Mittwoch, 27. Januar 2021

"Upcycle Fetish" - Spring 2021 Series

With everything difficult in the pandemic year also collecting the parts for the new "Upcycle Fetish" series has been a challenge. All flea markets, bicycle & parts sales, meet & swaps were closed or cancelled, my natural source run dry. I milled enough platforms for the "fetishes" and was able to finish a few pieces but soon was left without stems, saddles and handlebars. Lucky enough friends helped me out by clearing their "man caves" and referring me to other bicycle aficionados. So bit by bit the 2020 series took form and finished up in the end of what I think is the most colorful collection of "Upcycle Fetish" bicycle hangers. In total 30 pieces are available in my webshop.

Oh, and because I have been asked: Here are pictures of the hangers´ backside.

Montag, 22. Mai 2017

Upcycling the Fetish again

Finally and once again I finished a new series of "Upcycle Fetish" bicycle hangers. It took its time to collect all parts by roaming the local flea markets and bicycle shops. In the meanwhile I must be known as "the strange guy who grabs only old seats and bars". You may obtain a hanger in my shop. Information about how to mount the hanger may be found in one of my previous blog entries.

Mittwoch, 24. Februar 2016

The "Lightcycle"

When I was browsing the flea markets for bicycle parts for the "Upcycle Fetish" bicycle hangers, I stumbled over a couple of charming old bicycle lamps. They sat there and they were downright calling out for a second life. I already could see them shining bright again as table lamps but first of all I had to come up with an idea of what to use as a lamp platform and a lamp post. I have seen revived bicycle lights in table lamps but none seemed to catch the "cycle spirit" in a way I planned to catch. In the search for an idea all I had to do was to look at a bicycle because all the parts are right there – in this case it is the rims which would make the perfect lamp post for me. I began to mill the stand, collect and then cut rims in half, find the right screws and fixings. I learned by trial and error that only hollow rims are suitable for the job, any other would be too soft and pivot when cut in half. The platform has to be a hard yet workable solid sort of wood, therefore aged oakwood was my choice. When the first lamp stood firmly on its platform I attended to the electrics. I built a new (expensive) 12V LED bulb into the lamp casing, with attention to a warm and bright shine and a low energy consumption. Then came to most tedious part: Hollowing the bottom of the platform in order to hide the transformer, the electric cables and the switch´s body. After carefully soldering and isolating the electric parts I closed the bottom with a felt covered plate. A few touchups here and there, then hour-long testing, and here it is: "Lightcycle" - a unique, stable, safe and beautiful table lamp. All "Lightcycles´" lamp casings can be tilted vertically and all visible cables are cloth covered for a vintage look.

Explore the full range in my online gallery.

Tech talk:

Power Transformer
Input power is transformed into safe low voltage (12V) trough the transformer. The transformer is built into the wooden base. The On-Off switch works on the low voltage part of the power cable. The device provides electrical grounding. Protect the lamp and platform from moisture.

Input:  Voltage AC 180 V  - 264 V, Frequency 50 Hz to 60 Hz
Output: 12 V
Max. Power: 20 W
Max. Load: 1.67 A
Protection: Overvoltage Auto Recovery, Short Circuit Auto Recovery, Over Current Recovery
Startup Time: < 2 s
Holdup Time: 15 ms
Environment Temperature: -20˚C to +45˚ C
Safety: EN 61347-1 / EN 61347-2-13
EMI: Compliance to EN 55015
EMS: EN 61000-3-2 / EN 61000-3-3 / EN 61547
CE approved

LED Bulb
The built-in LED bulb provides a warm white light. During operation the lamp casing gets warm but not hot.

Input Voltage: 6 V - 17 V AC/DC, Frequency AC 50 Hz - 50 kHz
Lumens: 380 Lumens
Power: 7 W (= 33 W), 640 mA (AC), 530 mA (DC)
Energy Consumption Level: 6.8 kWh/1000h
On/Off: 120.000
Life Span: 30.000 hours
Beam Angle: 38˚
CE approved

New Upcycle Fetishes

I finished another series of "Upcycle Fetish" bicycle hangers. This time I got help from my mom (yes, my mom), who cleaned some handlebars. A tedious task which includes removing the sticky remains of handlebar tape, cleaning and polishing. She did such a great job that next time I will allow her to advance to cleaning the seats. 
Some folks asked me how to fix the hangers unto the wall. This is pretty straight forward: All "Upcycle Fetishes" are equipped with strong bails on the backside. You need to obtain regular wall hooks and - depending on your wall - matching dowels, such as pictured below. Measure the distance between the middles of the 2 bails, draw a straight line on the wall where you wand the bails to sit and mark the distance of the bails. Drill 2 holes where the marks are, fix hooks, that´s it. 

