Wonderfully Hypnotic Wooden Kinetic Wall Sculptures

Artist David C. Roy creates wonderfully intricate wooden wind-up kinetic wall sculptures that each move with hypnotic grace and ease.

I design and build kinetic sculptures because I enjoy the act of creation. Taking an abstract idea and turning it into a physical object that “works” is a thrilling experience. …Common elements in my work include motion and wood. All my current work is powered by constant force springs. You wind them and then sit back to be entertained for hours. My sculptures are fun to share. I love watching people’s faces as they break into a smile when they “get it.”

Roy first got the idea for building these larger pieces in the mid-1970s, while attending craft shows to sell kinetic toys he built. He found himself wanting to build larger, more intricate versions that ran longer. When a television producer approached him to build a sculpture for a children’s show, he found his calling. His first sculpture, which made its debut in 1976, was named B.W. Cornwallis.

Wired caught up with Roy at his Connecticut workshop, where he and Marji, his beloved wife of 40 years, demonstrated a variety of his amazing machines.

A self-taught artist with a background in physics, David C. Roy has been creating mesmerizing wooden kinetic sculptures for nearly 40 years. Powered solely through mechanical wind-up mechanisms, pieces can run up to 48 hours on a single wind.

David C Roy Kinetic Sculpture

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.