Wednesday, July 8, 2015


As part of a large-scale project I am currently working together with a number of Tutti Arts artists to realise a bunch of things for Oz Asia Festival 2015.  In this case I have been working together with James Kurtze on a Sepeda Lampu, or a kind of illuminated pedal car.  There is a bunch of background information relating to Sepeda Lampus in the previous blog post.  James is an artist who has a particular interest in filmmaking and you can check out one of his great works here.  The particular character that we using as the basis for this outcome is a three headed snowman.  The Oz Asia Festival had it's media launch the other night and James' sepeda lampu was featured on stage, with him delivering the festival director, Joseph Mitchell, in a grand entrance on the Playhouse theatre stage.  The following post gives a bit of an overview of the creative process so far.

This is James and I waiting side of stage for the moment where James rode the sepeda lampu across the stage in front of a full house at the Playhouse theatre.

The machine, here, in the last phases of it's development before the launch.  The LED strips are powered by a battery carried on the bike.

A copy of James' concept drawings for the sepeda lampu served as the reference point for translation into a wire form that becomes the frame to fix the LED's to.  I used a board to mark up the drawing first before manipulating the steel rod and holding it in place with some tabs before welding.

Final testing of the mechanics of the bike before committing to finishing.  The wooden frame that creates the elevation for the LED frame work was chosen over steel in order to keep weight down.  The frame also is removable in order to pack the whole lot into the back of a van. It's quite easy to see here that the basics of this sepeda lampu are formed by a pair of factory build bicycles.  Whilst a number of the earlier Indonesian sepeda lampus were handmade, many of the current ones use a factory pedal car, such as a Surrey, as their base.   The Surrey's are quite heavy duty and can handle being ridden every day with a full load and come with a price tag that reflects this.  Our build matches the resources and short-term outcome that we are working with.

It's a little bit tricky to see in this shot with so much going on but I made a heavy weight steel frame and a set of interfaces to clamp all of the bits square before tacking.

Monday, July 6, 2015


This post is a little bit of a background introduction to a current project which is a collaboration with Tutti Arts that will have it's outcome as a component of the 2015 OzAsia Festival.  The project takes a number of cues from Indonesian cycle culture, some of which I have been a fan of for a long time, others of which I have come to only recently come across.  There are three main sub genres of pedal-able machines that I will share with you here.

The primary thing that the project responds to are Sepeda Lampus.  The literal translation is 'Bicycle Lights' and refers to the brightly decorated pedal cars that are found in the Sultan's Palace square of Jogjakarta.   These are available for people to take on short-term hire and ride around the square as entertainment.  They often feature sound systems that blare pop music.

The Sepeda Lampus are also referred to as 'Odong Odong', though I feel this refers more specifically to mobile children's rides.  I find these particularly exciting, especially the form pictured below that is like a miniature ferris wheel, powered by a secondary set of cranks on the machine, where your child is inserted into a small cage before being swung around in glee.  These also appear in a more motorised form!

The final reference in this set is that of Sepeda Tinngi, or 'Bicycle Tall'.  Having been a tall bike enthusiast for quite a while there are a number of things that stand out in the Indonesian subculture. Check out this great clip below that gives an overview of Sepeda Tinngi fans - take particular note of the fixed and backwards fixed tall riding demos!

Further to this radicalness, Sepeda Tinngi have a particular style, typified by oversized, triangulated bars.  Of course, these are best when taken to the extreme!

Sunday, March 29, 2015


This is somewhat of an ongoing project, as many things are.  Playing with the physics and appearance of a swing bike, this is my next level variation.  Absolutely unable to be ridden, this outcome is certainly intended as a sculptural art object, to be encountered and considered in a gallery context.  In this case I have pursued a high level of finish, including a clear powder coat, over sandblasted steel.   I will include the work in an upcoming solo exhibition alongside another bike project and a number of paintings.  Here are a selection of glamour shots.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I have just completed a fleet of ‘Kaki Limas’ for the Adelaide based group, Tutti Arts.  Tutti is an inclusive multi arts organisation creating opportunities for artists with disabilities to make extraordinary art. The collaborative relationship between participants, professional artists and the wider community supports the development of talent across a range of creative disciplines including film and new media.

These are based on food carts that are a common sight on the streets of Indonesia and form the central part of a collaboration with a number of artists from Jogjakarta.  Over the coming months these Kaki Limas will be variously decorated and developed as sites for performance and action by groups of artists working collaboratively.  They will be presented in September of 2015 as a component of the Oz Asia Festival.  There will be quite a range of approaches to the decoration and alteration of the carts - so stay tuned for updates and shots of the final outcomes.

A big thanks goes out to  Standish Cycles Mile End and Bikecorp for their generous support in assisting with the supply of some of the bike specific bits and pieces.


The final designs are somewhat of an interpretation of the traditional Kaki Lima as a number of the commonly used parts such as the particular wheels are not as readily available in Australia.  They also need to be component based to assist in their transportation and allow as much potential in embellishment process. All of the panels are currently held in place by screws, making it simple to add doors or hatches of any kind. Pragmatically, they need to be able fit through a domestic door frame and also be more mobile than a conventional Kaki Lima.  A brake was another component.  These have been fitted with a single V-brake, as seen on many bicycles, and have the potential to be fitted with a second.

Henry Jock Walker is a local artist who will be working together with Scott Pyle on one of the Kaki Limas.  Jock has also been assisting in the construction phase. 

Friday, March 6, 2015


A fairly straight forward  lathe job producing a set of rollers that fit an electric motor.  These particular ones will be fitted to a set of stationary cycle trainers and run in reverse, generating electricity, rather than using it.  Look out for Jack Ladd's Leg powered cinema coming to a site near you soon.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


 I recently completed a bunch of wacky bike furniture and bar dressing things for a component of the Adelaide Fringe Festival venue, the Royal Croquet Club.  Here's a few piccies.

Friday, February 6, 2015


I've had this idea brewing for a little while and recently had the opportunity to get it into a more realised form.  The combination of bicycle rims and frame tubes seemed to make a good set of materials from which to make a stool.  I was especially keen to try and develop a design that revolved around 3 legs so that a complete stool could be built from one frame.  This would be pragmatic but also offer the chance to really retain the identity of a bike.

These stools use a 20" rim and are about 330mm high.  I also made a couple of more table like versions that use a 27" and a 26" rim, respectively.


Making a good jig to hold things in place whilst they are tacked together or generally worked on is always a satisfying thing.  Here are a few process shots of some of the steps for making the recycled bicycle frame stools that needed jig action.

 Step 1 involves holding the rim in a centred position with a suitable frame that can have other bits clamped to and around it.

Step 2 requires holding tabs in place, butted against the rim whilst being able to rotate the whole assembly and make some discreet tack welds.

A couple of steps on and it needed a bunch more clamping, positioning and manouvring potential.
A couple of other jigs for this project included a kind of resting jig that holds the finally assembled parts in place an allows access for welding inside.  I also finally got around to making a simple circle cutting jig for my router - pretty much shed techniques 101 - but I haven't done it before.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Rat glamour darling


I've been itching to birth one of these beasts for a while and the planets have finally aligned.  There are quite a few variations out there of how to go about it.  I chose to float a steerer tube forward of the seat tube and create a square frame that more or less maintains the seat tube angle.  Here's a bunch of build shots of the usual ratty jig - also made to pump out a few of the square frames for future experimentation.  It's made from all recycled tubing, repurposed from otherwise forgotten and discarded bicycles.  I made a kind of double ended joiner for multiple swing appendages which may appear in other variations.