I love Alexander Calder! I teach a Calder wire project each year,Â but I have never successfully made a Calder-inspired mobile. Until now!
I recently received this 1975 edition of Making Things: Hand Book of Creative Discovery, Book 2Â by Ann Wiseman. Inside this gloriously illustrated book I found these Â instructions for making Calder mobiles:
I decided to test it out with items I had on hand in the art room.
Materials for first mobile:
- 18-inch pre-cut Stem WireÂ (AKA floral wire)Â 20 gauge
- construction paper
- hole punch
- pliers (note: I didn’t have any pliers so I just did this with my hands)
- AND A BALANCING FINGER
Now for my second mobile.Â I made this mobile using Ann Wiseman’s illustrations andÂ Peel & Stick Foam Sheets.
If you choose to make these multiple tier wire mobiles, try it yourself first, be patient, and expect a lot trial and error. Balancing those wires is tricky and takes practice. I think these projects would be great for middle and high school students.
If you want to try this with a whole class of upper elementary students, I would keep it simple. Stick with one or two wires. Check out this project fromÂ Meet the Masters. I like how they have three degrees of difficulty and incorporate a stabile as a base.
Here are some more ideas for Calder mobiles for kids:
- Babble’sÂ fun-foam and wire mobile. Beautiful! Great step-by-step instructions.
- TheÂ Princess Artypants blogÂ has aÂ great Calder kinetic sculpture project,Â including video links.
- Salamander ArtÂ has a superÂ fun-foam hanging mobile projectÂ that ties in with children’s mysteryÂ The Calder Game.
If you love Calder, you might like my previous Calder posts:
Have you ever made a mobile with your students?Â
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