Artist’s Tips / Nipples

I’ve started this category because I don’t think it’s necessary for each artist to have to discover all those things that will help them create whatever it is that they are working on.  

I invite other artists to share things the techniques they have ‘discovered’.  I know that in some sense, we are all ‘competitors’, but I feel we are also allies in the world of art.  Your ‘vision’ can’t be copied!

I got tired of running to the hardware store every time I needed, say a 1 3/4″ bolt, or I had a need for a bolt that didn’t quite fit any of the possible choices.  Because of the type of things I make, it doesn’t often matter what the diameter is.

From working with lamps, I have these lengths of 3/8″ threaded pipe (Avner tells me they are called ‘nipples’).  I realized that I could use them, put the nuts on them, and cut them to the exact length of whatever I wanted to join.  I use this to join metal and wood parts, but it could probably be used for other materials.  

Klockit ( sells these in 36″ lengths for less that $2.

About destructivetesting

I'm a self-taught artist who prefers to use found objects in ways that were never intended. I'm not interested in making 10 or 100 of the same object. This, of course, takes more time to make each piece. I also prefer a more minimalist look, where each part of a piece can be appreciated. I consider my clocks to be small sculptures with moving parts. And, my lamps to be small sculptures with light. My mirrors are reflective sculptures. DESTRUCTIVE TESTING means to push something to it's limits to understand it's structural performance or material behavior under different stresses. I interpret this in my artwork as using materials in different ways or combinations than they were designed to be used. I also just like the slightly ominous sound of the term...
This entry was posted in artist's tips, my posts. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Artist’s Tips / Nipples

  1. That’s a good idea.
    These are sometimes called nipples too (I think mostly in the lamp world (which also has other sexually charged terms)). You can get a 36″ 3/8″ dia threaded pipe in too. They are $1.75 each and 1.15 each if you buy 10 or more. (they are strangely called 1/8 IPS or 1/8 pipe for an old pipe size. The thread in any case is 3/8″ – 27)
    Also – looking at your previous ‘making it’ entry I thought to myself – why does he cut the nipple? it takes so much time. I buy pre-cut sizes at the same website. For example – if you buy 10 or more you pay 5 cents for a 1″ pipe. I try to have several lengths in my shop and just use the size I need for the project.


  2. I cut the ‘nipple’, at least on one end, because it’s easier for me, at least, to thread it through whatever I’m connecting if I have that extra length of pipe to grip with my pliers and thread it through. And most of the things I want to connect are not any standard length.

    thanks, Mike

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s