Io- kinetic Sculpture using magnetic suspension

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Project by Strombergm posted 11-26-2013 10:44 PM 2857 views 12 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is Io. It is my most recent kinetic sculpture using magnetic suspension. There is a two inch magnetic gap between the two forms inside the frame ( the bottom piece is literally floating)....
Io is named after the innermost of the four Galilean moons of the planet Jupiter.

The four arms of the sculpture are 8.5” long each, making the the sculpture 17” across.
Each arm has three circles radiating from the center. The innermost circle is cocobolo wood, the second is padauk, and the third is purpleheart. None of the wood that I use is stained. I carefully select wood for its color and grain characteristics.

The frame is made from bent oak and bent walnut. It stands 20” high.

Io is a true pleasure to watch. It’s movements are slow and deliberate…. It is quite hypnotizing.
If you are interested in seeing it in motion, here is a link :

Io, as with all of my sculptures, took a long time to design and build. There is no blueprint or book on anything I do. Magnetic suspension is a technique I am still developing. Every point in the design stage, takes careful calculations to make it work. Every thing from wood choice, magnets used (type & grade of magnet, size, shape strength and orientation of magnets all matter), wire and wire connectors matter. If I am off in one calculation, it’s back to the drawing board.

Thanks for looking- mike

-- Mike

9 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

14435 posts in 2198 days

#1 posted 11-27-2013 12:47 AM

Sweet piece, Mike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 1529 days

#2 posted 11-27-2013 12:51 AM

Amazing work!

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

18630 posts in 1431 days

#3 posted 11-27-2013 02:41 AM

Awesome work

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View choppertoo's profile


298 posts in 2406 days

#4 posted 11-27-2013 02:59 AM

Love it! Great work all the way around.

-- The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.. Michelangelo

View wiser1934's profile


466 posts in 2239 days

#5 posted 11-27-2013 03:14 AM

love this piece of work. curious though, what size rare earth magnets did you use? have a couple ideas of my own. thanks

-- wiser1934, new york

View Vince's profile


1059 posts in 2522 days

#6 posted 11-27-2013 07:08 AM

Too cool

-- Vince

View Withers's profile


16 posts in 738 days

#7 posted 11-27-2013 02:31 PM

Now that’s something to be proud of

-- If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life

View Gary's profile


8391 posts in 2525 days

#8 posted 11-27-2013 05:20 PM

Someone else did something similar to this several years ago. It’s posted in projects somewhere. I’m going to try to find it. It caused me to do something similar but much simpler for my grandkids

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 1574 days

#9 posted 11-27-2013 08:58 PM

Very nice sculpture ! I sure enjoy the artistic flexibility wood has and seeing what people come up with. Vert cool.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

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