Designs and collaborations:

This section is meant to highlight sculpture projects that intentionally straddle the worlds of fine art and design.  

Each of the works below represent a small departure from my typical sculpture practice. Some are design collaborations with makers that I have come to know, others are investigations into concepts and trends I have observed within the machinist community. As such, the works on this page require a little more context and explanation than my main body of work, as they represent a rather intentional delve into the commerciality of modern machine work as a fine/decorative arts cottage industry. 

 

Note to collectors: Many of these designs are produced as limited editions and sold through a preorder system via my newsletter. Due to the limited quantities produced of each design, these one time pre-order events often sell out in just minutes. If you are interested in collecting you must be on the mailing list to be notified and participate in the sign up sales as they happen. The availability window for these editions is very small, so if you are interested, you can sign up for the newsletter on the contacts page. 

SMV3 (Snatch Vessel)

The third installment in my vessel series, this work incorporates a mechanism that I struggled with for many years before hitting on a design that was both functionally, and aesthetically compelling. 

MG3

An unintended third iteration of my MG series, this design was inspired by a small change in materials that opened the door to an unexpected variant. ​

The MG-2

The second iteration of my "Magnetic Glider" design, this work introduces an inlay that is as strategic as it is colorful. 

NV2

The second installment in a mechanical vessel series, this work explores the contrasts and parallels between the traditional craft forms of other fine arts crafts of industrial origin. 

OTFB

Inspired by mechanics used in the knife making community, this edition is a first step into exploring some of the themes that knife makers use in regards to machining as a craft and its relationship to the decorative arts. 

MG-1

A bit of a tangent to some of my Slider work, this piece incorporates magnets and a track system that sets this edition apart as its own distinct engineered piece of sculpture. 

The S3 kinetic pocket sculpture

The third and final design in my "Slider" kinetic pocket sculpture series, the S3 is a larger more complex permutation of a strangely popular design experiment. 

Also See S1 and S2

The W3

This work is a return to something purely sculptural. While it has no kinetic features, it borrows visually from my previous work on functionally aesthetic pieces.

The Bathgate Ratchet

This series is another entry in my growing line of mechanical experiments intended to bridge my sculpture practice with the utilitarian trends I am observing in the machinist community at large. 

Netsuke Hybrid Vessel Bead

My second design collaboration with Mike and Callye from Revolvemakers. This mechanical vessel-like work is an expedition into what most would characterize as the decorative arts.

 

This work is an amalgam of disparate ideas I have encountered over the years. It is also inspired by traditional Chinese and Japanese craft traditions that, to me, seem to have relevance to the machinist craft movement developing today.

 

It is a project that encapsulates the many intersections between art and design as they are popularly understood. 

Slider Sculpture Kinetic work (S1V2)

This project was intended as a way to bridge my sculpture practice with the utilitarian trends I was observing in the machinist community at large. I have been inspired by many machinists who are exploring aesthetic elements within their craft while creating a range of products, tools and equipment (I.E. not necessarily art). While the work of other machinist has been very influential for me, I also feel that much of it is too constrained by the desire to only make objects with a defined function or real world use.

 

To that end, the original Slider was designed as an art piece with a mechanical function, but a function that was trivial and did not interfere with the work being appreciated as a piece of sculpture.

 

This is the third in a series of kinetic pieces intended to dispel the notion that the worlds of fine art, design, and craft, are distinctly different. A return to my original form, this will likely be my last design for the Slider series before I expand the pocket sculpture idea to incorporate new mechanics and compositions.  

"Artifact" Spinner collaboration with Revolvemakers

This project was a collaboration with Mike Hogarty and Callye Keen  from Revolvemakers. When we started this project, spinners were a little known machinist made object that was relegated to a small niche of collectors and enthusiasts within the maker community.  By the end of the project, spinners had inexplicably become a worldwide phenomenon.

 

Regardless of this change in popularity, "Spinners" as an art object, remain an interesting medium with which to explore a range of design and sculptural concepts.

Slider Sculpture Kinetic work (S2)

This is the second iteration of my original Slider sculpture concept, building on the original mechanics led to a much more complex design, which dramatically changed the look of the piece.

 

Produced as a very limited edition, these works have become highly sought after collector pieces.  

"The Bathgate" Billetspin top collaboration

This collaboration with machinist Richard Stadler from Billetspin is the first in a series of planned collaborations with various creators who, like me, are working to explore the aesthetic possibilities of contemporary machine work as a creative medium.

 

Rich makes some of the most beautiful machined spinning tops you will ever see, teaming up with him was a fascinating look into another makers world, and yielded many sculptural insights.   

Worry Stones and the original Slider sculpture (S1)

Originally intended as a way to bridge the utilitarian nature of my craft and the aesthetics concepts I was pursuing, this project has morphed into something quite different.

 

These Slider sculptures have become incredibly popular within the maker community for their ability to exist as both art and functional object.

 

To explore this idea further, I have embarked on making a series of kinetic pieces to further blur the lines between the worlds of fine art, design, and craft. This project was the first of its kind.

Chess set

There is quite a long tradition of artists taking on the challenge of redesigning the iconic chess set. Many do it as an academic exercise, some out of the love for the game, others for conceptual reasons. In my case, it was equal parts history and technical challenge.

 

This is one of my real first forays into creating something semi functional. In this project, I found a rare opportunity to try and put the visual language arising out of my sculpture practice into a unique, yet familiar context.

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© 2014 Chris Bathgate

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