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MAKE A MOBILE

Alexander Calder was a famous 20th century American artist. He is best known for is mobile sculptures made of sheet metal and wire that are activated in space by air currents.

 

SUPPLY BOX

Wire or wire coat hanger
Fishing line or string
Rolling pin
Model Magic clay
Toothpick
Plastic butter knife
Glue

SCULPT SOME SHAPES
Use clay to create simple shapes for your mobile. Roll the clay into a flat pancake and use the knife to cut out shapes like triangles, rectangles, ovals or circles. Make some shapes big and some a little smaller. Choose five shapes that you like the best. Use a toothpick to poke a small hole in each shape. When the shapes are dry, cut one piece of string for each of your shapes. Make some strings longer and some shorter. Tie one end of the string through the hole in your shape.

PLAN AND CONSTRUCT
Lay the wire or coat hanger on a flat surface. Decide where you would like to put each shape. Mobiles have to BALANCE. Make sure that you don’t put all of the bigger shapes next to each other! Experiment with putting the shapes in different places. When you are finished experimenting, tie the other end of the string to the wire and put a dot of glue on the knot so that the string can’t slip around on the wire.

HANG YOUR CREATION
Now find a place to display your beautiful creation. Ask an adult to help you hang your mobile from a hook in the ceiling. Choose a place where you can see the mobile and watch. When the door opens or closes, the air in the room will cause the shapes to twist and turn. Try hanging your mobile from a tree branch in your yard and watch to see if it moves when the wind blows.

Click here for a printable PDF.

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