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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


The Mod 4 sign up is now live


It's that time again everyone, the sign up for the Mod 4 sculpture project is now live. Everything you need to know to add one of these works to your collection can be found at the Link here

P.S. This link will self destruct on December 6th at 11AM EST

Also, in case I have not said it enough already, my new book has now been officially released. It is available from book sellers everywhere and direct from the publisher here

I won't say just in time for the holidays, but yeah, I just kinda did. forgive me. 


The Mod 4


Introducing the Mod 4, the unexpected fourth entry in my module series.

I say unexpected because I had thought I had put this idea to bed two years ago. Well it turns out that having spent the intervening years putting my life's work to print has meant re-evaluating more than a few of my past projects. It just comes with the territory, and this particular project really stuck out for me as having one glaring missed opportunity.

The original Module tryptic consisted of magnetically assembled modular works based around three platonic solids. A tetrahedron, a hexahedron, and an octahedron. Each sculpture is composed of a simpler, smaller module that assembles into a larger composition using an array of strong magnets. 

The next shape in the platonic solid progression is a dodecahedron, a shape that has 12 faces.

Well, if you count, this piece only has ten modules, and that is because as an artist, I have the luxury to edit and change the rules however I want, and in this case, I decided to take a little detour. So while it is based on a dodecahedron, I opted for the chance to create a more interesting interior space, and so omitted two of the modular faces.

I explain all this and much more of the technical tribulations of designing this piece in the video above.

I love these module pieces because they create a lot of complexity from so few unique parts. And of course the fact that they assemble and disassemble quickly with the use of magnets is also endlessly appealing. 

The main reason however that I am pursuing this small composition now, is that I believe it will be a springboard for a larger piece I have cooking in my brain.

The size on this piece is about 2.75" from tip to tip and about 1.6" deep

I am continuing to refine this work, but I wanted to get a post out. As I write this, I am making a version in titanium to make a stronger, lighter weight piece. The magnets work perfectly fine in stainless steel, but the Titanium will lighten the piece substantially, and I believe that will be appealing in this case.

Titanium also opens up some interesting anodizing options that I am looking forward to exploring. 

At the moment, I have been tackling the very limited Ti anodizing I use with a modified (and inferior) process (limited to the usual Gold, blue, and Purple colors). 

I thought it was high time I set up a more capable titanium anodizing station, which is very different from aluminum anodizing.  This will take just a little time while I bring in supplies, but in no time I hope to have some good examples to show.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the first prototype work. 

Note to collectors: While I am hesitant to announce a pre-order without all of the pieces in place yet, but I also know some people are already chomping at the bit to add one of these pieces to their collection. So lets set a date, and then if things change, then well we all will have to adjust.

So here goes.

Sign up for this work will be Wednesday Nov 29th at 11 AM EST.

I will send out the link through my usual channels (email, the blog, IG etc)

All of the details for the sale, along with (hopefully) full specs on the Titanium version will be sorted out by then. So mark your calendars and I will have more info when the time comes.


Also an exciting update on the release of my new book! The release date has been moved up to NOV 28th! Just a week away. 

So if you get your order in now, it will be in your hands with plenty of time before the holidays. Some early pre-orders have already been delivered! 

What an unexpected surprise to even myself. I’m totally stoked! (and I never use that word, but it is the correct one)

As always comments and questions are welcome. 


Book Announcement


Hello Everyone,

Today I have the unique pleasure to announce something that I have been working on (secretly) for longer than I care to admit. Thankfully the time has finally arrived to let the cat out of the bag. I HAVE A NEW BOOK!

This book is titled “The Machinist Sculptor” and if you haven’t already guessed it – it is about my art yes – but it is also about the aspirational idea of machine work as a new studio craft. 

That is the idea that machine work has the potential to stand alone as a unique artistic medium with intrinsic characteristics, not just a tool that can be employed in service to other artistic forms (even though that is fascinating as well).

For this book, I have partnered with Schiffer publishing to transform my over twenty years of work, creating machined metal art (and writing about it), into a reflective history and quasi-manifesto on what it means to make art with the technologically diverse tools of the machinists trade.

It is a full-throated attempt to place what I do (make art with machine tools) into a broader context about how various tools and practices (do and do not) find their way into the hands of artists and artisans. How the tools of mass production eventually become the tools of cultural production.

