Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mr. Roy's Elegant Machines


I've been meaning to do a post on David C. Roy's kinetic sculptures for a long time. I found him by accident when I was looking for something else, and was captivated by his combination of precision, mathematical engineering, and sheer beauty.

Each one is spring-driven and runs for an average of 20 hours. They are delicately carved from lovely, highly-polished, different-colored woods, and the best ones create the most marvelous moire illusions with their movements. One feels one could sit and contemplate their mesmerizing, shadow-theatre shapes for hours.


Mr. Roy, who has a degree in physics and engineering, says that the artistic influence of his wife, and later, an interest in optical patterns, led him to the designs he produces today. The names of his sculptures, words such as Radiance, Illusion, Spectrum, and Harmony seem to imply a dual interest in physics and metaphysics, or at least meditation, on Mr. Roy's part.

Interestingly, I thought these objects were small, either hand-held or head-sized; but if you look at Mr. Roy's About the Artist page, you will see that they are actually quite large, some of them about the size of large wagon wheels.

It's nice to see an elegant combination of craftsmanship and mechanical works; and combined, they produce a contemplative and, in some cases, satisfyingly clockpunk result.


David C Roy said...

This is certainly a delayed response to your blog post about my work. I have only recently started tracking the scattered mentions of my work on the web and was delighted to find your blog and get lost in its words and links of wonders. Fascinating explorations!

Yes, in my past I studied physics, and while still immersed in the sciences I wrote a final exam essay on “What is Art” by comparing the art of physics to the science of art. I was not persuasive in the eyes of my professor but even so have built a lifetime career by combining inventing, science, and art.

Lack of clarity in scale of my work is an issue I have started addressing in my web site. You’ll notice I have included photos of my sculptures in room settings to assist viewers in understanding the size range of my work. Check out these new pages:

gate valves said...

as beautiful it may seem., is still dont get it what it is. whats its use?