Machined, gleaming sculpture

Sculptor Chris Bathgate makes beautiful, abstract machined forms with edges that look like they'd cut and curves that are cold and stern. They're like the gleaming brass sex-organs of some exotic, alien life form.

Chris Bathgate Sculpture News (Thanks, Chris!)


    1. That last picture of the two brass & stainless puppets holding the fixture under the endmill is beyond awesome. The craftsmanship museum has always been a great inspiration to me.

      I don’t think those are CNC lathes and mills he was using, though- they have DROs (digital read outs) for precise position feedback, but do not appear to be automated. It’s all hand milled, with the aid of the DROs.
      And that is very, very impressive.

      I have worked as a machinist, and I can say that if Ho’s work is done with only DROs on manual machines, it is extremely impressive work. Especially for parts with such radical compound curves, and even more so on top of that in doing so in stainless steel! Stainless is very challenging to machine, and work hardens easily. He must have ruined 100s of pounds of the stuff learning how to hand mill it- it’s not a beginner’s material, even in the free machining grades.

      If you are looking at doing similar work, you can with CNC- but you will not be the level of machinist Ho must be. If you do it by hand with DROs to help, then you will be very skilled indeed. Don’t get me wrong though- if you just want to make something complex off the bat, I understand, and you’d still be skilled, just much more at programming.

      On a personal note, I own a Taig 3-axis manual mill, with a sherline 4th axis rotary table. I highly reccommend Taig tools if you are looking to buy a desktop mill- they are much better made than the small Sherline mills. And you can buy CNC versions, and add 4th and 5th axis for CNC with a trunnion rotary table holding a rotary table for only about 1000$ more. Good luck!

      1. Yep, been saving for a 4th axis Taig for the past few months. Just curious now seeing Chris Bathgate’s using an Industrial Hobbies cnc setup. Before now i’d never heard of the company. Mostly all you see on cnczone are Taig and all the chinese stuff people cnc themselves. Reading up on the IHCNC machines it looks like they’re also modified asian mills. Looks like the IHCNC machine is in the same pricerange as Tormach’s smaller offering.

        Do you have any finished work done on your Taig? I’d love to see it. I can’t find much taig cnc’d art on the web aside from some jewelery and small engines. Lots of tool fetishists though it seems.

  1. Gleaming brass sex-organs? Is this touching a nerve, Cory?
    I think 4chan has a board dedicated to that sort of thing.

  2. I’m surrounded by stuff like this at my job. However, the stuff I work around also does something useful, so the designers don’t pay as much attention to symmetry and form as they could. But they come close to this at times.

  3. Man, that is some gorgeous machining. I’ve only done a bit of lathe and mill myself, that’s some supremely careful work!

  4. To my eyes it’s reminiscent of a device that a Lombax might hurl at an attacking horde of robotic commandos.

  5. Just thought I’d jump in here on the machines. The IHCNC machine is great for the most part. I built it myself from a kit so I know how to fix it, if and when I do something I’m not supposed to to break it (long list, but call it learning). Besides that, Tormach’s use all steppers and while I don’t want to start the great stepper vs Servo debate ( I use steppers for lots of other appropriate things),in my experience, Servo’s are much more reliable, and worth a little more cost. But yeah the IHCNC is a good deal bigger as well and every inch counts when your trying to make a weird shape in an awkward set up. only downside is IHCNC is a small shop so there is sometimes a wait to get a mill.
    Thanks for all the compliments on my work. here is a link to a flickr set documenting a different sculpture, start to finish

  6. I dont want to peek into the disturbances of mind that, in some bizzare Freudian way,caused a guy to think that this thing looked like robo-sex organs (j/k), but

    It looks to me more like a grenade, or underwater land mine, from the suited aliens from the movie “the fifth element” the big universe-protecting lumbering beings that one got its hand crushed, leading to the events of the movie.

    These guys,

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