I presume many longtime followers of my work will have seen the self published catalogs I have released over the years. Without diminishing those efforts, I want to say "THIS BOOK IS NOT ONE OF THOSE". This book is a quantum leap forward even if some of the bones of this book may be familiar (it is my work after all). 

If I may be frank, this book is my first time working with a bonafide publisher, and so for the first time I had the pleasure of working with editors and designers to fully shape my story, along with everything else I have learned from two decades of metalworking into an expansive text about the many spheres of knowledge and influence my craft touches. 

It is a complete rethinking, redesign, and expansion of the original essays that set me down this road and made me an unintentional expert in a field that is a nexus for art, craft, and design.

At 288 pages, this 9"x12 "foil wrapped hard bound print is truly the most beautiful friend of the coffee table I have ever seen. 

Many kind folks have worked very hard on this print, and it truly shows. I would be grateful if you would give me the opportunity to share this most sincere and detailed perspective an under-appreciated craft, by picking up a copy for yourself, a friend, or colleague. 

The Machinist Sculptor is being printed and distributed by Schiffer publishing and will be available at bookstores everywhere. The official release date is Jan 28th, but you can pre-order it now on Amazon.

And of course, thank you.  

P.S. I am going to post the link to the Amazon pre-order here. You will have plenty of opportunities to reserve a copy because, like it or not, I am going to bring this up frequently between now and the release date. 

I am not one to beat my drum too much, so I will apologize in advance for that, but that is how these things work. 

As always, questions and comments are welcome. 


BB 462222312


Hello Everyone

I know you all just heard from me last week, but it has actually been quite a while since I have released a larger one of a kind work. Partly it is because they just take so very long to design and build (this build stretched to seven months), but it is also because I have been caught up in a line of thinking that has (temporarily) taken me away from this kind of work.

But although the big works have taken a back seat as of late, I am glad to be unveiling this fantastic, and very large, new release. I call it the BB 462222312

For one of my larger works, this piece is unique in that it moves. Well, it spins….but only if you spin it. This fact was the source of a whole lot of internal debate for me, because I usually prefer my larger works to be completely static, with any movement or functionality implied. But for this piece, in this composition, I just could not resist the opportunity.

In fact, the original design was completely static. But once I realized that this piece could potentially spin, and that I could fit the hardware to do so without compromising the original composition, I decided I had nothing to lose on the experiment.

As you can see here, the bearing assembly fits rather handily inside the base tube.

Now I will say again that this piece does not spin on its own. It doesn’t have a motor to drive the rotation, and I am certain for some this will be a missed opportunity. But I do not see it this way.

For this branch of my work, I have embraced a more open interpretation and that means leaving things vague. In my eyes, a whirling motorized piece of sculpture would be just that, and nothing more. I think this piece invites a kind of interpretation, and then, if you are brave enough to reach out and touch it, you are rewarded with the fact that it spins.

Also, I just simply could not live with the compromises this kind of overt mechanization would require. Be it visible wires or belts, or just the idea that the work would be transformed from a piece of largely visual art into an animation or an actual, rather than metaphorical, machine.

It is a tough distinction for me to describe, but for this piece, I did try to have it both ways. And for me, I am quite satisfied.

I am sure for some, I have successfully straddled the line between avoiding too much novelty and humoring a desirable functionality, but I have no doubt that to others, I have simply failed to commit. This suits me just fine, as it is in the ambiguity that I feel these larger pieces find their place.

I also design the collar on the base with a rubber O ring that can be tightened against the body. This gently prevents the work from spinning if one desires to stop the work in a particular position. I wouldn't call it a lock because it can be easily over come, but it does work as a sort of brake. 

This work also has a glorious interior space that images just do not do justice. 

The technical drawing for this work is massive as well (90"x30") again, a struggle for small screens. 

Dimensions of the work are 31" long x 9.6" tall x 7.25" deep

I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts and comments if you choose to share them. 


Chris Bathgate


The Watch Pocket Project: WP1


Hello everyone, todays post is a small work that feels like a departure from some of my other design editions. 

This work has a little more of a utilitarian feel and some rather overt accessory references, but nonetheless is a necessary step on my machinist artist journey. 

When I think about the decorative objects that I have coveted in my lifetime, one thing that immediately comes to mind for me is the handful of pocket watches I have owned. It seems somehow I have been working all this time completely oblivious to a bit of self knowledge that now seems totally obvious. 

