How to Make a Kinetic Sculpture

How to Make a Kinetic Sculpture


One of the reasons I get into this is just
machines themselves. Machines and how they work are amazing things. What I wanted to do was to make that into
something where I emphasize the motion and emphasize the patterns I was seeing in the
machine. And that’s what makes a good piece a challenge
and also a lot of fun is that there’s a whole lot of engineering, and there’s a
whole lot of design, and making it do what I want it to do. I’m David Roy. I make kinetic sculptures. They are basically wooden machines that go
on the wall. You wind them up, and then create patterns and sounds and motion. The first step is in my head, which I can’t
show you, but then very shortly thereafter, I just sit down, and I start sketching. Whoa. Then I want to go see how the pattern’s
going to go play out. I put multiples on the screen. I watch them, and we just get a feel
for it. Will it work? I’m not sure. So you work on it a while. You get frustrated,
and you try other things, and it can be months or even years because
it’ll be a little breakthrough here that took five minutes, another one here took five
minutes, but in cumulation… You spend a long time before it comes together
into a final piece. This lever now is pulling on that string, which is pulling on this wheel, which is pulling on this lever, which releases to the front lever, and now it’s going to reverse direction
and start the cycle again. Any questions? The restful thing that you get from watching
a campfire, where you’re watching the flames or watching a stream, that kind of feeling is what I’m looking
for. If it’s a successful piece, in my view,
you really have to sit and just have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or whatnot and
sit and watch it for a while. I spend many hours doing that.

53 thoughts on “How to Make a Kinetic Sculpture

  1. Currently own David's wonderful piece called solo. Truly a work of art and quite a joy to watch it in motion. It's truly art in motion.

  2. Mr. Roy, I love your work. That is absolutely amazing artwork there. You're awe-inspiring. Thank you for sharing with us.

  3. How wonderful! Love to see and touch things made from various pieces/types of wood. Any possibility that you sell these wonders? Or do you sell your patterns?

  4. Hi. If you want to build it yourself just google for 'woodprix' . I know you'll find good solutions for your idea.

  5. we need people like him change the world as we know it,just imagine one piece in every home makes kids much more interested in physics.

  6. Also I found out that kinetic energy expands when the hoberman sphere is bounced or rolled. Quite a interesting way to understand how energy is travelled.

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