Serpentine kinetic sculpture

1979 was a big year for us. We moved into the house/studio Marji and I had spent the previous year building and, our first child, Amanda was born. Life changing events that seemed "normal" at the time.

Wood That Works and my progress in learning to design and build kinetic sculptures also saw some big changes that year. The combination of a much nicer work space with new family obligations led to a burst of creativity and problem solving. The 5 pieces I designed and produced that year, Blizzard, Crustacean, Kaleidoscope, Serenity, and Serpentine all broke new ground in both mechanism design and complex pattern creation.

Kaleidoscope was the most popular sculpture with the public but my personal favorite was Serpentine. It produced a random, chaotic motion that I never tired of watching. That turned out to be a good thing because getting the individual sculptures to perform correctly turned out to be a fairly tedious chore of watching, tuning, tweaking and then more watching, tuning and tweaking. There was a fairly narrow range of operation where the sculpture would perform the way I liked it and yet not stall.

My mechanisms are more refined today but each sculpture still requires a period of testing and tweaking, but no where near as much as Serpentine did back in 1979!