I grew up during the 80’s and 90’s. During that time, pocket watches weren't cool (were they ever?) and most people didn't have them, but for some reason or another, I kept ending up with them. Not because I needed to know the time. but because I was drawn to them for tactile reasons. They were (and are) just nice objects to hold and fiddle with. 

Even now I have one at my desk that I turn over in my hands from time to time.

So recently, I got into a conversation with someone who asked why I couldn't make my other pocket sculptures even smaller. My reply was simply that experience showed me that anything smaller was prone to being easily dropped and damaged. A human hand can only hold objects of a certain size securely, anything smaller and things start slipping through our fingers. “To make it smaller” I said “ it would need to be on a chain”.

“Great idea” they said.

And then I stopped and thought about it. The idea of the chain brought me immediately to the humble pocket watches I have known (and my gross oversight as an artist). It all finally clicked and I was off down this really fun rabbit hole. 

Once I settled on the pocket watch as a conceptual idea, I set about the process of bending all that towards something that straddled the line between utility and sculpture. I am calling this work the WP1, and it is likely the first in a series of "Watch Pocket Art".

The work as designed can be strung on a chain and worn like a standard pocket watch, put on a lanyard, or anything else really. 

Just please promise me you won't put it on a keychain. I can't bear the thought of this beautiful piece being reduced to a mere key ring, or being clobbered by a mass of keys. 

To aid with discussions about this work, I am using watch nomenclature to describe its parts. Above we have the "Long hand" in anodized aluminum, and the "Lens" in Pink Box Elder. The remaining parts are in Stainless steel. 

The mechanics of this piece are pretty fun. I really like big chunky mechanisms that are easy to understand, and so I have created a ratcheting mechanism that utilizes a stacked set of detents rather than a common pawl lock. You can move the long hand of the work lever-like to index the lens and short hand around in a tick tock fashion. You can also palm the work and operate it one handed if you have a little finger dexterity. 

I do my best to explain all this in detail in the video below but here is a picture showing a standard pawl mechanism next to my arrangement.

As you can see, unlike a clock motion, the assembly is relatively large and comprehensible, which makes it easier to appreciate. Regardless there is a lot that goes into crafting each of the unique components in this piece and I am continuing to refine the design even now. 

Given its overtly decorative nature, this is one of the few projects where it feels appropriate for me to really mix, match, and explore a wide range of material combinations. So both hardwoods and exotic metals are on the table this time around. albeit with some limitations due to the process I have set up to fabricate these parts. More on this later.

For now I hope you will enjoy this clockwork kinetic sculpture. 

Notes for collectors: As has become customary, these works will be produced as part of a one time, limited edition.

For those interested in adding this sculpture to your collections, the sign-up for the pre-order will go live on Monday August 7th at 11AM EST.

A link will go out via newsletter, as well appear on my blog and Instagram profile (@c_bathgate). Pricing and other details of the sale will be available on the sign up form.

There is going to be a lot of information on this sign up, and a lot of options as well, so if you plan to add your name to the list, maybe start envisioning a few ideas of what you might like your work to look like. 

I think I am going to offer the Lens (or dial) in a wide range of hardwoods, as well as Mokume-gane, Titanium Damascus, and superconductor. 

The hands will be available in either stainless steel or anodized aluminum (aluminum can be dyed within my standard color pallet)

I will offer the bezel in either stainless, brass, or Mokume-gane. (Maybe also Ti-mascus or SC but the size and complexity of this element will require special considerations that will make this a pricy option)

All other parts will be stainless only. 

As far as the chain: My initial thought was to supply this with a pretty generic chain, but after talking to people and realizing how varied preferences were, I actually think it is best to leave it up to individual collectors. Some have expressed the desire to put it on a lanyard, others prefer precious metal chains, some have mentioned leather fobs, and even one mentioned they have a custom chain made by another maker. 

So I think given that it is an element that I do not intend to craft myself, it really is optional. I can link to the chain pictured above, and even recommend a few makers doing some crazy stuff.

I do not mean to punt on the chain, but to do it justice, it would really have to be it's own project. Which is to say that I have already started discussing a collaboration along those lines with other makers. Time will tell.

OK, that is all for now, I will have more info and pricing on the sign up when it goes live. See some of you next week. And as always, comments and questions are welcome. 




