Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mechanisms and Movement

Movement has always fascinated me: rocking chairs, wind mills, animated sculpture, clock gears, etc.. I remember taking apart an old watch when I was a kid and being 'moved' by the tiny shoe-tack–sized, paper-thin, shiny-gold discs with toothy edges that were strong enough to move other tiny toothy-edged discs to ultimately move the hands of the watch to precise measures of time. That was a mind-boggling moment for my kid-brain! As I get older, the excitement only grows. But never did I ever imagine that there could be so many different types of movement: linear, rotary, intermittent, reciprocating, oscillating, and irregular. Then all the different kinds of mechanisms that produce those movements: gears, levers, pulleys, cranks, rack and pinion, cams, etc.. And then compound mechanisms where different mechanisms fit together into systems. Nutty!

I don't pretend to understand it all but I remain mesmerized. For those of you who have the same interest, you might find the Mechanism and Movement section of the Flying Pig Company web site interesting.

By the way, I still have those watch components in an old box in my studio. They are so captivating that I could never throw them away.

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