Where they come from….

 

The mountains in Germany called the Erzgebirge is the home of a very unique and worldwide known type of traditional folk art. The designs found here are often Christmas ornaments and Christmas decorations. They usually contain some elements made of turned wood.

The “Spinne” is one of the designs that came forth from this tradition. It is a wooden and mostly very ornated structure that hangs on a ball bearing (the “Venetel”) from the ceiling. The uprising air generated by candlesticks puts the whole system (including the candles) into a slow and silent motion. The “Spinne” has been around for over a hundred years by now.

As an art student back in Germany and then afterward as a designer I was intrigued by these physical/mechanical objects. I reduced them to their essence in both form and mechanical function stripped them from all their decorative elements and ended up with a pure, metal, mechanical object. All that is left is the almost magical, silent movement.

 

 

I called them ”Flügelräder” (wing-wheels). And built a small series of them.  They took off quite well and are still produced by a small company located in the Erzbebirge, Germany (http://www.hillig-art.de/startseite_fluegelrad.html).

Although I left Germany and have lived for several years in the United States, this theme never left me alone and I came up with more and more abstract versions, ending up with mobile-like, kinetic sculptures. The Uplifting Objects are part of this process.

UO Urmodel 1