58

Bussola Mechanical Skeletel Sculpture

By: on March 19, 2015

While artist Jennifer Townley's Bussola is intricate and enamoring enough that I could probably watch it move all day long, for some reason watching it at all brings great uneasiness to my heart. Maybe it's the lumbering, unchanging pace at which its wood spines turn. Like death coming for me slowly, but continuously. Inescapably. Maybe it's that the spines themselves look like a distorted human skeleton rotating and bending and getting even more distorted in ways that human skeletons should not be rotating, bending, and distorting. Maybe it's that it reminds me of the bone organ Andy had to play to get the gang past another of One-Eyed Willy's obstacles in The Goonies. That scene was so nerve wracking! What if the floor had collapsed and they all died? Especially Andy, who was so hot!

But agitating or not, there's no doubt the Bussola represents a masterpiece of sculpting and mechanics. Townley certinaly has some legitimate artistic chops. She named her piece after the Italian word for "compass," gleaning inspiration for its coming to be from a 1514 Leonardo da Vinci design for a similar creation, intended to be a drawing tool. Townley's machine combines the whitened wood, metal, an electric motor, and mechanical parts into a 3D machine that works in the same way as the original compass.

Bussola consists of 4 hinged parts, converting a vertical movement at the bottom hinge into a horizontal movement on the two upper legs. Its movement is driven by a camshaft so that all of the elements move in the same way, but at slightly different positions.

Buy Now

Ascending Evil Climbing Skeleton Wall Sculpture

$183.95 from Amazon »

The Ascending Evil Climbing Skeleton Wall Sculpture is just in case you were curious what it would look like to throw a skeleton up against the wall in a hot blaze of passion and take it from behind. The arched back...

Check it out

OLOID Mathematically Perfect Desk Sculpture

$25 - $73 from Kickstarter »

Paul Schatz discovered the oloid in 1929. Yes, discovered. It's not just some rando geometric shape or ergonomically designed fidget toy. The oloid is a real piece of the mathematics puzzle, and Patrick Schneider's OLOID...

Buy Now

Vitruvian Man Action Figure

$75 from Amazon »

A 4-armed, 4-legged Vitruvian Man action figure is going to be 4 times the fun to pose on my desk at work. And 4 times the trippy. In fact, factor in the naked and anatomically correct to his spider count of limbs, and...

Check it out

Dripping Glass Jellyfish Sculptures

Daniela Forti creates these sick jellyfish sculptures and sculptural tables that I would definitely break within 5 minutes of owning using a glassworking technique called glass fusion, and a physics technique called gravity....

Check it out

Slow Dance - A Frame that Slows Down Time

$249 from Kickstarter »

Imagine a club in Vegas. A go-go dancer. Strobe lights. It's a spectacle of stop motion animation, the fluidity of movement altered by the way the flashes of light play with your eyes. Now scale that scene way down and...

Check it out

The World's Longest Tunnel Slide

$15 - $22 from ArcelorMittal Orbit »

Virtual reality may be a rising star, but the ArcelorMittal Orbit is going all-out, balls-to-the-wall IRL this summer with its curving, spiraling, plummeting tunnel slide. Dubbed simply "The Slide," this 584-foot-long...

Check it out

Hydro-Ball Wind Spinner

$129.95 from Wind & Weather »

The Hydro-Ball Wind Spinner isn't just a fetching piece of kinetic yard art, it's a Daddy's Little Helper that waters the grass or flower beds so you don't have to....

Check it out

Steampunk Optimus Prime

$17k from Etsy »

My theory is that this might actually be Optimus Prime and this guy has captured him, found some way of disarming him, and is now trying to sell him. I don't know if I'd be comfortable sleeping with this guy roaming around...

Check it out

Inspired Designs Ferrofluid Sculptures

$25 - $150 from Inspired Designs »

Ferrofluid represents the glorious union of science and beauty. Of visual art and tactile interaction. Of workplace boredom and sweet desktop toys. Inspired Designs head inspirer, Kyle Haines, creates his ferrofluid displays...

Check it out

Tempest Craft Blades & Sculptures

Need a sick rippled machete that embodies the Aztec goddess of obsidian and Lord of the Night? An Indo-Persian war axe? How about just a good ol' pair of ceremonial scissors? Bladesmith Tom Ward forges some of the most...

Check it out

Blake McFarland Tire Sculptures

And I thought using old tires for Cross-Fit training and Tough Mudder obstacle courses was a nice way to recycle. But when artist Blake McFarland hauls the landfill-bound tires he finds into his studio, he doesn't use...

Buy Now

Magnetic Hand Putty

$9.99 from Amazon »

It's the baby Blob! I wonder if this Hand Putty's magnet is strong enough to make it go all tongue-stung-by-a-bee-looking from inside a jar. Not that I'd want one. Shivers. I was 8 years old when that movie came out and...