC, Art, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, industrial, Design

Happy December everyone, after many hundreds of hours of work and several detours along the way, the new work is finally finished. 

CNC, Art, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, industrial, Design

The largest piece I have made this year, it is the second where, as part of the design strategy, I intentionally tried to emphasize the custom bolts that hold the work together. 

CNC, Art, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, industrial, Design

I typically go to great lengths to hide the hardware on nearly all of my works, but given the size and nature of this piece, I felt that hardware elements were useful to give a sense of scale, even if limited to the context of the form itself. In a very simplistic way, they are a visual reference that speaks to a number of design traditions. 

CAD. CAM, Blueprint, Technical, Schematic, AutoCAD, CNC, Design

The drawing for this one is huge (63" wide by 31" tall). 

It is all but impossible to view properly on a small computer screen (see detail above) click any image to see it bigger, also a larger version can be seen on the website. 

CNC, Art, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, industrial, Design

I debated the color up until the very last minute, then changed my mind completely and went with the blue, it was definitely the right choice.

CNC, Art, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, industrial, Design

 The finished work stands 24" tall, 13" wide and 8" deep at the base. 

CNC, Art, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, industrial, Design

One last detail to show off the edge elements.

CAD, Art, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, industrial, Design

Just for fun, I made an exploded view drawing as well. Again, click it to see it bigger.

On the technical side, this is the largest "interrupted cut" turning operation I had every attempted. All of the drilling and milling details were completed on the slabs that would become the main body first, before any turning took place.

Once all of the milling and drilling was done, the two large slabs that compose the body of the work were bolted to a custom machined arbor for turning. I had to get out my large 12" 4 jaw chuck to hold it securely enough and dial everything in.

The entire setup weighed nearly 200 pounds and there was only .05" of clearance over the cross slide on my lathe for the initial rough turn. 

This set up felt like a whole lot of whirling death, so I showed it a proportional amount of respect, stood off to the side to keep my distance, and took my time when undertaking this job. 

Once it was roughed to a lighter, more manageable size, i was then able to transfer it to my CNC lathe where the final profile was machined. 

The slabs, once they came off the lathe, still had a lot of clean up and de-burring work that needed to be done by hand. As you can see, there is an extra set in the back. My next piece is a sister sculpture to this one and so will involve using that shape in a different way. 

A partial assembly shot, the two halves on my couch before being bolted together.

Thanks for reading once again, with any luck, I will have one more work to share before the year is out. 

As always, comments welcome. 


NV 614434235524

CNC, Art, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, industrial, Design,Machining

I have been hard at work on a pair of large Sculptures, but completion of them remains quite a ways off. After several weeks of toiling away, and with quite a few more weeks left to go in the build, I decided it was time to take a creative break from the long slog of the big build. 

To clear my head I turned my efforts to something smaller. Something that I could get out into the world a bit sooner. So here we are, at the end of that break with some new works for November!

I also thought I would take this opportunity to share a couple of other side projects I have been working on this year. Some collaborations with other artists and craftsmen that I have found very fulfilling.

CNC, Art, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, industrial, Design

But first things first, the new works.

These little experiments are a continuation of the color process layering work I have been doing as of late. I decided earlier this year to revisit some of the powder coating work I started many years ago. I have been mixing the use of the colored powder with re-machining as well as anodizing, and the results have proven very promising.

I always feel it is easier to take risks and try out multiple combinations all at once with these small editions, one of the reasons I do them so frequently. As always, I tried to take full advantage of that luxury, but I likely could have made quite a few more of these, as there seems plenty of room to experiment further.

CNC, Art, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, industrial, Design

Dimensions are 1.6" Diameter by 3.1" long, so quite small.

The pair with the Stainless steel bodies have a bit more heft than the pair with the anodized aluminum bodies, but both feel very nice in the hand. The pin-striping style details could not have turned out better, and I am glad I dug out my old supply of red powder as it really speaks to that look.

A shot of the aluminum blanks right after milling. These looked nice all by themselves.

Since this was a relatively quick study (I do mean relative), I did not make a proper drawing this time around, so we will have to do without.

Anyhow, they turned out great and I look forward to getting a bit of feed back on them.

