What might seem like a pile of junk to the average person is creative inspiration for Chicago-based artist Justin Gershenson-Gates. With a website aptly entitled A Mechanical Mind, Gershenson-Gates has a knack for transforming dusty old parts into all kinds of unique and clever designs. In particular, his insect-shaped creations, ranging from grasshoppers to dragonflies to spiders, are whimsical interpretations of the recycled gears. He is interested in featuring the often overlooked details of a machine’s interior, and he says, “My aim is to show the beauty of the mechanical world, a place generally hidden from the public behind metal and glass.”
Raised by a gearhead, the artist finds that working with mechanisms has always been a part of his nature. As a young boy, he would take his toys apart but could never quite figure out how to put them back together. Now, as an adult, he has mastered the art of seeing beauty in broken, and otherwise useless, gadgets.
Gershenson-Gates uses countless pieces, including watch straps, winding stems, gears, springs, cogs, plates, light bulbs, and more, to form the body parts of each insect, and one piece takes an average of several hours to complete. The artist uses complex soldering to connect all of the sections and the delicate designs are free from any glue or resin. Fans of the artwork can purchase these, as well as a variety of intricate jewelry, on Gershenson-Gates’ Etsy shop, here.