22nd February 2024 4:49 pm
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Put the pencils and plastic gears away: create spirographs right in your browser

Ah yes, the omnipresent spirograph set; usually comprising of two plastic gears and a variety of pens and pencils to create a host of geometric designs. We won’t be surprised if you spent many an hour as a kid frantically scrawling a masterpiece for the fridge; we know we did.

Unfortunately our sets are scattered across our houses (or been thrown out by our moms) and while we could easily buy replacements, web developer Nathan Friend has saved us the trouble.

Dubbed “Inspirograph“, the website he created lets you make art right in your browser.

inspirograph

All you need to do is pick gear sizes and a pen colour and start wiggling your mouse to start the rotation. You can go deeper by experimenting with different gears ad by adding your colours with the colour scale on the right hand side.

Next to the colours there are a host of options to hide the gears, erase or save your project, and some keyboard shortcuts. The little phone icon gave us hope that there is an app to go along with the site, but it’s not ready yet and you can only leave your email address to be contacted when it is.

Finally, you have the gallery. It’s populated with spirographs created on the site and you can upload your own too.

Instead of showing you some of the – frankly amazing – pieces of work that have been produced on Inspirograph, we’ve instead sent the link to our editorial team and asked them to produce an official-unofficial htxt.africa art gallery. You can enjoy it below but remember; there’s a reason our job is to write, and not draw.

“Fever Cemetery Dice Chips” by Charlie Fripp

spirograph

Artist’s comment: My work explores the relationship between consumerist fetishism and multimedia experiences. With influences as diverse as Kierkegaard and John Cage, new tensions are crafted from both mundane and transcendent dialogues.

“This is why I failed art” by Brendyn Lotz

spirograph

Artist’s comment: A journey into the belly of the beast that is creativity through the eyes of somebody that doesn’t quite know why green and red are complimentary colours. Are red and green even complementary colours? I’m not quite sure.

“You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake” by Nick Cowen

spirograph

Artist’s comment: This took five damn minutes of my time that I won’t be getting back.

“Oh, so that’s how it works!” by Deon Du Plessis

Deon's Spyrograph

Artist’s comment: I still don’t understand this, dude. What am I doing here, and why?

“Ignatius Indignation” by Clinton Matos

sirograph

Artist’s comment: I successfully burnt at least three hours of company time spreading this through the office and writing this story. Truly, truly art.

“Clueless” by Lungelo Shezi

spirograph

Artist’s comment: When you don’t know what to do, do the simple thing.

When you’re finished doing art and want to do some coding, Mr. Friend has made the source code for Inspirograph available on Github.

[Image – CC 2.0 Flickr]

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