Swallows in Flight

By Coby Unger


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(To see this piece in motion, please check out the video in my artist profile) In the winter months my grandfather spent his afternoons making birdhouses for swallows which he later hung in local parks around his home in Arvada, Colorado. In his memory, this vessel features a flying swallow. A series of 12 inlaid birds create an animation when spun under a flashing light. The motor and electronics for the animation of this zoetrope are housed in the wooden base below the vessel. A combination of computer numeric controlled machinery and traditional fabrication methods were used in the creation of this piece. Zoetropes are a very early form of animated film. With the help of a digitally controlled motor and LED light, this format was brought into a more modern form.

Wood (Maple, Walnut, LED Lights, Electric Motor)

12 x 8 x 14 inches

About the artist

Coby Unger is a professional mess maker. In his artistic works he aims to find delight in the ordinary. Coby primarily works in wood, but prefers pulling boards from dumpsters, milling from fallen trees, or rescuing broken furniture over trips to the lumber yard. Trees, like humans, he believes are imperfect and unique and should be celebrated for that. After studying industrial design at Philadelphia University (now Thomas Jefferson University) his work has ranged from efficient cooking stoves, adaptable prosthetic arms, and emergency ventilators to wooden eyeglasses and chair backs installed in tree stumps. Coby enjoys a position at the MIT Hobby Shop where he teaches wood working, metal fabrication and design. Outside of the workshop Coby can be found helping out on friends' farms, volunteering on an ambulance, climbing in the mountains or cooking elaborate meals with the other members of his Somerville MA Co-Op....Read MoreRead Less
Media: Wood
Category: Other

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