Adams Marble Machine

A kinetic sculpture that depicts Adams' struggles. 

4 weeks

RISD FURN studio: witness tree

       Witness tree is a class in the RISD Furniture Department. Students in the class were given pieces of lumbers that came from a particular site with a significant history. Students are required to learn about that particular history, and then create a wooden piece that reflects the history of the site.

 

       The majority of this marble machine is created from the trees that once stood in Adams National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)

 

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The story:

"John Adams was deeply concerned about how power was to be shared and who was to govern in the newly formed United States. As a delegate to the Continental Congress, one of the Framers of the Declaration of Independence and a Founding Father, Adams feared that power would be consolidated by wealthy elites. He struggled with this issue throughout his life."
 

 

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       For the second project of "witness tree", students were asked to design a wooden sculpture that reflects an imbalance of power between the powerful and the poor, a problem that John Adams struggled to resolve. For this project, I wanted to use a series of mechanism to tell a story, hoping to use these movements to illustrate a "contrast" between two kinds political class, one representing the powerful aristocrats while the other representing the common citizens. 

The machine in action:

This video shows how the machine is operated.
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Process photos:

The process includes turning, milling, soldering and more.
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Thank you