Stephen Jendro - Artist, machinist, and sculptor.

“Believe in everything and
have worthwhile dreams.”

I have been making these very special kinetic gizmos for over 20 years. Each motorized sculpture takes 50 to 200 hours to complete. They are the most fun ever to design and build, and they fascinate and mesmerize people.

A good friend and fellow rolling ball sculpture builder interviewed me recently - so you can read more about the life of an artist (me) in Tom Harold's blog - part I - and also part II.

Here are a few questions and answers:

How did you get started?

I have been dreaming of making rolling ball sculptures (rbs) since the age of 10. My Auntie Sheila owned a small rolling ball sculpture of bronze rod, and I was completely fascinated, playing with it for days and years. I can still remember the path the balls took along their way, the sound they made, wondering how it was made, why it was made, and who could have thought of it ...

And it was Guy Pullen that thought of making that wire frame sculpture - photos - thank you Guy Pullen for the inspiration all those years ago!

Later, I saw more elaborate, motorized rolling ball sculptures at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. I was astounded that someone could make such a magically satisfying creation. People would stop and watch, mesmerized - for the past 15 years I have worked toward building my own magically satisfying creations. I told the store owner that I would like to make these one day, and he told me that I should, and that if I did, my sculptures would be unique to me and my mind - and he was right.

What influenced you?

Growing up a child of the 60's in Southern California, I was influenced by the Apollo rocket program, Hot Wheels, skateboarding and body surfing, and also by Simon Rodia's Watts towers. We moved to New Zealand and Australia for several years, and I was very impressed by the passenger ship SS Orsova we sailed on. It amazes me that we can imagine, and then through effort, create and shape our world. And Guy Pullen's wire frame sculptures - photos - I may not have ever made any sculptures at all if I hadn't seen his work as a kid!

Why do I hear birds in your videos?

I have a lot of parrots at my studio - they talk and sing to me while I work! 

How do you make these?

Here is a list of what goes into building these puppies: art design, kinetic art, architecture, metallurgy, blacksmithing, industrial safety, welding, electrical design, physics, mechanical engineering, storytelling, Web design, marketing, photography, technical writing, amusement park rides, woodworking, Zen and Buddhism. 

The sculptures are imagined, drawn, hand cut and hand bent using stainless steel rods and TIG welding. 

Stephen Jendro Design - Carnation, WA, USA