Michael Ray Charles For Older Children

Silhouette of sculpture

(Forever Free) Ideas, Languages and Conversations


Michael Ray Charles

American, born 1967

Subject: Mobile Madness!

Activity: Use pictures and drawings to create a mobile

Materials: Wire hanger, string, scissors, hole punch, construction paper or cardboard, pictures from magazines or materials for drawing

Vocabulary: Mobile, balance, harmony


Michael Ray Charles created 26 star-shaped wheels out of crutches and hung them from the ceiling using cables. Crutches are used to help people walk when they are injured. In this sculpture, they form wheels, which, like those on a car or bike, help people move forward. 


What words would you use to describe this sculpture?

How would you describe the lines and the shapes?

If you could make a sculpture out of anything, what would you choose and why? 


Decide on a theme for your mobile; it could be anything like animals, family, or sports. Draw pictures or cut out some from a magazine. Glue a piece of construction paper or cardboard to the back of your picture if it needs added support. Punch a hole at the top of your picture and loop and tie a string through the hole. Once you have all your pictures, decide the best way to display them on your hanger. Make some strings longer than others to create an interesting mobile. Don’t leave any too long or too short. Tie the other end of the strings to the hanger. Hang your mobile on a doorframe or a fan and watch it sway in the breeze! 

Look again

Look closely at the sculpture. Can you see how it is held together and how it is hung from the ceiling? 


Mobile - A sculpture that is suspended and moves freely in the air

Balance - An arrangement of shapes and colors where no part is more important than another

Harmony - An arrangement of shapes and colors where each component relates and complements one another