The Bathgate Artifact Spinner: a beautiful, hand-machined fidget toy

Machinist/sculptor Chris Bathgate (previously) continues his foray into collaborations to make gorgeous, hand-machined fidget today (see: the slider; spinning tops, slider mark II): his latest is a "spinner," made in collaboration with Mike Hogarty and Callye Keen from Revolvemakers.

They ain't cheap (but this kind of skilled-labor intensive work never is) and, nevertheless, are expected to sell out -- you'll have to pre-order to get one.

So down to brass tacks and design notes. While there have been many interesting spinner designs made already, one of the biggest criticisms (and it is a loving criticism) I could level at most of the work I have seen, is that many spinner designs do not transcend their medium very well.

Much of the works are machined out of flat bar stock, which is perfectly reasonable to do, but the resultant works also tend to look like they were machined out of flat bar stock. This flat-bar look, to me, is generally not very interesting (but exceptions abound).

So that was sort of my charge with this design, to break from this flat-bar mold and push the geometry into something that was not reflective of the starting stock. I wanted to find complexity within the relatively simple design that is the spinner.

But as an aside, I rather intentionally included the brass plate in the middle of this design, as a sort of reference to the flat stock criticism I was working against. As maybe a contrast, or some intentional dissonance, maybe even affection for those who came before, I think it is likely a little of each.

The Bathgate Artifact Spinner collaboration [Chris Bathgate]