Materials & Motion II


​​Today I’m continuing my post on the Materials & Motion unit I do with Kinders, but this project is fun for any age!

After thinking about repetition in art making and using our body as a drawing machine, we talk about designing a machine that could make circles over and over again.

One idea explored is a PENDULUM - defined as a weight hanging from a fixed point that moves freely. A great example of this, of course, is the grandfather clock, but another example familiar to children is a tire swing.

I create a pendulum mechanism for the classroom using water bottles and paint (the weight), hanging by string from my painting easel (the fixed point):

I did a lot of research to make this work for 30 students - there are lot of examples online that I referenced to get the best combination of variables. My material list included:

  • my painting easel (a tripod also works, or you can create you’re own stand as in the link below)

  • water bottle adapted with a glue nozzle, open bottom and string

  • several canvases grouped together on the floor

  • tempera paint (thinned 1:1 ratio with water)

  • drop cloths and spare butcher paper

Here’s a video of it in motion: