Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kinetic Sculpture Design

I enjoy making mobiles which are 3 ft or less in size.  It is my comfort zone.  But when I speak to friends and acquaintances about my current projects, they always ask "When are you going to make the big ones?"  My guess is that if you are not grandiose in your designs, then you will always be a small fish in a very large pond.

Did Alexander Calder become famous simply because he was grandiose in his designs?  I have heard people say that they were surprised to see so many small sculptures in his exhibits.   Laugh, I guess my next question to myself should be:


  • Should I take the next step and attempt to create much larger kinetic mobile sculptures?
  • Should I go the other way and perfect my desk mobile sculptures (bet you didn't know I have developed a line of miniatures, desk and bookshelf size)?
  • Can I remember how to calculate the tensile strength of a beam? 
It has been many years since I have calculated the tensile strength of a beam.  I spent 2.5 years in drafting school doing just that, and other physics questions that made me want to pluck myself bald (calculation for water displacement comes to mind)!  Oh how I wish I could have landed a job in any engineering setting!  For if I had, I wouldn't even question my ability to think on a more grandiose scale.  I would jump at the chance, eyes and arms open wide to embrace the excitement of it all!

I think in 2011 I will try to make a 10ft kinetic mobile sculpture.  Whats the worst than can happen.... I learn through failure!  If it works then I can be more grandiose in my designs :-)  Not so minimalist :-) 

I think that a kinetic sculpture should also be on my list for 2011.  I am so intrigued by wind driven kinetic sculptures like the one outside the New Orleans Museum of Art.  That would be an effort indeed!  Gonna need a bigger torch!

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