Friday, December 5, 2014

We're All Ears :: December Inspiration

'All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream." ~Edgar Allen Poe
Last month was a whole lot of fun to see how you translated an animated short into an array of beautiful earrings. I hope you don't mind that I am inclined to bring in another little short film to inspire you!

I stumbled on this amazing art installation and just knew that it had to be our inspiration. This type of art is called anamorphic, a form of perspective. Anamorphic art uses a "distorted projection or perspective requiring the viewer to use special devices or occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image. The word "anamorphosis" is derived from the Greek prefix ana-, meaning back or again, and the word morphe, meaning shape or form" (source:Wikipedia). Each anamorphic image is special and distinct and has it's own way to be looked at. You need to look and be surprised by the distortion of your expectations.

Breaking Wave is an anamorphic kinetic sculpture created for Biogen-Idec's new headquarters in Cambridge, MA. The sculpture was created by Plebian Design and Hypersonic.
Breaking Wave tells the story of the search for patterns, and the surprising results that come by changing our point of view. 804 suspended spheres move in a wave-like formation. When the wave crests and breaks, the balls hover momentarily in a cloud.
From almost anywhere in the room, this cloud is purely chaotic, but step into one of two hidden spots, and this apparent chaos shows a hidden pattern.
From the first, a labyrinth hints at the search for knowledge, and from the second, a Fibonacci spiral inspired flower reminds us of the natural order and patterns found in nature.
Above the sculpture lies the mechanism that drives its motion. A motor drives a large rotating stainless steel cam. Thirty-six rollers follow the contour of the cam, which traces out the overall waveform. Each roller slides on a linear track, pulling a cable that spins one of the 36 output shafts. Distributed along each shaft are different sized drums from which the wooden sphere (coated in zinc and steel, and then rusted chemically) are hung. As the shafts rotate, the drums pull the balls up and down – larger drums pull balls higher. In this way, the size of the 804 drums mechanically programs the images hidden in the cloud of balls. The piece was built with many hands, and several miles of wire rope (source: Hypersonic).

Watch the short video if you can (make it full screen by clicking the little X shape in the bottom right corner for maximum impact!). I love seeing the undulating waves that these little wooden spheres create. And even more fascinating to me is watching the gears and cogs of the mechanism that makes the sculpture come to life.

Earrings are, by their very nature, little kinetic sculptures. They move and dangle and can be different when viewed from alternate angles. More than any other jewelry, earrings are easy to play with motion and patterns and illusion. Keeping color to a minimum, will help you emphasize the structure and the movement.
I hope you will explore this with your earrings this month!

What inspires you about this the motion in this sculpture?

To participate in the We're All Ears creative challenge:
Make earrings inspired by this inspiration.
Write a post on your blog.
Add your exact blog post URL link to the
InLinkz code right here on 
Friday, December 19th.


  1. Oh wow! That is, for lack of a better word, just neat. It's like a wave pool without the water. It's got all the gears and cogs in my head working to come up with some earrings. Can't wait to see what everyone creates.

  2. Oh my there is so much motion going on here, and the music is so soothing. Now how to pick from all that amazing inspiration!

  3. Wonderful inspiration. Thanks :)

  4. Wow! This is soooooooo very cool! I love it!