Sitting at a craft show constantly twirling and spinning toys to keep them in motion led to dreams of longer running pieces. There was also the constant refrain from customers, "Can you make it run longer?", which contributed to the thought process of a kinetic sculpture but the real impetus was something else. The producer of a local TV station's children's show came by and asked if I could make something that moved for a show set and I started looking at the run-time challenge seriously. The TV deal never materialized but I continued working on the problem.
The first idea was to build a large wooden machine that would run for a "long" time. I decided it should be weight driven so that I wouldn't have to deal with power cords and electric motors. My first “kinetic sculpture” was a 6 foot tall freestanding monster that hardly moved and ran for all of 20 minutes powered by a 15 pound weight. But it moved and that was all that mattered. We named it Albert. The only reason for the name is that it started with an "A" and we didn't know anyone with that name.
Most of Albert was a supporting base. I decided to change orientation and instead mount a sculpture on the wall to simplify the construction. My first wall piece was called B.W. Cornwallis. The only reason for the name is that it started with a B. (Naming sculptures has always been a challenge but we have gotten better over the years.)
B.W. had a rolling wheel on a rotating frame. It worked reasonably well but was finicky. Of course all that really mattered was that it ran for 20 minutes with less than a pound of weight as the power source. But more than the motion was the inspiration. B.W. was only the begining and an intense design year followed.
Continue on to 1976 was a Good Year