Working on What Might Become a Very Large (207ft / 63m) Suspended Kinetic Art Installation

Working on what might become a very large (207ft / 63m long) suspended kinetic art installation at the departure concourse at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica:

Image of Large Hanging Art Installation

Image of Large Suspended Art Installation

Image of Large Custom Art Sculpture

Renders of the suspension (designed with Rhino):

Image of Large Kinetic Art Sculpture

Image of Large Moving Art Installation

Image of Large Ceiling Art Sculpture

Image of Large Hanging Art Installation

Building the maquette (small scale model):

Image of Large Suspended Art Installation

Image of Large Custom Art Installation

Photo of Large Hanging Moving Art Installation

The design is by Tina Spiro with me and Ervin Nichol and inspired by the Petchary, a bird that migrates between the southeastern United States and Central America (including Jamaica):

Photo of Gray Kingbird also know as Petchary

See more of my custom hanging kinetic art sculptures or read more of my blog about mobiles and suspended kinetic art installation.

New Article I Wrote Is Featured on Houzz Today: “Art in Motion: The Story behind Mobiles”

Houzz is featuring a new article I wrote today: Art in Motion: The Story Behind Mobiles. It covers topics such as what mobiles are, the history of mobiles (including Alexander Calder of course), fine art mobiles, mobiles today, and how I became a professional mobile maker.

Image of Fine Art Mobiles Original Ceiling Sculptures Calder

- Read of my blog about mobiles -

Google’s Alexander Calder Doodle Mobile Wouldn’t Work in Reality

On July 22 2011, Google replaced their logo on their homepage worldwide with a doodle to celebrate Alexander Calder‘s 113th birthday:

Image of Alexander Calder Mobiles Google Doodle

The doodle was a Calder-style mobile that used HTML5 canvas which made it possible for people to interact with it and make it move. It ran a physics simulation on the mobile’s geometry and then did real-time 3D rendering with vector graphics. You can still view the doodle and try it out (and you should, it’s a lot of fun!) via the Google Doodles Archive.

As someone who has written code for 3d animations and scripts for 3d printed mobiles, I have a lot of admiration for the technical end of this doodle. But as a professional mobile maker, it can’t help to notice that apparently there wasn’t enough research done on how the balance structure of a mobile works. The mobile shown in the Google doodle would never work in reality. It has two completely unsupported sections:

Image of Alexander Calder Mobiles Google Doodle

And reconstructing the mobile in my CAD software and calculating the balance points, it turns out that a number of them are incorrect. Here’s where they should be instead:

Image of Alexander Calder Mobiles Google Doodle

If someone were to make this mobile, the lowest four parts of it could be fixed by adjusting the balance points to their correct positions. However, that wouldn’t be enough for everything from there on up. The unsupported arms would need to be redesigned first. So in that way, the above indicated balance point corrections in the upper part of the mobile don’t really mean anything. Structural changes would have to be made first.

- Read of my blog about mobiles -

3D Printed Mobile 1 now available in 9 different colors

Our little 3D Printed Mobile 1 is now available in 9 different colors (yellow, green and orange are newly added). Today is the last day to order them if you’d like to receive them by Dec. 24th. $9 to $11 each depending on color:

Image of 3D Printing Art Artist Sculptures

- See our other 3D Printed Mobiles -

- Read of my blog about mobiles -

New Article on Houzz: “A Top Mobile Designer Shows How to Create a Calder-Inspired Mobile”

I wrote a new article for Houzz: “From the Artist: How to Make a Real Mobile – It’s all in the balancing points: A top mobile designer shows how to create a Calder-inspired installation of your own“. It explains how to make a “real” mobile, meaning one in which the balance of the different parts depend on each other, which results in much more interesting dynamics than if you just tie a number of objects to a coat hanger or a horizontal circle.

None of the how-to articles that I’ve come across explain how the balance structure of a real mobile works in simple terms. This article provides you with a sort of blueprint for mobiles. Once you have that, you can apply it using any materials, whether those are just some random objects you find around your house, objects specific to a season or a holiday, or some mid-century modern shapes.

Read it, experiment and have fun!

Image of Make Calder Artist Inspired Mobiles

- More of my blog about mobiles -

© 2015 Marco Mahler