2012 Wood Kinetic Sculptures
Each of kinetic sculptures is a wooden machine powered by a constant force spring which must be wound. While visually interesting sculptures when still, they become truly fascinating when in motion. After a simple winding they entertain with motion and soft sounds for hours.
Labyrinth Kinetic Sculpture
Labyrinth is an easy-to-live with kinetic sculpture that meanders along unfolding a variety of hidden patterns while making soft, wooden clicking sounds.
This sculpture had a difficult birth. I designed the patterning wheels in 2007 but it took five years before I perfected a mechanism that moves them appropriately. One of the fine points I strive to achieve is the optimal pacing of the wheels as they move in either opposing or matching directions. The power mechanism has to be designed and tuned to deliver that exact rhythm.
To complicate matters, I love simplicity and efficiency and fuss to maximize run time while minimizing power input. I am able to power the wheels in Labyrinth with just a single spring and still get about 12 hours of runtime. The key is in the five balls providing a visual interest factor in the background. Yes, they are necessary! Visit the blog post here for more details on the design process.
Monarch Kinetic Sculpture
When I design a new sculpture my goal is a motion or a pattern created by the motion. It is never an identifiable theme or object. When a design comes together I study it in depth considering things like pace, rhythm, sound, excitement. Yet most others immediately identify what it “looks like”. It might be a crab, Chinese calligraphy, or a butterfly. That is why this piece is titled “Monarch”.
I’ve designed a completely new mechanism for this sculpture. It is a direct drive mechanism with the spring connected directly to the drive wheel of the sculpture. Years ago I designed another direct drive mechanism that I’ve explored in several sculptures including Evolution and Focus . It is a simple and very effective mechanism but is also limiting. My goal in designing this mechanism was to have more options in the frequency, power and randomness of each push.
For this design I wanted to use very short impulse bursts of energy at seemingly random intervals to create a slow chaos of motion. The many-veined construction of the large wheels were designed to create striking cascading patterns when counter rotated for even a short period of time.
At the center of this slow patterning chaos is the seemingly simple 2 pawl mechanism that controls it. The mechanisms in my sculptures are always visible but sometimes you have to look in from the side to view all the moving parts. In Monarch all the key parts of the mechanism are front and center, clearly visible. Now people who want a clear view of the workings can see it all, maybe or maybe not understand it, but certainly see it and study it. .
Name: 2012 Wood Kinetic Sculptures
Type: Crafts, SCULPTURE
Materials Combination: Wood, Eco/Recycled/Green
Colour: Natural Color
Artist: David C. Roy
Text Description: © Courtesy of David C. Roy
Images: © David C. Roy