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Pirsig's Bridge
Article © MAIL User: mithrilweaver

Pirsig's Bridge is named after Robert Pirsig, the author of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” and “Lila.” It is named so, because it builds a link between round weaves and ends round weaves neatly. Pirsig built a metaphysical, philosophical, and conceptual bridge between art/science and subjectivity/objectivity.

Pirsig's bridge is not a weave in itself. It links existing round, tube, cylindrical and pillar style weaves. If it were a weave in itself it would be called “Tri Cable” or the existing “Hex Cable” weave. It forms by having 2 in 1 or 2 in 2 chains connected with a center ring. The 2 in 1 or 2 in 2 chains form the outside geometrical shape of the tube. So, where “Roundmaille” has 3 rings at the end that form a triange, Pirsig's Bridge forms 3 - 2 in 1 chains and connects them with 1 or 2 center rings as shown here:

Image: patternpirsigsbridgewithcaptiveinvertedroundmaille.jpg

Pirsig's bridge really is a conceptual idea rather than an actual recipe or formula of exact ring combinations. As shown in the picture below, there are many possibilities for Pirsig's Bridge. This picture shows a stainless steel 6awg with 1” id ring being held captive by it.

Image: odditystainlesssteelpirsigsbridgedemo.jpg

Pirsig's Bridge can link different tube shaped weaves as shown here:

Image: demonstrationpirsigsbridgeconnectinginvertedroundcaptiveandroundmaille.jpg

Pirsig's Bridge can make a great ending for clasping a tube, round, cylindrical, or pillar shaped pattern also. Using “Orbital” and “Orbit” weaves pictured below,

Image: demonstationpirsigsbridgeorbitalunit.jpg
Image: demonstationorbitunit.jpg

it is possible to use the orbiting ring as the center ring in Pirsig's Bridge.

Image: demonstrationpirsigsbridgeconnectingtoroundmaille.jpg

The rings running inside the orbital ring then connect to the clasp or other pattern. This allows the ending to be balanced and symmetrical. The chain running inside the orbiting ring can be held without distorting the pattern.

Image: demonstationspaningtwopatterns.jpg

If the pattern has a captive ring already embedded in the pattern it is possible to close off the pattern, skip a portion of Pirsig's Bridge, and run an orbiting pattern inside the captive ring as shown below: (The rings closing off this captive inverted round must have very small aspect ratio to hold the captive ring in place, otherwise the orbiting ring will fall out with its chain.)

Image: demonstrationalternatepirsigsbridgeendingforbase3patterns.jpg

The aspect ratio is very important in Pirsig's Bridge, but it is impossible to give a formula that will work in every case. The combining aspect ratios are different for every weave and sometimes it is possible to have 2 or more combinations of rings with different aspect ratios. It usually requires some trial and error to see what works best in each unique pattern.

Pirsig's Bridge works best in patterns that have orbiting rings because the bridge wants to be held spread open. If the bridge is not held spread open, the rings will gather on one side and distort the pattern.

A minimum of 3 rings (triangle) shaping the outside need to be used in Pirsig's Bridge. There is a balance that needs to be achieved when clasping using the bridge. 3 rings shaping the bridge work best in terms of the clasp because the chain running inside the orbiting center ring does not want to be crowded. 6 rings (hexagon) shaping the bridge works best for keeping the center ring balance on the pattern. It is difficult to find a 2 in 1 chain that will fit inside an orbiting center ring with 6 rings attached to it though.

*Thanks go out to everyone that contributes on this site and others. This “open” reference source has been invaluable to me and my artwork. I divulge what I have created with gratitude in this same spirit. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

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