California Dreamin

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

"California Dreamin " (81x50x32) is a motorized kinetic art ball machine sculpture with 2 steel balls that get lifted by a drive chain conveyor system. The balls have 3 tracks to follow that are changed each time by 2 switches, or as I like to call them "gravity operated, magnetically optimized, switching units." One of the switch ideas actually came to me one night in a dream, after several days of trying to come up with a suitable design.

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

I started this project about 4-5 years ago, and it took about 4 months to complete.

What was your goal in building this project?

This sculpture is part of my ongoing series of rolling ball sculptures. I have made 5 rolling ball sculptures so far. Two of them are in the Rolling Ball Museum in Seoul, Korea.

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


What makes your idea unique?

This rolling ball sculpture features several functions never seen before in the world of rolling ball sculptures. The track shifting magnetic switch and spiral de-escalators are unique to this sculpture.

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

This sculpture uses some mounted unit radial bearings as part of the lifting mechanism. It also uses various sized ball bearings as decorative elements in several places around the sculpture.

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

I love making these rolling ball machines! This sculpture involved a lot of trial and error, but I am very pleased with the result. People just love watching it operate, and cheer when each ball completes it's journey. This sculpture is part of an ongoing series of rolling ball sculptures.

How will you use the $5,000 prize?

I would use the money to finance another more elaborate kinetic rolling ball sculpture. I have been wanting to make my next rolling ball machine for quite some time. This one will also be motorized, and will incorporate several unique magnetic functions that I have been really wanting to use. The ideas I plan to use on my next, more complex machine will be absolutely amazing. It will have several gravity defying elements and surprises that will amaze the viewer. It will also incorporate even more bearings than in the previous motorized machine.

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