One article in the new Summer issue that really could have used more room was the one on mobiles. You should see just my outline for it! The art of mobiles is so broad that it would be impossible to get even just a taste of all that can be done in one article, even if we took up all the pages doing it. Mobiles, like any art form, can be taken in a myriad of directions. Just as a necklace does not need to be a series of symmetrically strung beads, a mobile does not need to be just a series of the same or similar objects hanging in any predictable pattern. The elements don’t even need to hang straight down but can shoot out sideways or straight up into the air. The assembly can be organized horizontally, vertically, or in some random pattern. The only thing a mobile needs is controlled balance.
I wanted to share more than the few mobiles you see in the article, but it’s really hard to choose ones that represent all these can be. The handful in the article barely touch the pool of possibility. So if you read the article and are intrigued, start by creating the simple mobile in the tutorial. Creating the tutorial example will give you a better idea of what the art of balancing is all about, then you can go out and search for more mobiles. You will be amazed by what is out there.
Here is just one out-of-the-box idea for mobile art that combines wall art, as well. Carolyn Weir creates all kinds of mobiles in a variety of materials, but I like these moving scenes the best. The two-dimensional image changes from a specific horizontal scene to a series of abstract vertical designs as it moves. The mobile also allows her to display two of her paintings which turn into multiple scenes as the pieces move around and realign so you’d basically have a different picture moment to moment. If you’ve read the article already, can you recognize the balance points and why she hung them from these specific points? Kind of cool to know these things now, isn’t it?
Carolyn also creates the more classic Calder style mobiles, of which you can see examples in her Etsy shop. For more of these scene mobiles, take a look at all the examples on her blog. And if you want to see these and her other mobiles in motion, take a look at her videos on YouTube.
Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Make something that moves. Add dangling elements, something that spins, or an element that swings to your next piece. If you already create a lot of dangles and other hanging pieces, try pushing how you hang them. Try balancing in asymmetrical arrangements or attach dangles to a vertical or diagonal element instead of horizontal.
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