For the past year, sculptor machinist Chris Bathgate has been designing a series of handheld, kinetic fidget toys, starting with a "slider" and then a top, a worry stone, a spinner, and a netsuke.
The latest addition is the "Bathgate Ratchet": "This work uses a unique ratcheting mechanism. Basically the center sphere has a stepped bearing guide that only allows the ball bearings and springs that are nested inside to ride around the track in a single direction. This has the effect of revolving the inner geometry in steps when you sort of move the outer parts in a butterfly motion. It is similar to how a socket wrench works."
Bathgate is going to manufacture at least 99 of these, with a signup opening on Nov 2. No price is announced yet, but they're not going to be cheap: each one is hand-machined by a master machinist, and there's more demand than there is supply.
I have settled on four colors, Deep copper Orange, Charcoal Black, Deep Cyan Blue, and the very much requested as of late, purple violet.
While I could have chosen any number of colors for the anodizing, I think a limited palette is preferable. These are the colors I feel work best for this geometry, so lets save some of the others for the future.
But just because I am limiting colors, it does not mean that I am not open to the idea of doing a two tone combo though!
Introducing "The Bathgate Ratchet"
I'm in the midst of couple of weeks' worth of lectures, public events and teaching, and you can catch me in Toronto (for Word on the Street, Seeding Utopias and Resisting Dystopias and 6 Degrees); Newry, ME (Maine Library Association) and Portland, ME (in conversation with James Patrick Kelly).
Octavia Butler (previously), the brilliant Afrofuturist, McArthur Genius Grant-winning science fiction writer, died far, far too soon, leaving behind a corpus of incredible, voraciously readable novels, and a community of writers who were inspired by her example.
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