Self Assembly

A spray of molten wax accumulates on the rim of a rotating wheel. 

While traveling to Moose Factory to spend time on the Moose Cree First Nation’s Reserve at the southern extent of the Arctic Ocean in mid-winter, I observed icicles growing radially from a frozen bus wheel. 

I was inspired to build a system for growing these structures into wax spoked wheels. To grow a wheel from centrifugal stalactites may seem strange, and impractical, but I believe it is in these explorations into the unknown where we find new fruitful possibilities. 

In this project I used a strobe light synced with an encoded 12V DC gear motor to flash once per revolution of the system. This allows the viewer to observe the growth of radial wax-icicles as they reach for the circumference. 

Beyond the application of such a system, I believe it is important for my work to instill a sense of wonder and surprise at the physical world. It is a marvelous thing when materials break from symmetry to develop interesting patterns of their own. To me the magic of such a moment eludes to deeper constructive pattern building in the universe. 

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