Sep 12, 2009

Art in Geek Jewelry


Some tech-inspired jewelry can be cool. When it’s recycled parts that help save the planet and look great, it’s flat out sexy. To the untrained eye, it appears like jewelry. However to the jaundiced eye of a digital warrior, you will get a nod of understanding for your wisdom in all geeky things. Even code junkies wear jewelry and move away from the computer and into the outdoors from time to time. Gadget freaks and eco-geeks can all get behind this type of geekdom and flaunt it with a flair. Here are 42 fantastic fusions of tech meshing with art in geek jewelry.

Do-It-Yourself Geek Earrings


Does she have a Mac? Then she might like power button earrings from an Apple computer. How about a pair of dangling earrings like the 3″ 1 Meg SIMM’s? Spice up her black outfit with these 8 pin black cyber bug earrings that are repurposed from microcontrollers. Ladies, you don’t need a guy to get you these. Do it yourself, literally, recycle your scrap parts into jewelry. Who wouldn’t like shiny and sexy? Such is the case with the chandelier gold plated double quad interconnect pins. All these earrings are sharp.

Eco-Geek Earrings


Sharp thinkers and those close to a graveyard of discarded electronic parts combine their love of tech with their love for the planet by creating amazing wearable art. In the upper left, two identity circuit boards, electronic DNA identifiers, have been recreated into cute dangle earrings. For something a bit louder, then a person could wear the silver hard drive head propulsion armatures in the upper right. Going out somewhere treacherous but want to go in style? The bottom left dangle earrings are both rare as well as designed for the hostile environment of outer space. The dangle earrings on the bottom right are historic and repurposed into fashion, but were once used in a Circa 1950 missile guidance system.

Hardware Hacked into High Geek Fashion


Does vintage jewelry appeal to you? On the upper left, these read-write hard drive heads have been recreated as a fashion statement. On the upper right, these RAM earrings are available with or without the sticker. Do you prefer Intel on the inside? How about on the outside by wearing these Intel watchdog chip earring on the middle left. Do you want to give him a jolt? The red dangle earrings came from a 5000 volt pulse charge laser power supply capacitor. It’s quite the mouthful, but they look hot. For music lovers who are also geeks, then perhaps you might like the read-write head from a CD drive like in the bottom left. If you like to keep your security tight with read-only rights, then the shiny gold earrings on the bottom right were recycled EPROM from Signetics military aerospace.

Vintage Geeky Jewelry



For people who like to wear pin jewelry or bracelets, this stunning collection should appeal to even the non-geeky. What makes them so special is that they are straight up geek. On the upper left, this chip montage includes various processors, EPROMs, RAM, and D to A converters from 7400 series chips. Yet on the upper right, this bracelet was repurposed from memory and might help make the time that you wear it more memorable. On the lower left, this vintage pin was recycled from a rare main processor. Do you love your cell phone? Then the middle bottom pin might be the thing for you. It was made from the first “brick” portable cell phones and had a previous life as a Motorola transmit/receive amplifier. If you prefer your jewelry as unique are you are, then the bottom right pin is a one of a kind collage of geeky guts.

Tech and Art Combined


Necklaces, most folks like them. These geeky fashion statements range from everyday to special night out wear. On the upper left, the red 80186 chip has 7 gold plated launch pins as well as a Bakelite gaming disk. The upper middle jewelry was recycled from an early model Apple 6800 processor. On the upper right, this technomontage series necklace combines both analogue and digital chips into a fantastic piece of jewelry. If it has to be Mac or nothing, then the bottom left necklace is all Apple. In the bottom middle, if you weren’t a geek then you might not realize this copper and embossed necklace came from a computer. The bottom right necklace is sure to be a conversation starter, which may benefit a geek since we tend to not be our strongest with face-to-face people skills. It is a vintage original and functional dosimeter that was used to read radiation exposure and measures 1 to 100 röntgen.

