The following images document some of the making of Gyroptere. The idea for this piece came from a French flying machine (that never got off the ground) built in 1914. This necklace has a series of 14k gold sheet wedges that can slide into the silver die formed 'wing'. When not being worn, the wedges disappear and the silver piece resembles a scientific model. Once picked up, the gold wedges freely expand to allow the piece to be worn as a necklace.
The cover of Popular Science featuring the Gyroptere.
A photo of the actual Gyroptere.
Another view of the Gyroptere.
A drawing of the piece closed.
A drawing of the piece open.
A full scale model made of styrofoam, matt board, hot glue & paint.
The die form & first pressing in 18g silver for the main part of the necklace.
4 presses later at about 8000psi each.
Here I have cut out some layers of rubber sheet to push certain areas deeper.
Here is the finished silver piece. You can also see the original test die form in copper.
My fire engine red hydraulic press.
Here is the die formed 18g silver wing. The front & back have already been soldered together and now I am starting to cut apart the sections. You can see the phenolic die forms and my paper template for cutting the sections.
To get an idea for the measurements of the wedges that will go in between each wing section, I taped the paper template to a model, and traced the negative shape in between each piece.
Here is the spacing for the back of the piece.
Now the wing has been cut in 14 sections. I have cut out the silver end caps for the sections, and have inserted wedges made of matt board.
Here the end caps with matt board wedges have been hot glued to the silver wing sections.
Now the sections can be pulled open, revealing the matt board wedges. This allows me to check the spacing and flexibility of the wedges to see if I need to make any changes.
After making adjustments to the matt board wedges, I cut them out again in copper sheet and hot glued it all back together.
Now that I am happy with the spacing and flexibility, I can take it all apart, cut out the wedges in 14k gold and begin to solder the pieces together.
The finished piece 'closed'.
And the finished piece 'open'.