Friday, May 15, 2020

"Tic Tok" - Rolling Ball Abstract Sculpture - 2019

This is a sculpture I made back in July and August of 2019. I know I haven't posted much here in a while, but I can assure you, I've been busy with various projects. I'm trying to take some time now and play catch-up with my blog posts.

"Tic Tok" came out of recent explorations with Rolling Ball Sculptures, aka, RBS. Not wanting to do the typical RBS, I've also been exploring the possibilities of using the power of a dropping BB to actuate various things; figures; etc. Stay tuned....

This piece, (in my humble opinion), is the perfect blend of a static abstract sculpture and a RBS. Instead of tracks, I used the actual surface of the sculpture to guide the BBs from top to bottom. At first glance the piece resembles one of my smaller wooden sculptures - but once the switch is switched on, the piece comes alive with action, and sound. The balls emerge at the top and roll down and around every part of the sculpture. As you will see in my pics below, I started with the central column - that holds the hidden ball lift - and worked from top to bottom, making "tracks" along the way.

The piece measures 17" x 45" x 15", and is Currently Available from me for $2850. plus shipping.

I guess I consider this to be the "front view".

This is the view of the left side.

And the right side.

Here are my in-progress pics.....

I started by making the central column - built from scrap 1/2" plywood. And then I gathered lots of scrap pieces that I had sitting around my wood shop and studio. Some of the pieces seen here are driftwood. 

This is adding the first piece of wood to the column. I knew where the hole was located at the top because I had already figured out the chain lift inside.

More progress...
I tried not to cut the wood specifically for this piece - but rather, use the pieces as I found them. Most of the curved pieces of walnut came from an instrument maker's scrap pile; who's workshop is in Berea, Kentucky.

Getting almost to the end of the build. 
With each piece I added, I had to test how the ball would roll on it. On some pieces, I did have to carve a track into the top of it. But some pieces were already very track-like, so I used them as is.

A closer view......
When I got down to adding the 3 "feet", (seen here), I had to make sure the sculpture was on a perfectly level surface - so the balls will roll correctly.

After all the woodwork was finished, and the balls were rolling properly, I painted the whole thing grey, (seen here). Then I aged it as I usually do, and sanded, and waxed it too.

Here's a peek at the bottom of the chain lift. The chain hooks were fabricated and welded on by my friend Tom Harold. The balls come in on that short piece on the right. I made the column with a removable back, so I could take it off and get at the chain, etc.

The top of the lift - and the track that delivers the balls, through the hole in the front.

Here's an image showing the back removed. There are "track pieces" permanently attached to the back piece, so at this point, the piece is not functional.
The chain lift is about 33" long.

Here are some detail shots of "Tic Tok"...........

Here is the video.... (watch full screen).

Thanks for looking!


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