The Tin Man has a heart, after all.
More precisely, he has a heart after visitors to the recent Recycled Arts Festival chose a ticker for the Tin Man.
As a side project at the June 27-28 festival, about 50 regional artists took part in a competition to make a heart for the event’s new mascot. People could cast ballots for their favorites, and they chose the heart created by Don LaPierre of Vancouver and Preston Kimsey of Milwaukie, Ore.
They built the winning entry with bicycle components. The core is a two-speed hub from a 1963 Schwinn bicycle. The Vissual Stimulation team fashioned the heart chambers from a special sprocket that was salvaged from a 1952 Schwinn bike; it’s called a “Sweetheart” sprocket. (Talk about sticking with the theme!)
“I’ve probably had it lying around for 15 years,” said Kimsey. Once he and LaPierre started fitting components together, “it basically built itself. Everything fit perfectly.”
That included the red chain that defines the traditional heart shape. Kimsey said he’d never seen a red bike chain until he bought it a few months ago. He didn’t need it then, but when Kimsey saw it, he had to buy it.