Woodworker David C. Roy has been making limited edition and one-of-a-kind kinetic wooden sculptures since 1975 at his workshop in Ashford, CT.

From his web site, Roy describes each limited piece as "a wooden machine designed to produce interesting patterns. A simple winding sets them in motion where they entertain for hours with random patterns and soft sounds. The sculptures move solely by the controlled release of energy from a spring. No other motor, battery or power source is used."

Roy says his first sculpture was "a 6-foot-tall freestanding monster that hardly moved and ran for all of 20 minutes powered by a 15 pound weight."

The tools in his shop are basic woodworking equipment including: drill presses, bandsaw, routers, jigsaw, sanders and a collection of hand and hand power tools. His designs were orginally hand drawn until Macintosh computers burst on the scene in the 80s and he started using computer drawing programs, eventually setting on Adobe Illustrator as his design software.

The continuing advances in technology have also opened the doors to numerous other programs for Roy:

"The computer has proven a wonderful tool for drawing and cutting the forms I use but also for the important task of visualizing new shapes and patterns in motion. I can link the Illustrator drawings of individual parts together in an animation application called After Effects," Roy says in a blog. "I then use some simple programming to set them in motion. This enables me to quickly iterate through many changes and see how the motion patterns evolve.

"I also use several other applications when desiging, he continues. "To visualize freestanding sculptures I create full 3D drawings and animations using a program called Strata Design 3D. This program was indispensable for the large and complex drawings needed for Silver Symphony. This piece was complex to build and I wanted it know how it would look before I started. I use Working Model to compute the balance points of complex systems of parts where balance is critical as in a scupture like Frolic."

Learn more about Roy's work at woodthatworks.com.


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