Mobiles are the perfect intersection of art, problem-solving, and psychology. Designing mobiles means thinking about color and form. Constructing mobiles means figuring out how to balance each branch so that the movement is fluid and the elements interact with one another. Presenting mobiles to you, the audience, means watching you respond to them. For both adults and children, mobiles are calming. They mesmerize us, letting us step away from everyday chaos.
I am an artist and therapist who loves working through puzzles. Mobiles fascinate me for a number of reasons: their unpredictable movements, the way they play with light and shadow, and how they entice people to interact with them. To make each mobile, I use cold- and hot-working techniques to shape metal. The sculptural elements, I create with polymer clay, paper, glass beads, and metals.
Materials and Techniques
Rocklen Designs Mobiles are lightweight, hanging sculptures that interact with light and move with a slight breeze. They range from small ornaments to large installations and are perfect for home and office. All of the mobiles are inspired by nature and made by hand in my small, Boston-based studio. I use different techniques to make each of the mobiles. When working with polymer clay (for the Birds in the Moon, the Calla Lilies, and the Dancing Flowers), I mix colors by hand, incorporating pigments in the clay. I then carve and form the clay to create the desired shapes. I attach the clay elements to metal using wire-wrapping techniques. For paper-based mobiles (Floating Fans and Soaring Swallows), I paint the paper, using acrylics and alcohol inks. I then cut and fold the pieces, later attaching them to the branches using wire-wrapping techniques. The final step in making each mobile is assembly. I balance each branch against the others to create a sculpture that moves fluidly.