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Presented By:
Ivan Black
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Tell us briefly about your project. Is it a work of art or does it serve another function?

Liquorice Loops is an indoor, wind powered kinetic sculpture.

When did you start working on this project and how long did it take you to complete?

Early in 2009 I began to think about a new range of sculptures based on parts cut from a single sheet of material rotating within one another. The first prototype was completed later that year.

What was your goal in building this project?

My primary goal is always to find simple integrated solutions to creating motion in my work, where the mechanism is contained within and an aesthetic component of the sculptures. In this instance I was attempting to creat a template for sculptures that were geometrically arranged on a flat plane but that would open up into three dimensions when driven by wind. I wanted to create a sufficiently sensitive mechanism that would allow these sculptures, at a small scale, to work indoors from the draft of an open window for instance.

Does your project help to solve a problem? If so what problem?

I decided on a workable geometric arrangement for the parts and cut out my first model without yet knowing how to make the parts rotate. I realised that the cutting tool had left a consistent 5mm space around each part, the eureka moment came when I decided to use a 5mm ball bearing sandwiched between two Neodymium magnets to bridge the gap and act as a rotating mechanism. This created a highly efficient bearing far exceeding my expectations.

What makes your idea unique?

I believe that the specific arrangement of magnets and ball bearings is unique to this project.

In what capacity are you using bearings and what type of bearings?

I use a variety of ball bearings as parts for my rotating mechanisms.

What is the most important thing you want people to know about your project?

The geometry of the parts of the sculptures prevents them from ever weather veining, i.e. settling in one position, even if the wind is consistently coming from one direction. I have since made many different sculptures using variations of this geometry and mechanism, including low cost retail versions and outdoor versions on a much larger scale, up to 3m x 1.2m.

How will you use the $5,000 prize?

I would invest the money in prototyping new sculptures.

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