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Project Information

This is one of my older magnetically suspended ship sculptures and it never fit very well in any of the frames I designed for it. Fortunately, when I moved into my new workshop, I decided to abandon the frame, and attached the sail to the ceiling and the hull to the floor (there is a two inch magnetic gap between the two components). It has been happily floating in its new home ever since.

I refer to air between the hull and sail as the magnetic gap. I achieve the magnetic gap by bringing the pieces close enough together so that they are forcefully attracted to each other. Once I have got the pieces in place, and determined that the magnetic bond is strong enough to suspend the proper amount of weight, I crimp the restraining wires.
At that point, my work is done and the sculpture will float, dance, spin, shimmy and vibrate forever….

The real magic of this sculpture is that it "floats" in mid air. You can walk up to it, blow on it, nudge it, etc, and it just keeps doing its thing. It will also spin and reorient itself when ever a breeze hits it, loud music plays, or an earthquake strike… It is fascinating to watch for long periods of time.

This sculpture is the largest ship sculpture I have ever made out of solid wood. The hull is 18" long and shaped from teak- a traditional (and very expensive) nautical wood. It has six portals that let light pass through it making for some great light effects.

The sail is carved from a solid, glued up block of cherry, mahogany, and walnut. It was a very ambitious sail for me at the time.. the sail is 14'' high (I studied on of Jim Arnold's (LJ) chess sets when I was designing the sail).

I finished this ship with a combination of Teak Oil and Polyurethane. It has a mellow finish that really compliments the woods used.

I have attached a link to a video so you can see the piece in action.
Here it is:

Gallery

Comments

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28,289 Posts
Really cool, Mike. You know you're going to make me try this!!

How big of magnets do you use?
I take it there is a magnet in each piece pulling on this one?

Cheers, Jim
 

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64 Posts
Very cool! Like Jim asked, how big and how many magnets do you use? Rare Earth magnets? It's a great idea. Possibilities are limitless. Nice work.
 

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155 Posts
Way Cool !!Love the natural finish on pretty wood…
 

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Another unique and creative project-thanks for sharing!
 

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Beautiful. Magical. Inspiring.

Thanks for sharing and for literally elevating the art of wood working.
 

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My Oh My, I think you hit a home run! Those are some serious magnets to hold a 2" air gap,
 

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What a nice project! where did you get the magnets if i can ask?
 

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Beautiful Work As Usual Mike!

"nayo" Lee Valley has about the Largest Selection of Rare Earth Magnets, Accessories, & Explanations of what they are Etc, that I've seen anywhere.

THIS LINK will take you to the Opening Page on them, then you can go from there.

I just noticed that you live in Honduras. LV Started out as a Mail Order Company Only and their Mail Order is Still TOPS!

UNLESS ... There are some Gov't Regulations in force that might Prevent Shipping these by Air?

Rick
 

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Love the concept & execution
Pete
 
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