Splashy and Flashy Geek Necklaces


Can old tech be turned into splashy and flashy? Without a doubt, the gold plated necklace on the top left is a stunner. In fact, all of the above geeky fashion statements are but examples of eclectic fusion in art and technology. ArtEco caters to the eco-geek with their wearable art made from recycled materials. Both the geek movement as well as the eco-geek culture is sliding closer to mainstream, yet there would be many non-techies who will admire your fashion accessories. Don’t expect them to understand your jewelry has been repurposed from what makes us tick and makes us slick.

Geektastic Jewelry


If cracking open that computer case and tinkering with hardware is no big deal to you, then the gold plated screws and wingnuts might be just the ticket. Or you might select RAM or any other previously used piece of electronics to create your own eco-geek jewelry style. Unix much? Whatever operating system you are into can be reflected in your sense of style like the F2 and F4 necklace above. Seems like it is starting off right with the 69 blue resistors that have been recreated into this 15″ choker necklace. They are even RoHS compliant. It’s almost like it’s contagious; this eco-geek fashion so entertains us that we might make that next great geeky piece of jewelry. Recall that before you toss out electronic drum chokes or old pieces off your keyboard.

Geekdom: Wedding Rings


Rings, that’s right…wedding rings made from recycled male and female plugs. The creating artist might be trying to communicate a geek-coded message to future customers with the names of her creations. Getting married, why not consider Screwed (middle) or Jacked (top)? If it makes your head spin, then maybe the 8-Prong serial plug rings are more your style? We geeks sure do have a good sense of humor. So go forth and have fun creating your own geeky jewelry.


Green Art

Crazy Grass-Covered Car

Green art and environmental design are often thought of as pragmatic strategies for promoting sustainability such as guerilla gardening. However, these terms can also refer to a variety of creative art from colorful plantings to amazing living walls. Here are seven examples of green creativity that involve alternative uses of natural materials.

Strange Plant Art Mountain

Strange Plant Art

Plant Art Growing Process

Selectively grown plant art is perhaps the antithesis of the strange crop circle phenomenon. The above was accomplished by carefully planting and cultivating a broad variety of species. However, on the more practical side of things, adding extra fertilizer to selected areas can also create interesting patterns without compromising the viability of crops.

Grass Covered Building Interiors

Grass Covered Building

Grass covered architecture can be both artistic and pragmatic. The first image above depicts an art installation project complete with acoustical accompaniment and set in an abandoned church. The latter building is a working theater, and the grass exterior actually provides shade for the structure, though it is less practical than other examples of living walls.

Grass Photography

Grass photography takes advantage of that unique property of living things: growth and change over time. By planting a canvas and then selectively allowing light through, grass photographers create grass images that are at once richly textured and inherently temporary.

Moss Graffiti Lettering

Moss Graffiti Animals 1

Moss graffiti, like guerilla gardening or grass photography, can have a strong element of time – a period of waiting for the art to come fully to fruition. However, some moss graffiti artists also attach their creations in a ready-made form. Still, whatever the process, using moss as art invariably means that the nature of the art will change over time.

Painting Private Gardens Green

Painting Grass Green

Even in the desert of Nevada people have found creative ways to toy with nature, importing grass to one of the hottest and driest regions of the world for one week a year during the Burning Man festival. This is, however, perhaps not what the festival’s creators meant when they established the Black Rock City 2007 Green Man theme.

Green Panda Sculptures


Amazing jumping

Parkour or Free Running Building Summersault

What if you saw the building walls and other urban obstacles around you not as barriers, but as tempting challenges? Parkour practitioners and free runners do just that, putting into practice things most of us just associate with the movies. In real life, however, veterans practice these amazing arts of travelling quickly and smoothly through cities.

Parkour and Free Running

Parkour emphasizes efficiency of movement, while free runners focus on fluidity and elegance. Parkour has its origins in gymnastics and martial arts, combining movements from each and applying them to urban settings. Free running evolved as an offshot of parkour, adding elements of harmony and style to basically strict utility.

