Kinetic spirals:

SAM_1541Using the pages from a book, I folded and attached them together with glue and a quick stitch, to form a helix. Which would then rotate and spin when the two ends of the string were pulled tight, unfolding and sprouting up into a three-dimensional object in a persons hands.

This idea of a three dimensional spiral led me back to Leonardo da Vinci and his Aerial spiral flying design from the late 15th century.

“If this instrument made with a screw be well made – that is to say, made of linen of which the pores are stopped up with starch and be turned swiftly, the spiral screw will make its spiral in the air and rise high.”

On the 3rd of January 1496, Leonardo created his spiral with a diameter of 15 feet made from reed, linen and wire, and had four men propel it manually, however due to its weight it never took off. This was followed by Gustave de Ponton d’Amecourt, a french inventor in 1861.

I attempted to create a paper based version of the aerial spiral through the templates and instructions of this website.

Although after creating the aerial spiral from paper alone, the piece does not look at all appealing although it does resemble the original aerial spiral somewhat. The main problem i had with it is the construction of the tabs that allowed for the pieces to  be connection together, along with my inability to print out the template download I had to guess to the size comparisons for each of the shapes as i drew them up by hand, this made some of the pieces too small and other too large. One particular area of dissapointment was the actual spiral atop the central collumn, since the paper is too heavy and the rolls of paper that connect it to the collumn are too short to work properly, the spiral is like a flat disc of paper.

Despite this I hope to create another, this time with the correct dimensions of the templates and hopefully move onto creating one from the original materials, to see how well they cope under the circumstance of the aerial spiral.


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