Category Archives: art

Artist Profile: Ekko Mobiles

It’s a real pleasure to say a few words about Ekko Mobiles.

ekko-mobileEkko creates a wide variety of truly fabulous mobiles and stabiles.  Many of their designs are unique, while at the same time, as with just about all mobiles makers, there is a tip of the hat to Alexander Calder.   With a 1200 square foot studio space, they have enough room to go big, creating mobiles that work in large public buildings.  But they also create some really nifty table-sized stabiles.

ekko-stabile220One thing that other artists and mobiles creators should  take a look at is the presentation of Ekko Mobiles and the related Ekko Workshop websites. These sites are top-notch in their professionalism. Great colors, large vibrant images, and extremely “clean” design make for a great user experience.  And, as you can see with these two images, the photography is gorgeous.

Also, while you’re at Ekko Workshop, be sure to check out their killer catalog and watch their super video; or see it embedded here.

Ekko Mobiles from Little Engine PDX on Vimeo.


Marketing Art Online

I just discovered the Abundant Artist, a site by Corey Huff that helps creatives market their art. I’ll be going back to it in coming days and weeks and will be listening to their Creative Insurgents podcasts as well. For now, I wanted to mention an  article on that site that I found worthwhile, even though it is a few years old. For anyone starting to sell their art online, check it out. It’s called 15 Ways to Sell Your Art Online and has links to a lot of good resources. Make sure to check out the comments while you’re there too as people have offered additional resources and suggestions.


All-wire Mobile #2

Here’s another example of an all-wire mobile, which has been a style/material I’ve been experimenting with in the past couple of weeks. I really like spirals, arcs, squiggles, and geometric shapes, so I find this appealing. The wire is galvanized steel, 14 gauge, lightly spray painted with black paint and a touch of orange in a couple of places for highlights. It’s about 18 inches high, wide, and deep.


Artist Profile: Schmitt Design

brian_schmittSchmitt Design is the mobile and furnishing company of Brian Schmitt. Brian started his company making mobiles primarily, but has since branched out into other products related to home furnishing, including lamps and furniture. His mobiles, which are beautifully crafted out of bamboo, are designed to move gracefully through the air with the individual pieces moving entirely independently (or almost) of each other. This is something that is different from many mobile designs which tend to sculpt a basic shape in space within which there is some freedom of movement. But, as I see it, in Brian’s bamboo mobiles, the overall shape is less defined, but you get a nearly infinite set of relationships among the individual pieces as each is free to rotate 360 degrees in space while the piece above, below or across from it is also moving through 360 degrees. One could view these mobiles from underneath and, assuming there was some air movement in the room, see an endless variety of constantly changing patterns.

colored-sticksThis character, or perhaps we can call it behavior, is what attracted me to making mobiles in the first place. Though I love Alexander Calder and find his work inspirational, most of his mobile creations are built so that the individual pieces flexibly move together, not independently of each other. Here, on the left, for example is a simple mobile I did a few days ago to test some ideas.
Each of the pieces can rotate mostly independent from the other pieces, although in this case, since they are all joined by the same nylon line, the movements affect each other; another effect I find engaging.

For more on Brian and Schmitt Design, take a look at this video:

behind the scenes with Brian Schmitt from Brian Schmitt on Vimeo.

Wood and Wire Mobile

In terms of size, this is my most ambitious project to date. The three large triangular pieces are about 6-8 inches in diameter and altogether, it is between four and five feet wide. It’s also fairly heavy–perhaps ten pounds give or take–so I’m a bit surprised that it doesn’t pull the hook off of the ceiling, which is only held by adhesive. It may come crashing down some day, but hopefully I will be able to find a home for it before that happens. The paint is acrylic.