Amazing Building Leap

Many of the movements shown in pop cultural images and videos look simple but, perhaps unsurprisingly, are the culmination of a great deal of practice. Wall jumping, rolling and long-distance landings require careful shifting of body mass that, in turn, helps practioners absorb impacts that seem impossibly dangerous. Like the urban exploration of abandonments, these activities are at times also illegal.

District 13 Parkour

In recent years, more and more references to parkour and free running have emerged in popular culture. In fact, many people have seen parkour in movies without realizing the stunts are being performed without digital editing or other behind-the-scenes trickery. Know of related links or resources? Feel free to add them below!


Cart art

If you passed one of these awesome art cars in traffic, you might just run yourself off the road trying to get a second look. Art cars have long been a popular way for enthusiasts to show off their creative ingenuity. ‘Cartists’ , as they are sometimes called, are usually ordinary people with no artistic training, though some are metalworkers or sculptors. Here are 20 amazing art cars, from Gothic cathedrals on wheels to a van covered in practically every type of camera imaginable.

The Phantom

William T. Burge gets a lot of strange looks driving his creations on the highway, and it’s no wonder they don’t look like anything you’ve ever seen before. Mark, a sculptor, created “The Phantom”, pictured above, and ˜The Lizard”, both of which have been seen at Burning Man on various occasions, as have many of the other art cars on this list.

Mobile Muffins

These electric cupcake cars, also known as Mobile Muffins, were featured in a totally awesome video called ˜Cupcake Cutthroats” on Boing BoingTV. They were created by Kinetic Pastry Science, and were seen zooming around Burning Man and Maker Faire. From the video: “They wanna force us to be trans-fat free. Take a bite out of this, bitch”


The Carthedral is the incredibly detailed project of Rebecca Caldwell, and began its life as a 1971 Cadillac hearse, modified with 1959 Cadillac tailfins. A VW Beetle is welded to the top, along with metal armatures and fiberglass. Rebecca calls the Carthedral “a rolling Gothic Cathedral complete with flying buttresses, stained glass pointed windows, and gargoyles.”

Baron Margo’s Rocket Car

Baron Margo is an LA metalworker whose art cars are inspired, in part, by his conviction that automobiles should be more futuristic and imaginative than they are. When he drives around town in the Rocket Car, amazed passersby exclaim, “What is that?!” and Baron Margo answers, “Just your everyday, average rocket ship!” Baron’s metal studio is full of fascinating creations like a family of robots, a hanging metal dragonfly and various gleaming examples of what he calls “spacecrafts.”

The Dream Car 123

The Dream Car could have come flying straight out of a 1960’s B-movie involving scantily clad aliens in platform silver boots, but it is actually higher-tech than it looks. Created by inventor Greg Zanis, it runs on 80 batteries, has four engines and can reportedly reach speeds of 45mph. It can run for 200 miles on a single charge, and it takes about four hours to charge the batteries. Zanis actually created a special ’solar and wind tower’ that charges the car using renewable energy.

Opera to Go

This creative art car was put together by Houston theater group Opera to Go!, and won first place at the 2008 Annual Houston Art Car Parade. The Opera to Go! Car featured an opera singer sitting inside the mouth of an enormous sculpted woman. The car underneath is barely visible, recognizable only by the tires peeking out underneath and the side mirrors protruding from the cheeks.

‘Jawa Sandcrawler’ Star Wars Art Car

The Jawa Sandcrawler art car was created by J.P. and Dave of Gigsville, a somewhat organized group of Burning Man theme camps based in Southern California. For those unfamiliar, it resembles the vehicles the Jawas drove on the planet of Tatooine in Star Wars. Perhaps one of the geekiest art cars ever, it was said to be the hit of Burning Man 2006.

The Jet Car

The Jet Car was designed and fabricated by Jim Robertson, a sculpture who specializes in steel fabrication and assemblage. Jim transformed a Honda into this UFO-like creation by welding an angle iron framework to the vehicle and covering that with steel plates and found objects. The Jet Car has received several awards and has been displayed in the Houston Art Car Museum and the Space Center in Houston for an exhibit entitled, “Roswell: The Alien Invasion.”

