Introduction: Seagulls Mobile

About: So many things to learn and make, so little time! I like things that are cool, useful, efficient, well crafted.

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.

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