Wooden Stones Art Installation




Introduction: Wooden Stones Art Installation

Wood Stones is a proposed art installation that would take place in an indoor gallery space. The instructions listed below are for the prototype of the installation. The installation aims to create a sense of delight, curious and wonder for visitors to the site. With the use of a motion sensor, small motors attached to wooden stones begin to vibrate across the floor.

I am looking for suggestions to change the installation. What could improve it? One idea is to have the stones travel across sand so you can see the path they take.

Step 1: Materials & Tools


10 blocks of wood, 1.5” by 1.5” 10

mini motor discs - http://www.adafruit.com/product/1201

1 motion sensor - http://www.adafruit.com/product/1201

shift register 74HC595

E600 industrial strength adhesive


arduino uno




holding pins

spray paint (optional)

belt sander

soldering iron

wire strippers

helping hands for soldering

fume extractor

Step 2: Make the Wood Stones

  1. Take the wood blocks up to a belt sander and create your unique stone shape.
  2. Break the edges of the dodecahedron by sanding with sand paper.
  3. Optional: Spray paint all sides of the stones in a well ventilated area. Let dry completely.

Step 3: Wiring the Motors and Connecting Them to the Wood Stones

  1. Prep the mini motor discs with some industrial strength adhesive to the base of the wires. This helps to prevent them from fraying over time.
  2. Take the mini motor discs and strip the ends of the wires to prep for solder. Be careful here as the wires are fragile.
  3. Solder wires to motors. To protect the joints you can use heat shrink tubing or hot glue. In this photo, I used industrial strength adhesive.
  4. Solder header pins to wires.
  5. Use industrial strength adhesive to adhere 1 motor to the bottom of 1 stone. Repeat 8 times.
  6. Take the motion sensor and solder holding pins to the ends of the wires.

Step 4: Wiring Your Breadboard

Wire the header pins according to the plan in the image.

The data sheet for the shift register can be found here.

Step 5: Upload Your Code

Upload the code for arduino.

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    Mayby use a magnet so the stone connectet and walk together. make them

    independent from a wire.An attiny may work.

    Nice idea.


    7 years ago

    Hi. First off... I'm a working artist (1st class Honours Degree Fine Art, Masters Degree Fine Art (Multimedia Installation), lecturer and teacher).

    When activated... what noise do they make? Have you involved a soundscape of any kind within the piece? If they vibrate and resonate this could be good... or bad. Dependent on your intention. The floor surface would have a lot to do with this.

    Sand tracks have been done. Dust could be good... see Xu Bings piece for the Artis Mundi Prize.

    You could also consider creating a perspex false floor with lighting underneath. Cover the floor with opaque pigment powder (be careful of air movement... nothing to fine or else you will have to issue masks!... could be fun...?). When the piece is first opened there would be no light... as the ricks vibrate and move they will both remove the pigment from the floor and colect it on their surface. As the light increases the visibility of the rocks would decrease.

    The one thing that concerns me is the tethering by the wires. Can these things operate independently? Could you cut them in half, hollow them, place the motors, micro-receiver, power source etc, inside and close them up?

    Just some thoughts. Happy to discuss more if you wish.

    Keep creating :)


    Reply 7 years ago

    Here is the smallest... reasonable priced micro-receiver I could find in a few minutes...



    7 years ago on Introduction

    I don't know if the "stones" would move through the sand with the current setup.

    One thing is that I would have more "wonder" and "curiosity" if the wires weren't there. Maybe think magnets. I don't know how that would work. I'll let you know if I think of anything.