Phoebe j284

bicycle parts, gears, drill bits, screws, lag bots, hardware, stainless steel, bronze, copper.

Phoebe’s head was once the internal gears of my Shimano Nexus 8-speed bicycle hub: the very first one used by my 200-pound disco tallbike, USB Cloudbuster. The hub died when a dog ran in front of the ship and I braked so hard the coaster arm’s strap broke, spinning the axle  and shredded the internal gears. While Phoebe’s head is able to rotate left and right, it takes some finesse and a little gear grinding–she gets the job done despite all that. Reminds me of the stubbornness in my own head.

Her shoes are also special. The left shoe was the shell of the aforementioned doomed and somewhat expensive hub, and both are aluminum. Steel cannot be welded to aluminum, so I had to do some very tricky welding to incorporate these unusual pieces. The inner sleeves are steel so I could make some rudimentary connections there, then encase them with surrounding and reinforcing supports.

When I look at Phoebe, I see a complex set of emotions, which have a range based on how she is viewed: a pedestal gives her power and poise, while the floor gives her interaction with the room — as if she’s been exploring on her own. I never weld a base to any of my robots for this very reason: while it can be tempting for structural reasons, my robots need to stand on this own two (or more) feet.


44 lbs. 1 oz.
32 x 18 x 14”


Close Siblings