1001 Ways to use gears
It has been a while since the last update and I have been promising some pictures for far too long so this update will be long and full of pictures.
Over the course of testing out the prototypes for the new Full Page and Compact Gear Sets I found several new ways of using the gears to make designs to add to my repertoire. There are quite a few different techniques so I thought that I would make a quick photo set to show these varied techniques off.
Here we go!
Let us start with a classic
1) gear in ring
*Note: The pieces that I am using are brown because I have left the paper on most of the prototype pieces so that I can photograph them with less difficulty. Taking the paper off makes them much easier to use when you are not trying to photograph them because you can see through them and see what you are doing.
2) Gear on Gear
this one is a little bit harder to do and requires some way of holding the center, stationary, gear still. For small gears I use a loop (or loops) of masking tape. For larger central gears I use a nice heavy jar or can. Ideally something heavy but not too tall so that it doesn't get in the way of my arm.
*Note: With the taped down central gear removed you can see that the paper is left undamaged. Tape can damage the paper when removed but with a little practice and patience it is possible to consistently remove the gear and tape without leaving any unwanted marks on the paper.
3) The Ring-Gear-Hoop system
This uses 3 pieces and makes a design that is different than you would get by simply using the gear (42) in the hoop (64) or the ring (96).
*Note: This was one of my newly discovered techniques. I had included the hoops in the set as a way to provide more large rings to use the gears in as a concession to limited space. When the hoops are nested into the 96 ring so that they are snugly in place then the inner ring is stationary and functions as a simple Ring-Gear system.
4) Gear in Gear in Ring
This one is a lot of fun and also a bit harder to do. For some of the designs I especially enjoy the moment during creation when it just clicks and goes from looking like a confusing jumble to where you can see the matrix and know what the final design will look like. For this you need to use a middle gear that has a gear cut out of it and a gear that fits into that sub-ring. Make sure the small gear in the sub ring can actually roll freely. For example the 21 gear is too large to work smoothly in the 24 ring.
*Note: Not all Gear in Gear in Ring systems make complected woven looking versions of the simple design. Sometimes they make wildly eccentric looking designs with odd symmetries or lack thereof. This post is not intended to show off the best of any of these techniques, merely to demonstrate that it is possible. Similarly all these designs are my first attempt at them so some of them are a little rough around the edges.
5) Multi Gear System (I need a better name for this one)
By carefully wedging the central gear 42 in place with at least 3 other gears the central gear can be used. If the surrounding gears are too loose then the whole system will slip apart at some point. If they are too tight then it will move jerkily or get stuck. This one is hard to use and setup but can be quite fun.
This design did not turn out super well. I went over part of the design a second time and you can see that one of the passes has much rougher pen lines. This is because the system was really tight and not working well at the beginning. I was able to smooth it out part way through and it worked better after that. I don't know if it was a change I made to my technique of if there was a bit of grit in the system that worked its way out or what. Sometimes it takes a few tries of putting the system together and testing it and just taking it apart and trying again until it works smoothly.
6) Gear In Gear On Gear systems
This is another 3 piece system that is a hybridization of some of the techniques demonstrated above.
In this example the design was complicated and dense enough that I actually stopped part way through. This technique does not always yield really complicated dense designs but they are common.
*Note: It looks like a mess but I swear there was no gear skipping or slipping in this piece (until the time my pen slipped and I decided to stop).
7) Hoop On Ring
This one is interesting. I have to use two hand to make the designs work because I have not figured out how to guide the hoop around the ring with just the pen. I am not sure that it is possible. So if you play with this design be warned that it is very hard. I have tried it so little that I cannot even comment on the variety of designs that it produces.
8) Gear in Hoop on Ring
This one is tricky and quite different than the other systems because it involves setting up some tension and then having it discharge in bursts. This can make the hoop skip on the stationary ring so I recommend proceeding very slowly with as little pressure as necessary to get the hang of the process.
(the pen goes in the small gear at the bottom of the picture.)
As you can see some of the sharp jumps in the design are smoother than others. This is because doing this design consistently is hard and I don't have much practice with this design because I just tried it for the first time just the other night.
Additional Thoughts: Remember that most or all of these styles can be done using non-circular gears and/or parallel lines.
Let me know if you have any questions. I tried to keep the descriptions simultaneously brief and informative but recognize that some clarifications might be required. Also, if you have a way of using Wild Gears that isn't shown hear please let me know what it is, that would be cool.
Thank-you for reading,