The configuration of Whorled is similar to a four member Ferris wheel, but with a couple of differences. The first is that each orbiting member, or what I think of as a satellite, overlaps at the center. The second difference is that each of the four satellites is rotated 90 degrees from its neighboring satellite and holds its orientation throughout its obit about the center. The resulting visual effect is expanding and contracting patterns in addition to swirling patterns about the center.
As with most of my sculptures, the creation of Whorled didn’t come without a few challenges. The biggest of which was getting the main wheel carrying the four satellites to rotate for long periods in between pulses from the spring. I finally prevailed and am very pleased with the sculpture's 10 hour run time. Amidst the challenges, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the occasional slight wobble of the satellites added to the sculpture’s random visual pattern.
Whorled is propelled by a stainless steel constant force spring that is fully wound by placing an index finger next to one of the spokes of the lower right drive wheel and turning counterclockwise for about 22 turns. Once the drive wheel is released, Whorled will receive its first 'push' from the spring which lasts less than 2 seconds. The spring will not be needed again until the main wheel carrying the satellites slows enough to rotate backwards. Once this occurs, a mechanism is tripped that allows the spring to impart another 'push'.