OK, Now For My Side Projects.

Over the last year, I have been meeting with Matthew McLaughlin, a print maker in the Washington DC area, as part of a cross discipline collaboration. 

Matt has been collaborating with Scientist, engineers and other artist over the years to build a print portfolio that looks at the similarities between art making, and the scientific method. So when Matt approached me and explained what he was doing, it was immediately apparent there was plenty I could learn from such a project, so I happily agreed to see where a joint project might lead.

We took our time and experimented with a wide range of ideas over the course of a few months. We hit some dead ends, but eventually decided on doing a series of engraved plates that spoke to both the drawing style I use in my technical prints, and also the iconic nature of the sculptural objects themselves. 

You can read more about the project and some of Matts other artist collaborations on his Blog, linked below

The drawings for this project were adapted from existing works, I borrowed pieces that could be produced exactly to scale, and sort of built on them to create something reminiscent of a logo, but without the need for text or branding. As with most of my work, I like to strip away everything that is unnecessary in a design.

With a little modification, the copper printing plates were engraved right on my CNC mill. We did some proof printing, refined the plates further, and then I handed them off to Matt to run the full print edition. The prints turned out great and are currently in the process of being individually numbered, titled, and signed. I am also quite happy to have the copper plates as an artifact of the print process.

A very limited amount of signed and numbered prints will be available to those who are interested, so do get in touch if this is a project that appeals to you.

My Second Side Project Is One Of A Musical Nature.

Earlier this year, I met up with Clarinet maker and machinist Wesley Rice. He is the owner and operator of a specialty Clarinet repair business out near Maryland's eastern shore

Wes came to visit me at my studio a few months ago and we soon got to talking about the similarities (and differences) in what we do for a living. He asked if I might be interested in helping him work out some designs for custom barrels for his clarinets, he was curious if some of my visual ideas might translate into parts for a musical instrument.

While not my usual cup of tea, making parts for musical instruments seemed appealing to me. I usually shy away from straight forward utilitarian objects, but much like the chess set, there seemed to be something visually compatible with what I was doing, not to mention that I am much more receptive when I think there is domain knowledge to be gained from a particular project. I knew next to nothing about instrument design, so I thought there was a great opportunity to learn something new.

I got a great crash course in the different materials used for building clarinets, obviously wood, but also some crazy hard rubber I had never heard of before, as well as more modern plastics which were fun to try and machine. I learned a little about how geometry can effect the sound of an instrument. I also found within this project, an opportunity to dovetail what I was doing with powder coating and apply it in a new context.

I had to be a little more restrained than usual as far as design choices, but the first results turned out quite nice and are pictured above and below.

The work I did on this project directly influenced my newest edition, as may be apparent.

The inlays on these and some of my more recent works is suggestive of pin-striping, and though very ornamental in nature, has me thinking on new ways of experimenting with texture, even if in a very minimal way. 

Anyway, a very exciting project that Wes and I may yet expand on in the future.

Back to work on the bigger projects

Now with all of my little projects complete, I am back to work on my larger sculptures that have been patiently waiting for my interest to return. I do plan to have them complete before the year is out, but in the mean time, here is a sneak peak at the parts pile that is forming on my bench.

I started this project with over 300 lbs of metal, I expect that weight to be cut to 1/3rd by the time all of the machining is complete.

Another peak at one of the more unusual setups from this project. This was a bit intimidating for me, 150 lbs of whirling death is how I described it. The large plates you see were bolted to a 4" by 24" long square arbor for turning. when initially mounted on the lathe, they had less than .05" of clearance to swing over the cross slide on my rather large 16" lathe. Once turned down, they were a much more comfortable fit, and could then be moved over to the CNC lathe to make the parts you saw above. 

I will have video and other process shots once the project is complete, so this is all for now.

As always, comments and questions are welcome.


Machined Metal Sculpture H411532221315

Title: H411532221315                                                      
CNC Machining Sculpture Master view

Introducing my latest CNC machined aluminum and stainless steel creation.
Dimensions (9"x8"x8")

Industrial Machine art front view

This work is another technical triumph for me, but given how visually compelling I feel the sculpture is, I think this time around I am going to let the images do most of the talking.

