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Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. It's a journal of sorts. It gives me a place to show my work-in-progress for my painting and photography. Comments are welcome --- add one at the end of an entry or email me at BarbBlumer@gmail.com.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Making Mobiles

One thing I like about having my own studio on Market Street is the ability to experiment and try new things, then quickly put them up in my space and see how they work.

I can get things out of my system, after thinking about doing them for years and years.  Mobiles are one of those things.

Mobiles are moving sculptures.  The artist who developed kinetic sculpture and changed the art world, was Alexander Calder, (1898 - 1974).

International Mobile, 1949, Alexander Calder, Houston MFA
when I visited in January, 2015
The first one I saw was at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and loved it.  I went back to look for it a few years ago, as part of revisiting my past.  Now, I am not sure that this is the one I saw back then, but that's neither here nor there.  Because that was a long time ago...
And I have had this book on making mobiles forever.  It has moved with me wherever I have lived over my lifetime.  And I had put on my list of things to do in 2017 was to finally decide if I was keeping it or giving it away to someone who might use it.

Plus I started to miss making jewelry, especially earrings. (I used to have a successful jewelry business with my younger sister, before having my art studio.) I was missing using the tools, and working with wire and beads.

I reviewed the hankering with my art buddy, AJP, and to my surprise she did not discourage me from making up a batch of earrings and putting them in my studio. In fact, she encouraged me. But, I just haven't been able to make that decision yet.

Then, a week ago, my husband and I went on a trip.
Mass MoCA, Nick Cave Exhibit, Until 
First, we saw this amazing installation of 16,000 sparkling, twirling metal forms by Nick Cave at Mass MoCA.
Then, I spotted one of Calder's mobiles in the library at Bowdoin College while visiting our niece.  Now that's a sign.  Time to make a mobile.

On the long drive home, I thought up a bunch of ideas, mostly about unexpected objects being in balance, e.g., rock, paper, scissors--- but I had (and have) no idea how to execute them.  
When we got home, I dug out my mobile book and boy, was I shocked to see the date on the inside was 1976 when I was still in college. Okay, that motivated me even more to finally do something about making a mobile.

Luckily, the author, John Lynch does an excellent job of simplifying the process and shows photos of the steps.  And I already had most of the tools.  I just needed steel wire, which I found at our trusty hardware store.  

Plus there are oodles of YouTube videos on how to make a Calder-like mobile.  So, if you want to make a mobile, I encourage you to explore the many available sources out there.

Nonetheless, I was hoping to make mine a little different than a Calder, even though his work is clearly the inspiration.  I found some embossed metal designs I drew a long ago, and combined them with jewelry components to create a gold and silver mobile.

Here is the result:    
Mine is small.  Only about 18 inches overall.  And it is difficult to photograph, since it moves.
It is hanging in the front window for now.  

It was fun and I am glad I got it out of my system.  Let me know what you think when you walk by or stop in the studio,

BHB











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