Drawing Machines: Found Machine

For my found machine project, I chose to use a large drill that I found in my garage. Throughout the course, I have been experimenting with rotational motion and wanted to continue with this trend by focusing on the drill’s spinning properties. I knew from the beginning that I would have to find a new way to use the drill without taking apart one of my dad’s expensive tools. Thus, I wanted to make something that could be simply attached to the drill bit to spin around. I was interested in how the speed of the rotation would affect the artwork being created. I had a few concepts for what to make but decided on trying to create spin art. Though I think of spin art as a fun activity from childhood, I wanted to see if I could be more specific and thoughtful in creating circular designs.

To make my spinning machine, I started by cutting out small, square pieces of paper that could be attached to the drill. I took a drillbit and attached it to one of the pieces of paper with a lot of tape to create a sturdy base. This made it easier to move from one design to the next without having to create a new “machine” each time.

I experimented with many different art supplies including: markers, pencils, acrylic paint, ect. I made a few using the paint, but found that it easily became very globby and, when I had the drill spinning at faster speeds, the paint would spin off of the paper and splash all over my room. Through trial and error, I found that ink worked the best to create thick and colorful lines. In addition, it was easier to control than the paint and could be added directly to the paper.

I really enjoy the results of my first experiment and would say that it was my favorite of the two attempts at using the drill. I prefer the orderly look of the designs and the more control that I had in the process. My second experiment however, was all about the machine controlling the art. I decided to reverse the idea of my original machine and attach a paint brush directly onto the drill. I then put a bunch of paper in a bowl to decrease risk of splattering and tried to work in circular motions to make designs. 

While these were much more chaotic than the other experiment, they have a rougher feeling to them that I also find interesting. The colors mixed together seems to make a connection for all of the random lines. This experiment forced me to allow the machine to make a lot of the artistic decisions and I had to let go of that control over the pieces that I created.

Author: Hailey Schoenberger