You can adjust the handlebar´s tilt by loosening the screw on the quill stem. If you find that your bike is sliding inwards (into the handlebar´s curve) at either end you can wrap a small cable tie and/or some handlebar tape around the handlebar thus providing a straight seat of the bike´s top tube.

 You can have a look at recent editions.


Montag, 5. Januar 2015

Back by popular demand

I just finished the third series of "Upcycle Fetish" bicycle racks. Once again it took a long time to collect the proper bicycle parts from flea markets, bicycle workshops, scrap dealers and tinkerers. And once again, cleaning the parts from their previous owners´ remnants occupied a considerable amount of time. But then came the fun part: choosing which handle bar goes with which seat and which handle bar tape. The possible combinations were endless. The result is a mixture of technical necessity and personal taste. When mounted properly all racks are constructed to carry a bicycle. But as you can see I took the racks to an additional strain test and - Bingo.

Mittwoch, 7. Mai 2014

Making Life

After having spent much time in creating "Upcycle Fetishes" (see below) it was time to return to making letters. Once again, Frederic W. Goudy´s book "The Alphabet and Elements of Lettering" was my inspiration for visualizing "the birth of the alphabet". The embryos are sculpted from polymer clay then colored and coated with raisin. Originally I planned to cast them in clear polyester glass resin. But since the glass bowls I found at the flea market were a little too big for that, I switched to gel wax. It was a tricky process: I wanted the gel wax to be highly fluid and therefore had to heat it for hours. The embryos needed to be suspended in the middle of the glass bowl, the liquid wax was carefully filled into the bowl, heated again and finally the bowl had to be sealed. Whoever worked with gel wax knows that it is impossible to avoid air bubbles. And while in the beginning I was discontent with the exhibits featuring bubbles, I now find that it fits to the concept of a living and breathing letter. See the Exhibits 31-34 in my Behance Gallery.

Dienstag, 8. April 2014


Feedback to my first set of "Upcycle Fetishes" was overwhelming. Now the second run of 17 pieces is finished, with the majority of fetishes suitable for hanging your beloved racing bicycle on the wall. See the gallery.

Freitag, 4. April 2014


Once again I set out to collect used handlebars, seats and stems and soon the new set is about to be finished.

Sonntag, 15. September 2013


On September 11th 2013 T.C. Boyle held a reading at the Vienna city hall for the annual city council event "One City - One Book". 100.000 copies of Boyle´s novel "The Tortilla Curtain" (1994, "América" in German) are distributed for free at various locations all over town. On this occasion, I was given the honour to present Mr. Boyle with a corrugated cardboard-cut portrait of the admirable writer, which I fabricated in 2009. Treasured moments.

Montag, 8. Juli 2013

Upcyle Fetish

The idea for the Upcycle Fetishes popped up while visiting a bicycle flea market. I started collecting discarded seats, stems and handle bars from dumps, scrap dealers and used bike workshops. I invested in a Bosch router and learned how to mill the mounting plate from wood leftovers. When I was half through the cleaning, milling, screwing and filing I found that Pablo Picasso has had the same idea with his "cabeza de toro". But whereas Picasso crafted a piece of art, I wanted my fetishes to serve a purpose. Originally I planned to build bicycle hangers but not all of the stems and handle bars were suited for this. In the end, the result is an array of "fetish hangers" with each hanger assembled to carry heavy load. See the whole set on Behance.


Sonntag, 16. Dezember 2012

Exhibits 28, 29, 30

 This series in my project "Evolution of Type" is about the birth of letters. I chose A, B, C, the first letters of the alphabet, representative for all. "A" is completely made out of wood, "B" consists of wood and polymer clay. "C" carries spawn made out of polyester glass casting resin. I wanted each translucent egg to carry a little "c" inside, so I built a silicone mold around glass marbles. After the mold hardended, I took out the marbles and I filled the lower half of the mold with resin and placed the "c"s on the hemispheres. Then I closed the mold with the upper half and topped it up with resin. The finished eggs did not need to be polished - the cold glaze finish made them shiny. It is a bit tricky (and sticky) to work with all this synthetics and patience is needed. But the results are worth the effort. See the whole series on Behance.