Red Anodizing,

CNC art, Red Anodizing

Machine Art Rear Detail

Machines Metal Sculpture detail

CAD Blueprint, Art Schematic

H 411 Technical Drawing Print (30"x27").

Machine sculpting process photo

I took some very nice process shots this time around, I was actually shooting a lot of video for an upcoming exhibition at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture. The event will be held in the city of Shenzhen and will be my first exhibition in China (all very exciting developments).

CNC Machining, sculpting process photo

I will announce more details about the video project and Shenzhen exhibition when things are further along, but for now, please enjoy the process shots.

CNC Machine art sculpting process photo

Machine sculpting process photo

Finished Part in Rotary Table.

Exhibition reminder

For those of you in the Baltimore area, please don't forget that I have an exhibition of my work opening at the BMA this week. The show opens on Wed September 16 and runs until Nov 15th.

The Baltimore Museum of Art10 Art Museum Dr, Baltimore, Maryland 21218

The 2014 and 2015 winners of the $25,000 Mary Sawyers Baker Prize present works that delight the senses and stimulate serious reflection. Some of their latest creations will be on view as well as pieces from their winning nominations, from www.BakerArtistAwards.org

Opening reception is Thursday Sept 17th from 6-8:30 PM
The event is free, and open to the public, but RSVP is required. Please rsvp to rsvp@baltimoreculture.org

As ever, comments are welcome


Br444265335 and Book Update

Title: Br444265335    (4"x2"x4")
Abstract, Metal, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, Machining, Machinist, Machine work, Industrial Design, CADCAM,

Hello everyone, July was a busy month full of project planning, vacations, and yard work (who else grows pumpkins?!). But even so, I still managed plenty of time to get into the studio and bring these beauties into existence. 

Abstract, Metal, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, Machining, Machinist, Machine work, Industrial Design, CADCAM,

Following on last months experiment with re-machining and powder coating, I decided to up the ante further and see if the powder coating was durable enough to survive the anodizing process. 

Abstract, Metal, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, Machining, Machinist, Machine work, Industrial Design, CADCAM,

After a few tests and adjusting the temperatures on a few things, I was able to get really great results. 

Abstract, Metal, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, Machining, Machinist, Machine work, Industrial Design, CADCAM,

This work also has some interesting mechanical features to how it is assembled which I will explain below.

Abstract, Metal, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, Machining, Machinist, Machine work, Industrial Design, CADCAM,

The Br444 Print  (20"x18") Still really enjoying making these. 

Abstract, Metal, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, Machining, Machinist, Machine work, Industrial Design, CADCAM,

The center rings for this piece were the most time consuming, I actually machined these entirely on my manual tools so I could take my time and make sure they came out perfect. It is sometimes more fun, and more accurate overall to do it this way, especially for small batch parts. 

These are the Cam Screws that hold each of the shaped pins in place. I just modified some stainless cap screws, mounting them eccentrically and machining the head into a cam shape.

Abstract, Metal, Sculpture, Digital, Fabrication, Machining, Machinist, Machine work, Industrial Design, CADCAM,

Once mounted into the center ring, turning each of the screws provides a radial clamping force to secure each of the pins.

This is a funny little collet adapter I created to machine each of the pins. It was sort of a unique setup, normally you do not turn dowels in that direction. It worked rather well though. 

Again, I had never attempted to anodize parts that had been powder coated before. I always assumed the powder would never hold up to being exposed to several types of acid, being heated and cooled repeatedly, and the electro-chemical reaction of the anodizing process, but to my surprise it did.

It definitely adds a considerable amount of time to the fabrication of a part, and there is zero room for error as making a mistake means stripping the part and starting over, but it is a process that I think will be put to very good use in the future. 

Chris Bathgate, Sculpture Book, MachinArt

Lastly, I just wanted to officially announce that my art book is now Being printed in its 4th edition. 

In preparation for a number of upcoming exhibitions, I have completely reworked much of the book, added lots of new material and shop photography, and brought it completely up to date with my portfolio of new works. For those of you who have enjoyed following my work over the years, I hope you might consider buying a copy to help support and share my work with others. Links below. 

Soft Cover:

Hard Cover:

As always, Comments are welcome.