The Future of Transportation
Chesterfield sculptor James Kitchen wants to put the “Spring back in Springfield” with a new vehicle called the Velociturn. His giant 8-foot monopod is made up entirely from locally found recycled objects.
The nummular design evokes visions of early monopod concepts with the added dimension of it being powered by a large spring. Harnessing a non-polluting source fit in with the many early steam and battery powered vehicles created in the late 19th Century and seemed a plausible venture for me to navigate,” stated Kitchen. He added, “Of course winding stations will now spring up all around much like gas stations. Your MPW, or miles per Wind, will dictate how far you can travel before stopping to get wound up again for your trip before finally reaching your destination and later unwinding with a thrilling ride to recount.
His first winding station will be on display along with the Velocitron at the Springfield Museums. It will be part of a retro-future exhibition called Steampunk Springfield: Re-Imagining an Industrial City. It will be on view from March 22 to September 28, 2014 in the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History.
Kitchen recounted that, “The first gas powered car in America was created in Springfield by two brothers in the Bicycle business. Later the Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company, founded by two former bicycle racers was also produced in Springfield along with many other bike manufacturers. I imagined creating another mode of transportation that might have also evolved from this early transition from the bicycle to the motorcycle and car and was inspired by the vehicles now on display in the collection at the Woods Museum.”
Recently Kitchen met with Cichy’s Garage owner Mitchell Cichy. They agreed to have Williamsburg’s first Winding Station go up there as Cichy is also putting in a Tesla charging station at this location. This agreement had Kitchen wound up too so he went next door to see Doug Baker, Vice-president at the Florence Bank, about how much he thought it would cost for a loan for a Velociturn...Baker just shook his head and stated that after looking at the Velociturn, he expected the biggest cost involved would be insurance for the contraption.
As part of this exhibit, Kitchen will conduct a walking tour of downtown Springfield where he has 100 sculptures on display including a 35-foot tall bird at 1350 Main. The tour starts at 10:30 AM on April 10th at the Springfield Museums Welcome Center on Edwards St and lasts until noon. The tour will include the Velociturn and viewing an 18-foot tall Winding Tower installed at 1550 Main where 60 sculptures are also on display inside and refreshments will be served there.
Day’s End, a 20-foot sculpture created by Kitchen is currently on display in Northampton on Main Street in front of the Old Courthouse.
In April, James Kitchen & the Appliances will perform “If the Velociturn crashes, you’ll see me in the Spring” in Goshen at the Town Hall for the Council on Aging. This event is free and open to the public.
Watch a short video about James Kitchen’s Cannon, located at the Springfield Armory as part of the Steam Punk Exhibit.
The Velociturn will be on view from March 22 to September 28, 2014 in the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History.