Mirror Image

Dennis Clay’s career as a technical director for a puppet theatre doesn’t seem as though it would lend itself to metal sculpture, but undoubtedly he has a creative streak that influenced the playfulness of this piece in which two VW Beetles were attached roof-to-roof. You might expect some weight and balance issues with such a creation, but the Mirror Image art car runs fine and has appeared in many art car shows.

Ripper the Friendly Shark by Tom Kennedy

Ripper the Friendly Shark was Tom Kennedy’s first art car. It started out as a 1982 Nissan Sentra that has since been through several remodels that led to an opening mouth and chrome gills. Of his work, Tom says, “Much of my work involves the idea of transforming dreams into steel, whether in the form of an art car, mutant vehicle or some other fabrication. I love to enter zones of working when my materials, whether they be found objects or raw steel, begin to talk to and direct me.”

Neverwas Haul

The Neverwas Haul is a self-propelled 3-story Victorian house and was constructed of 75% recycled materials. It is built on the base of a fifth wheel travel trailer, and measures 24 feet long by 24 feet high and 12 feet wide. The creators of the Neverwas Haul are a group of self-described tinkerers, fabricators and artists who are compelled by the desire to portray a Jules Verne-style world in which steam technology is considered cutting edge.

Splinter & Little Splinter

Wood sculptor Isaac Cohen built Splinter and Little Splinter over thousands of painstaking hours of shaping, sanding and waxing pieces of wood. The unusual shape of these two art cars resembles upside-down boats, evidence of the fact that curved wood is Isaac’s specialty.

The Camera Van

Harrod Blank, a photographer who has taken the photos of several of the cars on this list, has a very appropriate art car of his own: the Camera Van. Covered in hundreds of cameras of various types and sizes, the Camera Van was conceived in 1993 when Harrod had a dream about covering his car with cameras and driving around taking photos of people on the streets. The van’s front grill features every type of Polaroid camera ever made, and four fully-functional 32 color monitors on the passenger side broadcast the closed-circuit image of what the van’s working video and still cameras capture.

The Sunflower Car

The Sunflower Car started with the kind of vision that only a truly skilled sculptor would be brave enough to take on. Sculptor and co-founder of Sacred Heart Studio Tim Young’s welding skills were gained through years of working in the awning, skylight and ship building industries.

“Evil” Art Car

This two-faced evil art car appeared at Burning Man 2006, and seems to be made up of three golf carts strung together along with a giant sculptural head, foam tentacle-like hair and a bobbing whirligig tail.

The Duke by Rick McKinney

Gonzo writer Rick McKinney has created one of the wildest art cars ever, with thousands of random objects attached to the body of the vehicle seemingly without rhyme or reason. If you take a close look you’ll see baby dolls, plastic fruit, typewriter keys, antlers, animal bones, circuit boards, graffiti (including an autograph by Weird Al Yankovich) and many other objects adorning The Duke, which has traveled many miles across the country. It looks like a crazed carnival on wheels, and it all started with a 1976 Ford Granada. The top part of the car is a actually a loft bedroom comprised of the exteriors of 23 old travel trunks bound together with steel rebar, spray foam and silicone.

Maid Marian’s Cat Car

Marian Goodell, aka Maid Marian, built the Cat Car in 2005 for Burning Man. It is entirely covered in faux fur, with a bent tail that towers over the body. No word on what sort of vehicle is hiding underneath that mottled coat.

The California Fantasy Van

The California Fantasy Van is a 1975 GMC Panel Van and was embellished within an inch of its life by Ernie Steingold, a vacuum cleaner repairman. Ernie spent more than 10 years covering the Fantasy Van with 5,000 brass objects and coins. It iss now on display at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

Circuit Board Car

It is an art car to make the nerdcore set proud: a vehicle completely covered in circuit boards. This takes geek art to a whole new level. This was snapped in traffic by Avi Abrams, so the actual owner is unknown.

