Introduction: Seagulls Mobile

My mother has an apartment in which one part of the living rooms extends over two stories up to the roof. This makes a big space, which I thought could be nicely filled.

On one hand I like mobiles with a contemporary abstract design, such as Calder's. On the other hand, I wanted to represent the ones who love her so much (ie. me, my wife, and our kids).

I came up to this idea of a birds mobile: the birds represent movement and freedom; their descending size, and the wingtip colors, represent our spirits.

This minimalist design is totally simple, easily made, and elegant.

I want to thank my dear mom, among so many things, for he active support on crafting and tinkering, as I was a kid!

Step 1: Design

The design is shown in this step's picture. You do not need any calculations. Just determine the wanted sizes of the birds, and their vertical spacing. The widest bird is 1m long.

Step 2: Build

a) Cut the birds to length, file the tips round.

b) Boil water in a large pot, and immerse the wood into steam at the places to be bent, during several minutes to 1/2h (depending on the wood). Then, manually bend, and maintain the force until cool.

c) On each bird, bore a very small hole in one of the tips.

d) Sand, prime, and paint the tips (use masking tape to protect parts to remain natural).

e) With thin nylon strings, bind each bird from its wing tip hole, to the center of the next bird by a loop.

f) The top bird also has a nylon string bound to its center, and ended by a small loop to be later hooked to the ceiling.

To look more like seagulls, I should have painted the body white, but I wanted to leave the wood as natural as possible. Just a matter of taste...

Step 3: Install Hook

The ceiling was unreachable, so I built this device with a small vise, attached to a long wood bar.

The hook was held into the vise jaws; the hook was screwed into the ceiling (fortunately made of wood) by twisting the wood bar from under; the hook was finally released by means of a rope knotted to the vise level: pulling the rope would lead the jaws to open.

Step 4: Hang Mobile and Enjoy

Finally, using a long wood bar, carefully bring the mobile's loop into the ceiling hook.

That's it, enjoy the slowly ever changing configuration, and moving projected shadows on the walls.

Comments

author
Cloud9-Crafter (author)2016-08-18

I'm makeing my room beach themed, and this is perfect! :):):)

author
MbConcertina (author)2014-06-20

Could you please provide more detail regarding the wood? What type of wood did you use? Thank you :-)

author
laxap (author)MbConcertina2014-06-20

The wood has to be tender in order to be permanently bent (using steam).

I used pine.

author
MbConcertina (author)laxap2014-06-20

Thank you!

author
acuchetto (author)2013-12-24

Ingenious tool for hanging your mobile! (But, I don't completely grasp how you managed it.)

author
dolbynr (author)2013-05-31

Thank you - but still, how do you calculate the exact place to drill the holes to get the perfect balance?

author
dolbynr (author)2013-05-21

Very nice indeed. I am confused about the strings though:
You say:

e) With thin nylon strings, bind each bird from its wing tip hole, to the center of the next bird by a loop.
--> how do you find the exact right balance before drilling the holes?

f) The top bird also has a nylon string bound to its center, and ended by a small loop to be later hooked to the ceiling.
--> bound to its center? I would think from the wing tip, like the other birds, (actually as depicted in the graph).



author
laxap (author)dolbynr2013-05-21

You are right, my instructions are confusing.

The holes are effectively at the tips, but the other end of the nylon string is not attached to the center of the next bird.

In fact, the picture of step 1 is completely self-explanatory.

author
Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-08-09

That is so simple yet so beautiful! Also, I've always been fascinated by those uneven hanging contraptions :D

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