Swirling wood sculptures have me mesmerized

comments (5) April 8th, 2009 in blogs

MKenney Matthew Kenney, special projects editor
thumbs up 11 users recommend

Scroll down to this funky sculpture in full motion. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Scroll down to this funky sculpture in full motion.

I appreciate fine arts. When I was in graduate school in Washington, DC, I lived on Capitol Hill and spent a lot of time in the musuems on the National Mall. I would spend hours and hours in the National Gallery.

But when it comes to woodworking, I like functional furniture. There's something about taking a functional object and making it beautiful that appeals to me. I must admit however, that the two sculptures in these videos have opened my perspective a bit. Perhaps generating enjoyment is the purpose (function) of these pieces. And that is a perfectly good purpose. Take a look, and let me know what you think.

First up is a kinetic sculptures by clock maker Clayton Boyer. It's called Galileo's Bicycle (I haven't the foggiest why), and it just rocks. It's graceful movement has me wanting to make one. Boyer sells plans. So, perhaps I should add it to my list of projects, as if it weren't long enough already. If you want to see the difference music choice can make, watch this video of the same sculpture.


Next up is a kinetic sculpture by David Roy. I like the sculpture, but I also like the guy who winds it up and explains the clicking noise. His bald head (not as bald as mine), the turtleneck shirt, the way he comes into the frame and then out of it - all of that is so cool for some reason.



Enjoy the videos. And let me know what you think. It's always nice to have discussion about design, aesthetics, the nature of woodworking, and the like. And, of course, that would let me put some of philosophic training to use.

Here's a late addition, thanks to Panch, who links to this video in his comment below. It shows the work of kinetic sculptor Theo Jansen. His work is mind-blowing (no pun intended - watch the video to see why it might be one). Unfortunately, I can't embed the video. Sorry.

More Crazy Woodworking Videos

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posted in: blogs, Kinetic sculpture

Comments (5)

geppetto425 geppetto425 writes: I made a Galileo's Bicycle last year for my wife's birthday, she loves it. Quite a challenge to make but lots of fun seeing it all come together. Clayton sells quite a few plans, mostly clock designs.
Posted: 3:34 am on April 26th

DavidCRoy DavidCRoy writes: Baldness is a feature not a bug! The creating of enjoyment and wonder has absolutely been a goal and function of my work. Motion is such an entertaining element to deal with. The long term joy of a kinetic sculpture (after one’s own amazement) is watching others react to it. I never tire of the smiles. Those mesmerized by Matrix should venture further to my website at to see the range of possibilities in wooden kinetic sculpture. Another link worth exploring is that of Rueben Margolin at I put him up there with Theo Jansen. So much to design and build and so little time to do it all. Thanks for the mention. David. C. Roy
Posted: 9:54 pm on April 9th

Ace_HoleInOne Ace_HoleInOne writes: Warning everyone...don't watch this with beer on the brain, don't ask me how I know this...... :)

Posted: 8:40 pm on April 9th

MKenney MKenney writes: Thanks for the link Panch. I forwarded it to the other editors. We all enjoyed it. It is truly amazing work. It's guys like Jansen that help me remember that I'm really not all that smart.
Posted: 10:02 am on April 9th

Panch Panch writes: Great post, it reminded me of the kinetic sculpture work of Theo Jansen. His machines are ingenious! There are some really great examples of his work online. Thanks for the inspiration!

Posted: 12:07 am on April 9th

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