Time Flies

   by Alyson Dunn and Carol Averill for Somewhere in Time (2015)

At the center of our project a tree supports a ball track, a clock and a nest. The steel ball rolls down a track through a series of obstacles making its way into the nest causing the clock to fly. The tree is made from the plywood disc, hardwood strips, and the large basswood block cut into 3/16" square strips on a table saw. We used a mitre saw, mitre box and exacto knife to cut the wood strips into lengths. Starting at the top of the ball track, the steel ball release is made from the wood mini bowl and wire cut from the mini clothespin. The wire attaches to the bowl through holes made with a large needle. The first section of track is Premo! Clay rolled, cut, formed over a bent aluminum pipe and baked in the oven. The cutting pattern for the Premo! track was drawn on the computer using AutoCAD, a drafting program. The spinner is made from the Soho painting board cut into a circle. The spinner dividers are made from additional pieces of the Soho painting board. The spinner is on a support made from a dowel piece sharpened in a pencil sharpener, the plastic thread bobbin, and a piece of the Balsa Foam block. The edge of the spinner and the next piece of track are made from wood craft sticks soaked in boiling water and bent around a mold and left to dry. The u-shaped track pieces were bent and clamped to a piece of bullnose wood trim, and the longer craft sticks were clamped to a Pyrex bowl and wood block in different configurations. The Plinko circle is made with cardboard from the Mystery Build box, part of the shrink film sheet, and small dowel pieces which the ball bounces off of, noisily, then pops out the bottom opening. The ball then travels down the final track made from bent aluminum wire. The wire was initially straightened using a drill and a vice, and then bent around various round kitchen tools and containers to form the tracks. After swirling down the track the steel ball launches off the track and lands in the bird's nest made from pieces of burlap woven together and glued. The impact of the steel ball landing in the nest causes the clock to fly. The clock is tied to the tree with thread, and the nest is tied to the clock with thread. The interior of the clock is made from the styrofoam discs, cardboard from the Mystery Build box and the cardboard mirror. The body and face of the clock are made from the shrink film instruction sheet. The clock face was also drawn on AutoCAD and printed on the instruction sheet with a copy machine. The hands of the clock are cut from the instruction sheet and the EZ shape modeling clay box. The front edge of the clock is wrapped with a strip cut from the foam sheet. The clock glass is made from shrink film. The feet, knobs, and buttons of the clock are hand molded from the Friendly plastic strip. The bells of the clock are made from Premo! clay molded in an egg cup and baked. The bells rest on small dowel supports. The wings of the clock are connected with cloth from the bag which originally held the wood pieces. The wings are made with cardboard from the EZ Shape modeling clay box and Mystery Build box. The single white sheet of paper was painstakingly cut into individual feathers. Both the clock and the wings are weighted with pieces of the aluminum bar that were cut with a hacksaw and EZ Shape modeling clay. Elmer's glue, wood glue, hot glue, and super glue were used on the project. Finishes include wood stain, polyurethane, acrylic paint, spray paint and RubnBuff wax metallic finish. Materials from the mystery build kit not used in the project include the foam pad, canvas panel, cotton balls, and most of the small wood shapes.

Time is unstoppable, always moving forward. We felt our project needed to portray a sense of motion. When we opened Mystery Box, the steel ball captured our imagination. Can we set this ball in motion to travel somewhere? What could a rolling ball do? Cause time to fly, of course! Building a marble run allowed us to guide the ball. Rotating around the central tree, the steel ball follows its clockwise path along baked clay, cardboard, popsicle sticks, and wire transformed into tracks, finally landing in the nest and making the clock fly to destinations unknown.

Truly, it was fun to spend creative time with an old friend building Time Flies! Thank you for hours of time well spent.