Friday, 20 August 2010

Reinventing the wheel -- or at least a tyre

I bought these two gunmetal "cog" beads thinking they looked like drums in a belt and pulley system. Thought I might use them suspended with some sort of belt (perhaps even a möbius belt for added "authenticity". But so far I haven't used them as I couldn't decide on a functioning design. Yesterday I flipped through some old jewellery-making mags and thought I'd abandon that whole idea and istead use it for another type of kinetic jewellery -- I so want to make some kinetic jewellery -- inspired by the rolling pendant in Jean Whittington's project Masterpiece in Motion.

Now, this is where I tend to get undecided: I've got two different ideas for the same supplies -- and I don't have any extras! If I make the one thing, I can't make the other. (Right now I'm having this exact problem with a few brass flowers as well...) As the pulley system idea came first and would utilize both beads, I opted to test that first. As I didn't have anything else to use as a makeshift belt just to see how it'd look with the wheel-like beads, I pulled out my box with rubber o-rings that dad gave me.

This is when something happens. I soon abandon my "design test" as I see something new in the beads when they are surrounded by the o-rings. They aren't drums, they are wheel rims. Add rubber and I've got a tyre. How could I not see that before? Not even when arranging the first pic I took of these beads (see top photo above), which I did days and weeks earlier. Now rims are all I can see.

My first wheel is the small one, made from the 10 mm bead and with only one rubber ring. It looks a bit like a fat bicycle wheel, the kind you have on children's bikes (but with a car's rim). Or perhaps something from an old-fashioned narrow-wheeled car (or tractor). For the larger 12 mm bead I use two rings so they'll cover the width of the recessed surface between the raised edges. That also looks a bit more like a car tyre as the rubber looks "flatter". But with a groove in the middle where the two rings meet -- can I call that part of the tread pattern?

So... I'm not very fond of cars, don't even have a driver's licence, but I seem to have accidentally "invented" a wheel. But perhaps it's no surprise, given I'm used to seeing tyres and rims in my dad's workshop. And have seen that since I was a kid. So the shape, feel, weight, smell etc of these is something I know very well.

Think I've stumbled upon something I could sell as jewellery for the guys (and the not as many female "petrol heads")? Not on photo, but I did string the larger wheel on a cord just to see what it'd look like as a pendant and I think it was kind of nice. At least if you like cars.

1 comment:

  1. I think the wheels would really make fab jewelry for all those motor enthusiasts out there. Simple and interesring. The beads look completely different with and without the o-rings on. Anna


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