Rotation Plate, Fischertechnik and Spirograph (1957-1970)
The two motifs Rotation Plate from 1957 are painted on paper that is mounted on a pressboard. It was drawn on it by hand by Franke while it was rotating on a record player. The inspiration for this method came from the documentary filmmaker Rolf Engler, in whose small castle in Kreuzpullach Franke lived for several years. Franke adopted this idea to draw small strokes on the rotating paper with a charcoal pencil, resulting in the typical spiral structures.
In the 1960s, Franke was intensively involved with the generation of ornamental structures and the question of how they could be produced by machine. The history of such machines goes back two centuries, to a time when the so-called guilloché machines appeared: A system of gears rolling against each other guided a pencil over a flat base, creating an ornamental shape of intersecting lines. Such guilloché drawings–albeit produced with computers–can still be found today on banknotes and securities. Franke not only dealt with the generation of such „line flocks“ in a mathematical-theoretical way, but also built ornamentographs for drawings of different structures with Fischer Technik himself. Franke also experimented with commercial spirographs.