Mechanical Picture Frame
The Mechanical Picture Frame is based on an imaginary machine that uses fire to
a heat boiler of water, the steam from which drives a piston up and down. This
motion is transfered via a brass chain to a series of gears that convert the
reciprocating motion back into rotary motion that in turn… actually I think I’ve
just remembered the idea was the other way around; heating coal produces coal
gas that illuminates the picture with foot lights, then goes on to…. you get the
idea. I like designing things that give the impression of having a real purpose,
even if they are purely decorative.
In addition, I love the look of metallic
components against dark stained wood.
Hence the variety of copper, brass and steel
parts with a real stained wooden background.
There is also a glass domed pressure gauge
which catches the light nicely and distorts the
gauge’s dial. I do like a nice bit of optical
distortion - if it was good enough for the
Victorians, it’s certainly good enough for me,
and hopefully you!
• The frame stands 26.5cm high by 19.5cm
wide. When hung on a wall it is 2cm deep or,
when free standing on the built in fold out
card support, 10cm deep.
• The frame will display a portrait image
15cm wide by 21cm high, losing about 0.5cm
around the edges.
• To allow easy wall hanging, the frame has a
keyhole slot at the back which will hang on a
screw or picture hook.
• The frame can accommodate normal sized
photos and prints, but is not suitable for thick
pieces of art.
A lovely design project, something
manageable, simple, decorative etc. But
wait… why do simple when you can over
complicate things? Hence the final design
which takes ages to assemble from roughly 42
parts (I may have managed to add a few
subsequently), but it does look good. I was
keen to give it depth, so there are many
different levels to the design. From the curved upper piston pipe, to the
holographic flames under the boiler. The shadows from these varying levels
providing extra visual interest.