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Jay Rubinstein

I make wooden mobiles, designed to be as light as possible to enable them to move easily. Most, though not all, have been in response to an image in a poem or a story. I'm excited when shown a new idea or way of looking at a familiar object and particularly when a striking image is accompanied by some deeper significance. I want my mobiles to be beautiful but also to carry some sense of meaning for the onlooker.

Images of Studio

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About My Practice

I like my work to challenge the viewer with multiple perspectives. I’m constantly exploring the ways in which mobiles enable a single shape to represent different things depending on viewpoint or distance. Sometimes, images appear and disappear as the air takes the piece. There is even, occasionally, a surprise for me as the final piece moves in ways beyond my intentions.

Every stage of making the mobile involves exploration and decisions, some of which need to be reversed at a subsequent stage. The colours produced by various timbers, the shapes it is possible to make and the shapes it is possible to suggest, the stringing of the pieces and the movement available in the final piece all require deliberation and experiment.

Occasionally I find the right technique or shape at the first attempt. More often I don’t. Even when making a mobile closely allied to a previous one, I will find myself modifying and developing it. Unfortunately, this sometimes means discarding and burning early experiments when they don’t measure up. Probably the necessity of giving up on a piece when it isn’t suitable or good enough is one of the most important things I’ve learned over the years.

Tools & Materials

The materials I work with are almost exclusively natural veneers (slices of wood less than 1mm thick). This means a limited colour palette and many challenges when trying to represent shapes with compound curves. Gluing layers of veneer over curved forms, under a vacuum press produces light, strong shapes with minimal wastage. I had a brief experience with the technique when training as a cabinet maker over 40 years ago at the London College of Furniture.

The work I’m doing now is somewhat removed from the craft of furniture making but I try to keep to the same standards of work and finish as far as possible.

Examples of work

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West Kirkcarswell House, Dundrennan, DG6 4QW


Parking Spaces: 4


Price Range

– £2,400

Contact Info

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