Mobile fashioned from ten individually turned Buckeye Burl spheroids

December 8, 2021

This mobile has been fashioned from ten individually turned Buckeye Burl spheroids, which have suspending from thin steel struts by means of an exceptionally strong German synthetic thread. Each piece of Buckeye is carefully selected to create a range of figure and color. Buckeye and related species are native to the eastern and western United States. Much of it comes from California, hence the botanical name of this species, Aesculus californica. The timber from California and Oregon is not particularly interesting underground, but once above ground, Buckeye burl more than makes up for this: the wood is soft, with a palette of grays, whites, blacks, and some brown and orange. This all comes from the oxidizing of underground minerals the burl has absorbed. The patterns that are generated by these colors are simply spectacular, like no other burl wood in the world. The variations and shapes in the figure are endlessly fascinating--and perfect for creating a mobile, a solar system of beautiful wood that moves with the slightest air movement.

Mobiles are difficult and exceedingly time-consuming to make, especially if it is to be fully balanced and securely assembled. It is also unfortunately difficult to photograph mobiles properly, both because of the different focal lengths as well as the movement of the spheroids, which is slight but inevitable.  Perhaps the biggest challenge is lighting the mobile evenly from top to bottom. In addition to a photograph of the mobile asa whole, I’ve included a photograph of several spheroids, and photographs of several individual spheroids.

48" high (conical sphere dimension) x 16" dia (conical sphere dimension)