Posts Tagged ‘sculpture


core studio 1 – sculpture

I have just finished sculpture, which was a lot of fun and where I learned quite a few skills.

On the first day as a group project we constructed a large skull from cardboard and newspaper. The following day we carved models from polystyrene blocks which we then buried in damp sand as part of an aluminium pour. I made (another) camera and with leftover time, a couple of cars.

The next week we visited the dump to buy objects to make into art, as part of a ‘found object’ exercise. After not being able to think of anything good, I spied a typewriter which I had an overwhelming desire to get, even though I had no idea what to do with it.
Some humming and hawing later, I decided to turn it into a musical machine; a kinetic sculpture. I configured it so as you were typing, the key hammers would hit xylophone keys on the way through to the paper. This enabled it to keep it’s original function whilst having a completely new one.

I also learned to weld for the first time, which turned out to be a lot of fun, as well as using a band saw and table saw in the wood workshop.


kinetic sculptures and mechanical sounds

My current studio is Sculpture, which has been a lot of fun! Trying out new things I’ve never done before and thinking about different ways of creating.

The work I am currently constructing is a kinetic-sound machine; a typewritter with xylophone bars (maybe more instruments to be added). When you type something the hammers hit the bars and sound is created! And it still has it’s function of writing, as the hammers simply pass back and forth through the xylophone bars.

I’ve had a look at some other kinetic sculptures and found some really cool things. There’s an entire site devoted to ‘Odd Musical Instruments’.
One of these is a very cool ‘lamellophone’ (or vibrating tongue instruments) called ‘Spinal Rod Box’ made from surgical equipment. From the page: “The sound is amplified using a contact microphone and the pitches depend on the length of the threaded steel rods.” Listening to it without look at the image, it sounds as though it’s being played on bongos as well as some xylophone sounds.

Play Spinal Rod Box

A work by Stephen Cornford uses turntables and objects placed on them to create sound, and mixed in conjunction with each other to form a song. That piece can be viewed here. Below is a video of one of Cornford’s inventions. Cornford’s website.

Michael Delia is another sculpture sound artist who makes neat instruments, like ‘growthings’ and ‘kalimbaphones’.



Simple Penduling by Dan Senn. Found kitchen graters are suspended within a mesh of piano wire and struck by subaudio driven pendulums.

Simple Penduling

Simple Penduling