Fine Art Friday: Gears


Gears. Not something you normally think of when you think of art. Industrial machinery perhaps, but art not so much.

For me they have always been a thing of beauty, something that fascinated me. I have always been the sort to want to know how things work, often much to my mother’s chagrin. Growing up I took things apart to find out what made them tick, and put them back together again (not always successfully). Springs in ink pens, chains on bikes, circuit boards in electronic equipment, belts on a car, but always most of all gears.

There is just something about how they interlock, working together to achieve something. The what of them often being less important than the how. It didn’t matter if they worked a clock or a blender, then inner workings of things always fascinated me. I collected gears, built things out of them, needlessly complex Rube Goldberg assemblages of gears and screws that in the end often did little more than open the door of my latest Lego fortress, or cause a turret to turn.

All of this probably has a lot to do with my love of all things steampunk and Maker culture, but that is another entry altogether.

Gears are beautiful in their own right, but in the hands of a person with a creative bent they can be the most striking sort of art, combining the industrial with the every day, the unseen, often mysterious, inner workings of our technological world revealed in the most entertaining ways.
How Gears Really Work

Or take a more literal approach to impressionist art.
Impressionist Gears

Perhaps give a more striking form to function.
Gear Clock

Maybe even make you look at something in a whole new way.
Clockwork Insect

Look at the world around you. Wonder why the things you use every day work the way the do. Then find out why. This is just as true for nature, astronomy, and ecology as it is for science, engineering and technology. Don’t be a passive person, seek to understand, because only when you know how things work can you find all the ways to make them work better.

Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 12:07 pm  Comments (1)  
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Fine Art Friday

Welcome to the first Fine Art Friday here at the Labyrinthine Library. Consider this something of a weekly revolving gallery and discussion group on all things artistic. The impetus for this regular feature was an article on webcomics that was, I feel, unfairly critical of how a number of webcomic artist chose to present their work. That article’s conclusion? That if you can’t draw at the level of a Kirby or a McFarlane then you should hire a “professional” artist to draw your comic for you.

I feel that is, to be bluntly honest, a big, stinking load of bull hockey.

That is why we, here at the Library, will be hosting Fine Art Friday, where we will look at different modes of artistic expression and why each of them is, or isn’t, art.*

For the inaugural presentation, without further ado, I give to you the great Murloc Holmes, by Pikestaff.

Murloc Holmes

“Ah, are these the villain’s tracks?”

“Indeed they are, Mr. Holmes.”

“Hoofprints? This rules out most races except draenei and tauren, but it’s most unlikely that a tauren would travel this far. Besides, here and here we see traces of moth dust found only in Azuremyst Isle. Now we can further deduce from his tracks that this villain moved around a lot, although it wasn’t to back up, rather, it was to get closer. This indicates that he is a melee class–”

“Or an uninformed hunter?”

“Unlikely, Watson. I see no animal prints or feathers.”

“A… fantastically uninformed hunter?”

“Very doubtful. As you can see, the surrounding ground is charred by holy fire…”

“A paladin?”


“Brilliant, Murloc Holmes!”


The first major critera of art is that it must serve a purpose; that purpose doesn’t always have to be deep or far reaching, but it must have a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is to make the viewer think, sometimes it is to convey the artist’s views, sometimes it is bold and in your face, sometimes it is extremely subtle. There are times that the purpose is simply to record a moment in time, be it a moment of importance or nothing more than a moment of beauty captured forever before it is lost to time.

What is the purpose of Murloc Holmes you might ask. Murloc Holmes makes the viewer smile.

It isn’t some deep or far reaching. You don’t have to be a Holmesian scholar to appreciate it, or be a longtime Warcraft player to see the humor in it. Murloc Holmes is simple play on words that gave birth to a creative bit of parody art. Murloc Holmes might never hang in an art gallery anywhere in the world, but if he has made people smile, brightened a day or two along the way, then he has served his purpose.

On behalf of the Library I would like to thank Pikestaff for giving her permission for her art to be the first presented for Fine Art Friday, and I hope that everyone will join us again for next Friday’s exhibition, Mars: The Spice Must Flow.

*As always, this is in the sole estimation of the Librarian, and you are free to agree or disagree. That’s what the comments are for, after all.

Published in: on February 12, 2010 at 10:18 am  Comments (1)  
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