Hello everyone. I have been in a reflective mood lately, so today's post is about a design both old and new. 

This time, my instinct to revisit past projects has taken me to my Kinetic Detent Slider series. Like its predecessors, the mechanism for this work is intentionally trivial and features a simple piston mechanic that locks in place using a spring ball detent. 

The appeal of this project is that it is one of those elegantly simple designs that allows me to marry mechanical functionality, with something so visually unique I have been unable to replicate it since. It is a craft form with a timeless feel that is ripe for endless iteration. 

I am calling this sculpture the “KDS1-VW” 

For those of you familiar with my older works, maybe some of you are wondering why I have come back to this design after a 7 year break? The short answer is that if you give an artist the opportunity to engage in nostalgia, they will almost always take it. 

Without giving too much away, I have recently had a unique opportunity to write at length about my journey through the rewarding craft of Machining. This has helped me reflect on the many ways machine work, both digital and manual, is (finally) seeping further into the cracks of creative society.

In doing so, I just couldn't help revisiting a design that holds a very special place in my practice. When I take a look at my own journey, there are a small number of works that stand above the rest as touchstones that mark a change in my relationship to my medium. 

My original Slider sculpture, which at first I just called a “pocket sculpture” before taking on its official nickname, is one of them.  I'd be willing to bet there are quite a few people reading this blog today who are here primarily because of the popularity of the S1 sculpture. 

It is this work that really helped me understand that if I was going to define my work in terms of developing machining as a studio craft, I would need to create projects that bridged the world of fine art with some of the other decorative craft trends I was seeing pop up among machinists. 

So however old this original idea, I am glad came back to this work. Because aside from bringing me a lot of personal joy, there was also plenty of room for improvement in both process, engineering, and design.

In the video above, I do my best to detail many of the design changes that I was able to incorporate. 

Materials I have experimented with so far are as follows. Left to right above is red stabilized BoxElder, two tone Amboyna Burl with sapwood, and blue stabilized Boxelder.

Left to right here is Chechen, Amboyna Burl, and Ironwood. Ironwood comes in a lot of flavors, from high contrast burls in bright orange, to more uniform browns. I use it because of this variety and it machines extremely well.

So thats it, this work is special to me because it set me on a path to realizing that machining is a profession that exists simultaneously as an industry, a craft, and science with a built in means to apply it. It is a process that uniquely blurs the line between fine art, craft, and design in way that I could use to tell a story about the idea of craft itself. 

I feel lucky to be afforded the opportunity to make beautiful objects that pull influence from the many spheres of knowledge it touches. 

In resurrecting this design, I hope to create a further opportunity to talk about traditional craft forms within the field of machining. That is forms that "ALL" machinists can make to learn the fundamentals of the craft. but more on that in a later post. 

Notes for collectors: I think it would be a crime not offer this work up as an edition so I have already started gearing up. Development continues on a few aspects of the work; namely a display stand and fine tuning my process for safely processing the wood elements. But nothing that will substantially alter the work itself.
For those interested in adding this sculpture to your collections, the sign up will go live on Thursday March 16th at 11AM EST. 

As always, a link will go out via newsletter, as well appear on my Blog and Instagram profile. Pricing and other details of the sale will be available on the sign up form. 

Notes on wood selection for the inlays: I will try to have all relevant information pertaining to material selection on the sign up, but I do want to make a brief comment now on the fact that these works employ the use of exotic and stabilized hardwoods. 

These hardwoods are not always easy to source and so while I will do my very best to get my hands on everything I need to get you the work you desire, some supplies will be limited. If one particular selection proves popular, I may have difficulty sourcing enough material. So I would caution those who feel strongly about what they want, to sign up as early as possible, and everyone else to maybe think about a backup choice if that becomes necessary.

Another note is that the process I have set up for shaping these rather tricky inlays is only suitable for a certain range of materials, so while I am open to suggestions, there is a limit to what will work. Crumbly or fractious woods simply won't survive the process, and exotic metals and other materials are unsuitable for the work-holding and turning process I have built. Above is a sampling of some of the woods I am going to offer. These are the materials that I feel work best with this process. I hope that is useful information. 

OK, with all the tricky details out of the way, I just want to say that these new pieces are absolutely stunning and I can't wait to make some more of them. More soon, and as always, comments and questions are welcome.