MAKE Article – How to Make a Mobile based on Calder’s mobiles

I wrote an article for the new issue (Vol 40) of MAKE magazine titled Make a Modern Mobile – Swivels and a weight give flexibility and stability to this contemporary design. It explains how to make Mobile 78, a mobile based on Alexander Calder’s mid-century modern mobiles with a contemporary design element to it. It includes a list of all the tools and materials needed and goes through all the steps to make the parts and assemble them.

Image of How to make a Calder style mobile article

There’s an online version of the article, a PDF version, or subscribe to the magazine (they have lots of other great projects in each issue!).

Image of Magazine Cover with How To Make Mobiles Article

Also, see the page that I made on my website here that explains some of the basics about the balance of a hanging mobile and see my blog post about what wire to use to make a hanging mobile and where to buy it. I also have a blog post with some of the questions that I receive via email regarding how to make mobiles and my answers and see some of my mobiles – handmade mobiles, large custom-made mobiles, 3D printed mobiles and kinetic sculptures – if you’re looking for design ideas. I also have a page with a definition and a short history of mobiles.

Photos of a Custom Hanging Mobile made with brass and two attachment points

Photos of a custom mobile I finished making for a client (Robert Passal Inc. – Interior & Architectural Design) last week. It’s made with brass and will be installed above a conference table:

Photo of Brass Hanging Mobile with Two Attachment Points

Photo of Brass Hanging Mobile with Two Lines

It has two attachment points on the ceiling (two lines) to keep the wider (upper) part of the mobile parallel to the rectangular conference table.

Photo of Custom Mobiles made with Brass

Photo of Custom Mobiles made with Brass for a Conference Table

The lower (narrower) part of the mobile can rotate full circle.

Photo of Abstract Hanging Art Mobiles for sale

Photo of Custom Hanging Mobiles

See more of my custom mobiles or read more of my blog about mobiles.

Where I get the materials for large custom mobiles

I took a couple of photos with my phone the other day of the place where I pick up materials for the large custom mobiles that I make. I can just stand there and imagine all the giant mobiles that could be made with this stuff:

Photo of Materials for Large Mobiles

Photo of Materials for Large Mobiles

- See my mobiles or read more of my blog about mobiles -

Acclaimed film “Alexander Calder” finally available on DVD

Alexander Calder, a film by Roger Sherman, that aired originally as part of  the “American Masters” series on PBS in 1998 is finally available on DVD. The acclaimed film shows Calder at work in his studio and never-before-seen archival films and photographs. It features interviews with Arthur Miller, Ellsworth Kelly, I.M. Pei, Brendan Gill, Marla Prather, David Ross, Calder’s daughters and grandson, Sandy Rower, and others.

Image of Alexander Calder Biography Film Documentary DVD

Here’s a preview:

- Read the Utne Reader’s review -

- Available through First Run Features -

- Also available on Amazon.com -

Two new designs for custom hanging mobiles

Two new designs for custom hanging mobiles:

Image of Hanging Mobile

The above mobile would be attached to the ceiling at two points to keep the wider upper half of the mobile from rotating full circle. [Update: see photos of the finished mobile]

Image of Hanging Mobile

- See more of my designs for custom hanging mobiles -

© 2014 Marco Mahler