JM Gershenson-Gates is a Chicago-based jeweler who creates unique accessories from discarded watch parts, in a bid “to show the beauty of the mechanical world, a place generally hidden from the public behind metal and glass.”
On his website, Jason Gershenson-Gates says he has always been fascinated with mechanical things. The son of a “gearhead”, and the grandson of a railroad man, he used to always take apart his toys to see how they worked, but never seemed to be able to put them back together again. Nowadays, he takes apart old watches collected from all over the world and rearranges their parts into fantastic designs. Although his Mechanical Mind jewelry series is nothing short of awe-inspiring, in both size and design, it’s his latest series of mechanical insects that caught my eye. The idea of making miniature arthropods and insects out of watch parts and dead automotive light bulbs apparently came to him recently, after a jewelry show this past summer. He was experimenting with watch part anatomy when he decided to create fragile spider and insect legs. One thing led to another, and now Jason has an entire menagerie of incredibly detailed mechanical creepy crawlers.
We’ve featured some pretty amazing works of art made from watch parts, but JM Gershenson-Gates’ insects have to be the most incredible yet. The level of detail for the scale alone is pretty unbelievable, but it’s the work the artist puts into making every piece that I find most impressive. Each of these tiny masterpiece takes several hours to create, and because the design is too consistent to suffer any breaks, Jason has to complete every one of them in a single sitting. That means he sometimes spends up to 12 hours assembling watch springs, stems, gears and straps, and soldering them all together.