Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bike Wheel Modifications

At the start of June I participated in June Art Fest in Yakima. My sales that day weren't especially good, but I had some interesting conversations. Several of them centered around my spinning bike wheel piece. 

"Bespoke Piece" started in 2013, finished in 2014

The oddest comments just made me wonder about people. Several people tried to pull the colored "pod" shapes off of the wheel. (They are epoxied in place.) One person asked if the "pods" were soap. (Do you know you are at an art fair?) But one person talked to me for a while and asked why I hadn't  slid the pods onto the spokes of the wheel, instead of epoxying them on top of the spokes.

pods for bespoke piece with impressions for attachment onto spokes

The answer is obvious, of course, it didn't occur to me that the spokes came off. I suppose that's silly, or naive, but I ask all you non-mechanic, non-cyclers out there to really think how much you know about bike wheels--or pottery wheels or whatever specialized knowledge you don't have in your own career.

pods for new bike wheel piece with holes for spokes

Anyway, the upshot from this conversation is that last week I threw some bulbs and poked some holes through them so that I can attach them in a less obtrusive way onto the wheel spokes. Next I just have to figure out how to detach the spokes. I'm sure there's some tool or something. Pliers didn't work. (Stop laughing.)

lawn sticks from my MFA installation

Another useful conversation was with my mom, who pointed out how much she liked the complex textures on my lawn sticks (and basically all my other work ever). I don't specifically remember why I left the pods on top of the bike wheel smooth last year, though it could have had something to do with running out of time. I got on a plane a few days after I threw the pieces and never even had a chance to finish the piece until after my sabbatical had ended

pods for new bike wheel piece with sprigged and impressed textures
Since you should always listen to your mom, I added sprigged and impressed textures to the bulbs for the next bike wheel piece.

new bike wheel base in progress with bike chain set in place

I had used a bike chain embedded in a thrown form for the base of the first bike wheel piece. I liked the look of the chain and the base was stable once I filled it with cement (otherwise the bike wheel makes the piece top heavy and it falls over). I left the surface of the base smooth (time crunch again), so this time I tried a little more texture. I lost or broke the tool I used to cut the "path" for the chain, so I had more trouble keeping the "path" even this time.

second new bike wheel base in progress

I am partway through building a second base with some larger additions. I found myself a replacement loop tool so I should be able to cut the path for the chain more evenly. Since that challenge is apparently taken care of, I decided to make the chain's path more complex. You'll see later if I get it finished. Tomorrow's a holiday, so I better get back to work this morning.

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