A new exhibition at the V&A opened yesterday which focuses on the art of making. Needless to say, bicycles feature heavily in the 105 piece exhibition.
The opening piece explains everything about the exhibition. It is a meticulously hand built dry stone wall. The wall, common throughout British countryside, is built using a single material, it lasts 1000’s of years and has multiple uses. The exhibition is a celebration of such clever use of materials. The pieces inside combine art, making, science and engineering to create beautiful and useful objects.
Sanomagic Mahogany bicycle
Using steam-bent timber and other clever manufacturing techniques more commonly found in boat making, Sueshiro Sano has built a fast and light wooden road bike.
Splinter bike: 100% wood
Built to win a bet and using only different types of wood, the Splinter bike has set speeds of 18 km/h and the makers say in the right conditions it could do far more.
Airbike nylon bicycle
Constructed using laser sintering, nylon powder has been fused into successive solid layers. This is the world’s first workable nylon bicycle.
Swarovski crystal low-rider custom bicycle
With over 110,000 Swarovski crystals the low-ride bike is a glittering sight. The bicycle was inspired by low-rider motorcycles Ben Wilson, the maker, saw on a trip to California.
At the back of the exhibition there is also 30 short films showcasing people totally absorbed in their craft. One of the videos features the guys from Condor cycles building a wheel.
The curator Daniel Charny hopes the exhibition will inspire future makers to learn and teach skills and create new things.
More information on the Exhibition is available from: www.vam.ac.uk/powerofmaking. Keep your eye out for the special talks and workshops. Especially, on Saturday 15th of October there is a bespoke bicycles workshop. It costs £63 and allows you to customise your bike using leather or luxury fabrics. The exhibition itself is free and bicycle parking is available outside.