Last year I decided to document the process of building a rolling ball sculpture from start to finish. Now, I plan on posting the process with pictures on my site. Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have.
It all starts with stainless steel rods. I purchase 1/8″ and 3/16″ stainless rods in 12 foot lengths from a local metal supplier. The 1/8″ rods are used for the track and spacers. I use the 3/16″ for the frame.
To get things started, I like to fold the piece I’m working with in half. This particular sculpture is a small desktop that will be made from 1 single 12 foot piece of stainless. After finding the half way point I fold it so that it forms a parallel track. I have track clamps that I bought from Matthew Gaulden to hold things in place as I weld spacers in place. It is important that the metal is clean, so I wipe it with acetone right before I weld. I use alligator clips to hold the spacer and a set of vice grips mounted on my work bench to hold the section of track.
I like to put on two spacers at the beginning of the track. This makes it strong enough so that I can begin bending and also keeps the spacing nice and even. Another thing to remember is that the beginning of the track needs space to put marbles. If a track begins curving and dipping too abruptly you won’t be able to queue up multiple marbles and release them at the same time.
Part two will cover bending the track and making corners. Check back soon.
I’ve added several new pictures of my latest rolling ball sculpture, desktop #5. Check them out!
I recently finished desktop 5 and I’m excited to share how it turned out. The track for this rolling ball sculpture is a single twelve foot piece of stainless steel, folded in half – just like desktop 2. The result is a compact sculpture that is perfect for a desk, and a smooth track with no breaks or interruptions. I have quite a few pictures and a video that I will post soon. In addition, I documented the build from start to finish and plan on adding a walk through / tutorial section explaining the process that I use to build these.
We had a break in the winter weather over the weekend and I had a chance to continue working on the latest desktop sculpture. I am especially excited about this one, because I am documenting the build process from step by step. When its complete, I am going to post an a write up explaining how I built it from start to finish.
Here it is as of yesterday – about half of the track is finished and I am just about ready to attach it to a frame.
Things have been busy with summer activities lately – but I have started on a new rolling ball sculpture. This one will be a small desktop / mini-desktop style. Based on a request, I am going to document the process of building it from start to finish and post images and descriptions on the website. Check back soon to see the latest rolling ball sculpture come to life.
I am almost done with a new tabletop sculpture (the second that I’ve made in this size). It is in the final stages of testing and adjustment, then I need to weld on a few more supports and clean it then it will be complete. This sculpture stands about 3 feet tall and features 7 and 1/2 loops! It is a lot of fun to watch the marbles plunge down the first hill into a frenzy of inversions. Check back soon for the final pictures and a video.
I recently had a bit of a scare. After having guests for a party at my house I realized that the marbles were getting stuck on the camel humps in Desktop #4. I carefully inspected the sculpture for any signs of damage and could not find any. After a while I discovered that oil had transferred from the hands of my guests to the marbles and it was causing them to have less traction at the peak of each hill. I cleaned the marbles with a towel and everything began working perfectly again.
I just added a few more pictures of Desktop #4 to the ‘see it’ section. Take a look.
I’ve just added a HD video of Desktop #3 – enjoy!
Want to know when there is a new post? Subscribe here!