David Butts: Mad Dog Garage

A Reverence For Gears - Making and Using Gears in Kinetic Sculpture

Website: Mad Dog Garage

Each sculpture starts as an idea and proceeds to hand sketches, notes and drawings. If it still looks like it will work, I draw it accurately in AutoCAD. If AutoCAD doesn't expose a fatal flaw, I build a rough working prototype, and then start on final construction. I use found and re-purposed objects, and build from wood, plastic and various metals. I try to incorporate gears in my sculptures, because they symbolize machines and industry, and as shorthand for the workings of the universe. I also love gears: planning them, cutting them, and watching them work.

Mad Dog Garage exists in the iconic Allen's Radiator Shop in the NW neighborhood of downtown Portland, OR. A bevy of fabrication implements: lathes, milling machines, an assortment of saws, drill presses and other tool miscellanea are used to create his work - interactive kinetic sculptures that can be experienced by passers by in his "sidewalk gallery."