Modern Art Baby Mobiles

Modern art for babies? What kind of baby would be interested in modern art, they are way too young. Mobiles you say? Oh, then that's something babies love! There are so many mobiles, musical, moving, wiggling, fuzzy, cute... but modern art? That's a whole noth'a level!! Alexander Calder in the 50's designed some pretty unique mobiles, then others took off the ideas of this new style medium of creating. I, Julie Frith was one of them!! Seeing Calder mobiles in art museums always fascinated me, I would look and blow at them (the guards say not to blow). And watch them slowly move, petal by petal, turning so gently. They made me smile.
Mobius mobile in a nursery.
This is the reason why babies like them too, they move so slowly, and it is not crazy fast, but they do change with just the slightest of air movement. Children also get attached to their belongings as a youngster... and even to their baby mobile! They will not want to get rid of their mobile. So why not a modern art mobile! As the kid grows up... he/she will love the mobile and be reminded of the early beginnings of life and how it made them smile. Modern art mobiles for babies and their lives. For more on Julie Frith... see: and I would love to make a mobile just for your new baby.

Piccomo mobile below was named one of the best new baby mobiles 2008-9. Reviewed by Parents, Cookie, and in Dwell.
Baby mobiles are a dime a dozen, but some end up costing quite a penny. Don't bother buying something cheap, it will just be tossed in the recycling or garbage. A well made mobile should last almost forever. There is no reason it shouldn't, unless it is out of style, outgrown, or fallen apart. My art mobiles last forever, will always be in style, and I even have them hanging outside, very durable, but pricey some say. But I feel something well made is worth every penny. You and your baby will be smiling.

A New High School and a new Art MOBILE!!

Jones High school was burned down. And a new better school was built.

For nearly the last three years, the entire town wanted to know what the brand new, 83,000 square foot facility would look like.

The original high school was destroyed after power lines fell on the building and started a fire in the 2007 ice storm.

Watch this video of the local news

The Multius Hanging Art Mobile

This beautiful mobile is called "Multius" by Julie Frith. It comes in various sizes, from small to XX large. The Multius has been chosen by a variety of buyers; parents picking this mobile design for their new baby's nursery, architects filling a large open space, interior designers matching shapes and colors to their clients' homes, gardeners choosing an 8' Multius mobile for their outdoor courtyard.

All around the world this design is hanging, moving in the breeze dazzling people's eyes. Organic shapes, all interconnected moving one petal, which then moves the next and that moves another.

As an art form, kinetic hanging mobiles have been around for 80 years now. Alexander Calder is credited with creating the first mobiles and stabiles, and is still considered a leader in the medium. For more information on the Multius mobile see Mobiles by Julie Frith. Website:

Mobiles and Stabiles by Julie Frith

Garden Mobiles Hanging Art with Nature

Mobile Art aside the house ads color to the greenery. Mobiles are so fun, they dazzle your eyes with their movement and color. Make sure you untangle them from the wind.

Some mobiles look so much like plants, they blend right into the flower beds.

Can you see this mobile?

Make a collection on a side wall outside with fun beach collections of driftwood, rocks, flowers, found objects, toys, mobiles and even broken pots.

Multius mobile made of plastic and stainless steel, will never rust.
Mobiles outside are Buddha-ful! That's what my cat "Jazz" says!

For more information on mobiles, go to Mobiles by Julie Frith.

Unique Baby Mobiles for Modern Parents

Mobius mobile by Julie Frith is in all white to accent the white frames and white crib. It will entertain the baby as she/he sleeps and comes awake. The mobile moves with the slightest of air currents, and will calm and dazzle the babies eyes for hours. Make sure to move the mobile up and out of the babies reach as she/he grows older. But don't remove the mobile form the babies room, this is a part of the child's upbringing and your kid will be attached to it forever remembering his childhood as she/he grows up. They can even take their mobile with them to college, then give it to their child etc. Forever art, that will be in the family heirloom for generations to come.

This is an Eliptusmobius mobile by Julie Frith which matches the rooms decor, the bedding in orange, creams, browns, tans and white. Color coordinating the mobile can be so easy. Just tell the artist making the mobile the colors, and she can make a few color mockups for you to choose from.

Stark and clean and modern.

The combination of the Modernist and the Eliptusmobius mobiles work well together. This nursery has two one from their first baby and the second from their latest baby. Each child has their own. As they grow up they will share their room and their art. Make sure to have the art certificates made out to the child's name.

For more information on baby mobiles see:

Organic Art Garden Circles

Making Organic Garden Circles
By Julie Frith

Here is a quick easy way to make a modern circle shape garden.
You could almost even call these crop circles!! lol....

First buy a 6"wide by 25' length black plastic garden border... like at Ace Hardware. It should come with a connector rod. You will also need 8 bags of 2 cubic foot bags... organic planting mix.

Find in your yard where you want your circle garden to be. Place the border down and connect the ends. It comes scrolled you may need to unroll flat first. See in the photos... you will need to dig all around the circle to about 6" down. Make sure you line up any sprinkler system or pipes/ electrical before digging.

Make sure it is level with the yard. Then you will need to dig out the center yard of the circle. Replace some to pack the circle outer edging of the border. Then put the excess dirt for fill in your recycling bin or side gardens. The center then gets filled with the organic mix, you can add 1/2 organic manure supreme mix as well. This should fill the entire circle. I got organic vegi starts and placed in the new dirt, aligning them like a clock, very evenly around the circle. Taller plants in the middle. I have animal problems where I live, who like to dig up plants.... so I put down chicken wire (galvanized - won't rust). And tucked it into the edge of the border ring, holding the wire down with wood posts. The wire also seems to keep away slugs! Yeah! Then cut the wire where the plants go with scissors.

