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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