The wood, for the trees

by M

Campagnolo-Derailleur-wood-527x600Photo: BikeRumor

I missed this first time round.

Despite my mixed feelings about Campagnolo, I share most cyclists’ aesthetic appreciation of the company’s componentry. For the most part though, artistic representations of mechanical devices leave me pretty cold. The reversal of function and form offends my sensibilities, because I’ve generally held that when form follows function, beauty is inherent. Beauty of some sort, at any rate.

Rolex Daytona Cosmograph 1652-3Photo: Charlie J

When it comes to photography, I tend to subscribe to the view espoused by Ctein and others, that nobody cares how hard you worked. You can enjoy making your process more thoughtful and inconvenient if you think it helps, but ultimately it is the results of your labours upon which you will be judged. With an object of craft like a wooden rear derailleur, I’m not so sure though. Something about the patent futility of painstakingly hewing a complex mechanism out of a material as ill-suited to the task as wood appeals to me.

I may not care that you got up at 4am and dragged your view camera up a Scottish hill because the light was looking especially post-industrial, but I will kneel before your mastery of the Dremel.