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My mobiles are wood sculptures made for suspension in either indoor or outdoor environments. Each piece is constructed from branches that are taken from trees on my property where I live in Old DeKalb, NY. I use limbs cut from a variety of trees including apple, maple, beech, birch, hickory, ironwood, cedar, hemlock, lilac, oak, and butternut. Usually the wood is then stripped of bark, cut into shapes and sanded smooth. The mobile’s pieces are then stained with polyurethane, wood stain or paint and strung together with synthetic cords. Depending on where they are displayed and the weather conditions exposed to over time the mobiles should last for many years. Making mobiles feeds my mind, heart and soul. The walk in the woods, where I select the branches, allows for deep appreciation of the trees and terrain of our family homestead. To peel and sand the pieces is a fascinating process. I love seeing the inner quality of the wood as it is slowly revealed. Depending on the timber, this is sometimes a smooth and simple task, while at other times it is a grueling physical challenge. My pieces have evolved from basic mobile forms that have evolved with the addition of swings, wishbones and multiple form designs. Finally, the process of creating each construction allows for a conversation and ultimate agreement with an ideal, the materials being utilized, and the revelation of how space impacts the hanging mobile.


Ten Steps for Making a Wood Mobile

1. Take my dog Stella for a walk in the woods out back from our homestead.

2. Observe different trees & unique branches.

3. Cut small trees or branches that catch the eye regarding sizes and shapes.

4. Cut limbs into manageable lengths.

5. Using a draw shave, peel the bark from the selected branches.

6. Using an electric sander, clean & polish the shaved branches.

7. Spend some time imagining how shapes & wood qualities might relate in balanced tensions with each other.

8. Cut cleaned pieces into mobile shapes & lengths.

9. Urethane, stain or paint pieces.

10. Assemble mobile from finished pieces hang in space.