"Since 2000 I have been working on the development of sculptures with expressive motion as a starting point."

"Since 2000 I have been working on the development of sculptures with expressive motion as a starting point."


Car Swing & Looping project

2022-09-30 (V. van der Wijk)

During the last months I have been busy with two so far secret projects (together with the birth of my wonderful daughter Sofia a few weeks ago). Here I'd like to share the first project: a huge installation named the "Car Swing" which I am developing together with Emile Luijben (Mastermilo) for the 'Op de proef gesteld' campaign of the University of the Netherlands.

This computer illustration shows what it is going to look like: A Volkswagen Golf will be swinging as a 6 meter long pendulum hence and forth and eventually make a looping at 12 meter height(!). Every time the car passes the ground it accelerates by the 'driver' giving gas to swing up higher and higher. 

Together with Emile we've made the conceptual design. While I am busy with the dynamic simulations, calculations of the dynamic forces, and making a design that is strong enough, Emile is taking care of the production. The design is very challenging, as the dynamic forces will be significant: with a looping the car will exert 5G acceleration forces on the driver when passing the ground, which is 5 times heavier than gravity, making a 1000 kg weighting car act as if it is weighting 5000 kg, and a person of 80 kg as if weighting 400 kg. This is about the maximal acceleration force that is allowed in rollercoasters, and near the limit a human can handle without special gearing. With a countermass on the other side of the swing (blocks of concrete) the car can be balanced, reducing these enormous G forces and eventually making it possible to slowly drive comfortably in looping circles. However these countermasses introduce other large forces that have to be designed for.

This project was initiated by the University of the Netherlands with the aim to promote science. As Assistant Prof. of the TU Delft I will be explaining in the videos how to design such large moving structures, how to think of the (dynamic) forces that act in the material and how they have to 'flow' through the structure. And of course, how to balance them.

If you'd like to see more of the production in the workshop (the base frame has already been produced and used by Emile to make himself loop), then have a look at Emile's video's below or visit his youtube channel. He makes excellent and very insightful recordings.     


Into a new atelier!

2022-06-12 (V. van der Wijk)

In the past few months I have moved into my new atelier in the old cable factory at the Schieweg 15 in Delft. It's a wonderful space: 150 squared meters with a lot of light from the North and a lot of height such that my large sculptures fit in. The first photo shows the core of the atelier: the metalworks corner. The second photo shows the installation of sculpture Anemone Magnifica.



2022-03-19 (V. van der Wijk)

For my new sculpture 'Hug' I have started with finishing the surfaces of the bronze parts and also with assembling the linkage mechanism as shown below. The holes for the axles were precisely made and such that the moving bars will make the right side on top move synchronously with the left side on top with which they move either inwards or outwards simultanously. 

The motion is shown in this video in which the right part of the mechanism consists of a general four-bar linkage while the left part of the mechanism is a parallelogram. Then next step is to place the pyramid shapes on top.  


'Between Heaven and Earth' finished!

2022-02-18 (V. van der Wijk)

After many hours of experiments and work, the newest version of Between Heaven and Earth has been finished now too. Earlier I wrote about the teardrop profiles I'd casted. I wasn't 100% satisfied and decided to make an improved wooden model. With that model I casted a series of bronze bars with a nicer teardrop profile.

With the milling machine I gave the bars the correct lenght with a straight surface finish.

Also for drilling the holes for the rotational joints I used the milling machine such that the measures are accurate and the holes are well aligned.

Bronze casting of the base was another challenge. The model, also designed with the same teardrop shape, I had 3-D printed. It took two failures to learn how to cast it well by pooring the 4 kg of liquid bronze more rapidly into the sand mold.

After finishing all the bars and bearings with stainless steel axles, the sculpture was assembled. Below you can see the results with the highest pose of the sculpture of 100 cm and lowest pose of 50 cm.

The sculpture shows a person huddled in despair. You, as a friend, are trying to help by lifting the person up where the person begs heaven for help. However when you leave, the person collapses again in utter despair. The next step is to make a small series of this sculpture for sale.


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