Merlot is a kinetic wooden sculpture that creates a mesmerizing kaleidoscopic effect. In one orientation, Merlot’s forms create an array of stemless wine glasses. Rotate those forms 180 degrees, and smaller, stemmed wine glasses appear. Fully wound, this elegantly engineered sculpture will dance for hours at a time.


Controlled Center of Gravity

Each cup assembly's center of gravity (CG) was carefully positioned to be exactly at the assembly's pivot point. This not only allows the six cup assemblies to have common parts, but also allows small weights to be attached in one of six positions behind each cup, assigning that cup’s orientation in the sculpture.

Virtually Silent

Merlot’s slow movement coupled with its pin/bell escapement design allows for almost silent operation. The only sound to be heard is a soft whirr from the speed limiting mechanism.

Captivating Illusions

The combination of carefully managed CGs and cup orientations generates a dynamic visual effect of size, orientation, and shape change when the sculpture is in motion. But, like a Ferris wheel, each cup’s orientation never actually changes relative to gravity. The identical cup shapes are simply placed in different orientations relative to each other.

Easy Winding

Just hold the large gear and rotate the wind wheel clockwise. The magnetic ratchet mechanism will click as Merlot’s spring winds behind the large gear. When wound, give the cups a gentle push to start their motion.

Run Time
2.5 hours

Woodworking Plans
45 pages 8.5" x 11"
15 pages 11" x 17"
60 pages total

42 DXF files

Free Downloads



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