Since these suspended clocks are constructed from sprockets and chain, I had a great desire to make one from bicycle components.  The backside of my Bicycle Clock is shown here in my old studio.  This clock took an entire year to finish.  The supporting ends are fifteen feet apart.  The rotating bicycle foot pedals are the second hand.   My artistic son Michael created the lady called Esmeralda lying on the shelf.

​​​​My journey to create wonderful objects that move began over three decades ago when I put together a wood shop.  Right at the start of my work in my new shop, I did not want to create stationary objects.  Building clocks seemed like a challenging goal.  My first wooden clock was built from plywood with the teeth cut on the band saw.  Most of my working career was spent creating digital speech compression algorithms at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC.  I took my crude clock to work to show the NRL machinists. They were not very impressed, and they suggested that I purchase a milling machine to cut my gears.  With the purchase of a used milling machine, gear cutters, and a dividing head, I built my first clock, shown below.  This clock as well as my other clocks are driven by a synchronous motor.

The two bicycle wheels, shown below, are the hands for this clock.  The reflector on the large wheel is the minute hand, and the reflector on the small wheel is the hour hand.  The Bicycle Clock is telling us that it is about 16 minutes before three.  This picture was taken with the clock in the 2002 Art League and Washington Square Sculpture Show on Connecticut Ave in Washington, DC.  This took one of the first place prizes.  This also took first prize in sculpture at an art show in the Mitchel Gallery, St. John's College of Annapolis, MD, and it was shown prior to a Kinetic Sculpture Race at the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD.

Kinetic Sculpture Artist

Larry Fransen

My Journey

© 2014 Larry Fransen

​​The wooden clock is a skeleton clock which attempts to show as much of the inner workings of the clock as possible.  At some odd moment, I thought it would be neat to eliminate the supporting structure that maintains the proper gear alignment.  I created the first suspended clock.  An early version of one of these clocks is shown below.  In this clock, the inner workings of the clock are suspended in a catenary from the two end points.  Our suspended clocks were the first clocks that had gravity determining the position of the inner workings.  With coworkers at NRL, I had been through the patenting process several times.  Since I was familiar with this process, I patented the suspended clock concept, U.S. Patent 5,521,888.  So, we now have patented art.

The Bicycle Clock now resides in a museum called Time Story in South Korea.  Korean school children are being shown the clock in this picture.