John Biggs

Solar Flyer     .063

Sterling silver, Ebony. Mahogany, Solar panels and Pyrex glass

12” x 12” x 17”             Completed 2000

   The solar flyer was the second in my series of solar powered kinetic sculptures. The base is made of ebony with an under structure of mahogany . The piece itself is hand hammered  sterling silver with some lost wax castings and some straight up fabrication on the wing parts. The three sterling silver jack screws on the platform were my original concept for stabilizing the piece inside the bottle. In later works I drilled the glass with a diamond bit and screwed the platform directly to the glass. When the sun hits the panels the small motors in  the castings are energized by the two solar panels located on the top and the top section of the piece starts to spin. Once up to speed the motion is rather fast due to the balanced bearings on the inside of stand, the shaft was machined out of titanium which I had lying around the studio. The glass I had made for me and is pyrex lab glass and is quite durable. The entire piece was fabricated out side the glass and was designed so each individual piece would fit thru the small opening at the top. The platform was cut in strips about one inch wide with a tongue and grove set up to key together once inside.