Richard Edelman


8' x 8' x 3'

Painted Steel

Moon Rising


Richard Edelman

I collect gears from industry around Milwaukee. They are not easy to work with because they cannot be easily bent with heat and fire. Hardened and rigid, gears are meant to stay that way forever...or at least until they wear out. But it occurred to me that movement might be elicited from a grouping of gears . After all, they move things like machines and automobiles.


I loved William Butler Yeats esoteric poem, the Phases of the Moon, which begged my young potted head for an interpretation so many years ago. In this sculpture there is a movement of gears across space, arcing from moon rise to moon set in stages of fullness and emptiness. I experimented also with industrial red paint.


I have often used gears as bases for pieces in motion. When integrated into sculptures they represent an underlying order to the universe.  Here in Moon Rise gears are the medium themselves. Later in my TORSO series I used gears as transmitters of raw power, as in auto transmission.


While I maintain a huge inventory of shiny gears and also a collection of wooden foundry patterns on which they are often based, I sometimes believe I have reached a dead end with these enigmatic and perfectly machined drivers of the industrial revolution. They are inflexible as railroad locomotives, and as logical as the most boring professor of engineering. To bend them to my aims is nearly impossible.