The Phone Car

The Phone Car was welded by Dave Huntress and is proudly driven by Howard Davis, the owner of Datel. It was created from aluminum sheets, welded together and formed to provide a molded plastic look. The black face plate of the phone car is tempered glass, which allows the driver to see out. It can go up to 50mph, and was originally built in 1983 as part of a trade show exhibit. And yes, there is indeed a car phone in the phone car.


Dining Table Designs

The idea of a dedicated dining room is still relatively new; they’ve only been a common floor plan feature since the mid-19th century. Since then, dining rooms have largely been ignored by designers who would rather focus their attention on the rooms where we spend more of our time. Even so, there are still some truly excellent furnitures to be found for this under-appreciated room.

unusual dining room furniture cube 6

unusual dining room furniture cube 6

The Cube 6, from Japanese designer Naho Matsuno, lets you seat a ton of people without taking up your entire dining room. The sides of the cube all pull out to become six individual stools. When assembled, the cube is only a shade under 14 square inches on each side. It’s a simple design that works way better than having six folding chairs stashed in your closet.

unusual dining room furniture disappearing table

unusual dining room furniture disappearing table

If you’ve ever lived in a tiny apartment, you know that “dining room” really means “itty-bitty corner of the living room where you can’t fit a table and chairs.” For small rooms, a space-economizing dining set like this disappearing round dining table from NYIT student designers is a must. The tabletop itself stays stationary while the chairs and eating spaces are pulled out from the column.

unusual dining room furniture stepladder chair

unusual dining room furniture stepladder chair

WebUrbanist loves transforming furniture, and this transforming chair (which may or may not have been invented by Ben Franklin) is a fine example. You can go from a dining chair to a step-stool in one simple movement, giving you an extended reach and eliminating the need to risk your neck by standing on your tiptoes on a dining chair.

unusual dining room furniture musical table

unusual dining room furniture musical table

Designer Fumiaki Goto is on a mission to make meal times more musical. This marimba-like table allows you to gorge on beautiful sounds while enjoying a meal. Each time an object touches a bar on the top of the table, a sound resonates in the pipes below.

unusual dining room furniture xpand table

unusual dining room furniture xpand table

When you need a lot of seating area but don’t want the table to dominate the dining room, finding just the right dining table is not easy. You could get a table with a removable center leaf, but you’ve still got to figure out what to do with the leaf when it’s not being used and deal with assembling and disassembling it every time you use it. This ingenious table solves that problem by using some very clever accordion-style pieces in the middle of the table. While the expanding middle of the table allows it to become larger according to need, it also serves as an attractive and interesting feature.

unusual dining room furniture composting digestive table

unusual dining room furniture composting digestive table

Some ideas are so simple and common-sense that you wonder why no one has done them before…and then you realize that it’s because the idea is sort of gross. The Digestive Table from Amy Youngs is just such an idea. It incorporates eating with composting, something that makes a lot of sense. When you’re done with dinner, you throw the scraps into the built-in compost heap inside the table. Then sowbugs, bacteria and worms help the material decompose and turn it into luscious natural fertilizer that feeds the plants kept at the bottom of the table. If you want to lose your appetite (and so have more food to feed the table), watch the attached LED monitor to see live decomposition action from inside the table. The Digestive Table isn’t commercially available, but the website does include a construction diagram so you can build one yourself.

unusual dining room furniture cube table

unusual dining room furniture cube table

Another space-saving dining room design, Cube Style features a tiny square table with two booths. All three pieces fit together to form a box when not in use. The table top remains available for holding decorative items or acting as a desk even when the benches are in place. This dining set may save you from eating dinner with the plate balanced on your knees.

unusual dining room furniture led lighted table

unusual dining room furniture led lighted table

If you enjoy soft lighting with your meal, this LED-lighted table is perfect. It interacts with your movement above it, creating unique light shows every time you use it. The best part of all is that Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories are giving away for free the plans to build this awesome table.