On the Making of Mobiles
I used to begin with fairly complete drawings, but now I start by cutting out a lot of shapes....Some I keep because they're pleasing or dynamic. Some are bits I just happen to find. Then I arrange them, like papier collé, on a table, and "paint" them -- that is, arrange them, with wires between the pieces if it's to be a mobile, for the overall pattern. Finally I cut some more of them with my shears, calculating for balance this time.
I begin at the small ends, then balance in progression until I think I've found the point of support. This is crucial, as there is only one such point and it must be right if the object is to hang or pivot freely. I usually test out this point with strings to make sure before bending the wires. The size and angle of the shapes and how to use them is a matter of taste and what you have in mind.
To most people who look at a mobile, it's no more than a series of flat objects that move. To a few, though, it may be poetry.
Copyright © 2008 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC