Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kinetic Sculptures

- Tagboard
- Compass
- Dowels (4 for each student)
- Perler Beads (8 for each student)
- Thumb Tacks
- Colored Pencils/ Markers
- Scissors
- Gluestick
- Spools (4 for each student)
- Foam Core
- Ruler
- Jewelry Cord
- Hole Puncher
- Pipe Cleaners

I really wanted to try this "Art-O-Motion" project found on the Dick Blick site. I had to do a little improvising, but once I figured out how to really get these working, they were pretty cool!

This was a great lesson to introduce Marcel Duchamp and kinetic art. The other main objective was to focus on radial symmetry.

1. Each student started with 4 6" x 6" squares of tagboard. They used a compass to draw a circle on each square. The circle was used as a guide for their radially symmetrical designs.

2. After coloring, cut each design out. Set to the side. These are your gears.

3. Using a ruler, draw a horizontal line down the center of a 4" x 20" piece of foam core.

4. Make a mark every 4" on the line. There should be 4 dots.

5. Using a thumb tack, poke a hole through the dots. We used a thumb tack first so we could gradually make the hole larger for the dowels. If you start with a dowel or pencil first, we found that the holes became too loose which really kind of screws up the project in the end.

6. Using a thumb tack, poke a hole through the center of each gear. Slowly "stretch" the hole out with a dowel, carefully making sure that the dowel is snug through the hole.

7. Take the dowel out. Glue a spool on the back side of the gear, lining up the hole with the hole from the dowel.

8. Place a perler bead on the end of a dowel (this part is tricky! I liked to put a perler bead on the table and tried forcing the dowel in that way, rather than holding a dowel and trying to slide a bead on). Repeat to three more dowels.

Disregard that this is NOT a perler bead... This is the way I started my exemplar and realized the perler beads were a MUCH better option. I apologize for not having a picture with the right bead, but I wanted to show at least a dowel with a bead at the end.
9. Place dowel with one beaded end through each gear and then through the foam core.

10. Flip over and place a perler bead on the other end of all four dowels. Slide down JUST so it touches the foam core. Be careful not to push too far because the gear will pop out. 

11. With a hole puncher, punch two holes on either side of the horizontal line that was originally drawn. Space about an inch apart.

12. Using jewelry cord, you want to string around the dowels so that the string goes around the top of the dowel of the first gear, under the dowel for the second, on top for the third and then under again for the fourth. For some reason on the Dick Blick site, it shows the sting being strung all through the top, but that did not work for us! It took a little bit of trial and error to figure out how to make these work doing it the way we did!

13. With string hanging off of each end, you'll want to make sure when you pull the cord, the string doesn't just come flying off. We used a small piece of a pipe cleaner and placed through the hole punched holes, with the string tucked under. The pipe cleaner was twisted on the back. Repeat on the other end. 

14. Add a regular bead on the end of the string so that it gets caught by the pipe cleaner. Make sure to knot the end of the string. 

Whew! All done! Now you can finally pull the cord! If you read all this and understood it- BRAVO! I wish I took some better pictures, but I'll definitely try to answer any questions as best I can. The Dick Blick lesson is a very good start to what I did, I just had to improvise a little because I bought a majority of the supplies myself and didn't want to buy everything Dick Blick was suggesting. 

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  1. I like it! Seems challenging for my oldest kids, 5th grade, but maybe they could make them in groups.

  2. LOVE it! were did you get the spools though?

  3. Wow!!! Awesome!! great directions and adapting your own procedure- We art teachers have to do A LOT of that. Definitely going on my to do art lesson list

  4. : )... I also got the dowels there and had our tech department cut them down to about an inch long

  5. I'm doing this with Art Club this year!! FUN and exciting for all ages!