Add some stepping stones.... Voila.. you're done!

Then all you are to do is plant, water, wait and watch grow.... then EAT,
every day... right from your own garden circle.

Keeping the separation from grass to garden keeps the slugs and bugs away.
Make sure you water! Once in the morning and once at night.

My cat loves the circle gardens, so warm. The galvanized
netting mesh keeps her from digging up the dirt.

Lush herbs and lettuce grows just fast enough for you to eat from all summer long.

Modern Hanging Art Mobiles

Mobiles for home, office, baby and business. Hang a mobile and watch it turn. They are beautiful and relaxing. Fill your empty high spaces with art. Alexander Calder started this style of art in the early 50's and now his mobiles sell for $10,000! As most artist adventure and discover their talents, I too have found what I like to do.... make mobiles! They are colorful, they add dimension to your room, floating sculpture that moves on it's own. How fantastic!

Best Baby Mobiles 2010

"Eliptusmobius" is 20"w x13"h, has petals for underneath viewing $135. The delicate balanced petals are so beautiful, blowing and watching them move is a wonder. Children that have mobiles near their bed or crib are known to be calmer, sleep better and have a wider imagination than those babies in a blank environment. Stimulation is the key, and a mobile not only activates the child's eyes, but stirs the brain to have more creativity, imagination, possibilities of science, balance and nature.

"Neptune" Foamobile is 26"w x 10"h, lightweight, moves at the slightest wind and very entertaining to a young child's eyes. Great price too $100

"Modernist" mobile is 30"w x 13"h a fantastic mobile for movement, turns from many pivot points to always show various balance configurations. $150

Art for a baby's mind stimulates activity of the eyes and brain, peacefully calming him or her to sleep. An art mobile goes beyond the nursery... right with them to college! A lasting connection from their childhood they will always cherish.

"Bluefish" mobile 20"w x 13"h, a traditional fish design with custom colors to match any room.

"Planets" mobile that does not (or does) have the planet Pluto. 37"w x16"h a glow in the dark mobile that is just fantastic, recommended for ALL ages!

Safety Note: Always hang mobiles out of child's reach.


These are my top 5 picks for the best baby mobiles of 2010. So many mobiles these days it is very difficult finding the perfect one. I chose to show art mobiles compared to clamp on musical or puffy type mobiles. Those only last for the first year or so. I like to buy items for my child that I know will grow with the kid and that they will enjoy viewing forever. Art becomes a part of the child's room, then as the child grows up not only will they love art, but share with others their upbringing.


Art Mobiles - Connection

Art Mobiles - Connection

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Rolly Crump: Earliest Mobile maker and Disney designer 1950's

Roland Fargo Crump

Here's Rolly Crump's Tower Of The Four Winds,
a 120 foot tall kinetic sculpture unveiled at the 1964 New York World's Fair

Rolly Crump and Walt Disney

Rolly Crump (Roland Fargo Crump)
Roland Fargo Crump born in 1930, Alhambra, CA.

began his career in the late 1950s at the Disney Studios as an animation in-betweener, where he worked on Sleeping Beauty (1959) and 101 Dalmatians (1961) before moving to Walt Disney Imagineering. In the beginning of his Imagineering career, Rolly worked on early concepts for the Haunted Mansion, as well as the development of various tiki gods and goddesses for The Enchanted Tiki Room, which opened in 1963. Rolly also worked on developing concepts for the 1964 New York World's Fair, notably it's a small world. Walt wanted an architectural landmark to accompany the pavilion, which would capture the spirit of children at play. Walt asked him to incorporate color and lively movement into a tower to be positioned outside the "Small World" building. Rolly's vivid design for the "Tower of the Four Winds" rose from the attraction's forecourt as the tallest symbol of "Disney at the Fair."
- From Company Literature
The following is a speech given by former Imagineer Rolly Crump at a special Ryman-Carroll Foundation tribute event at the Disneyland Resort on October 7, 2000.
All right, I'm going to start ... I'll try to go a little more chronological this time.
I got a job as an in-betweener with the Disney organization back in 1952. And at that time I was a head dipper at a potter's, dipping, uh, you know, glaze. Plaster pieces into the glaze. But I always wanted to work for Disney because I always liked to draw when I was a little guy. And so my mother said, "Well, why don't you apply for a job?" So I said, "OK." So I did. I applied for a job as an in-betweener at the Disney Studios and they called me back and they said, "Yes, we'd love to hire you." Fine. I said, "OK, good." And they said, "And your starting salary is $30 a week."
Well, I was making $78 a week as the head dipper and my wife was pregnant with our first child and the freeway was going through the house I was in. And I thought, "Oh, my god." So I went to my mother and I said, "I don't know." She said, "Honey, you always wanted to work for the company." She said, "Go for it." So I said, "OK."
So I took the job but what I did, like a lot of us who were in animation that didn't make that much money, we got a second job. So on the weekends, I worked with a friend of mine building sewer manholes. I mixed the mud and lowered the bricks and the mud to him so that I could continue working at Disney.
And of course it all paid off because what I learned from the company was absolutely unbelievable. In fact, I have a slide show I did called "Learning from Walt," and what that really means is learning from all of the people that I was with. I only had a high school education and all of the sudden I was put into rooms with guys that were graduates of Art Center, from Chouinard, from all different art schools and colleges. And here Rolly is, you know?
So I begin to work with all of these people and what happened was one of the fellas that I was ... like I said, I was the last in-betweener hired on Peter Pan, so that was slipping right in at the last second ... uh, it was a fellow that was named, uh, Wathel Rogers. And Wathel had a little pushpin on his light, on his desk and there was this little propeller turning on it. And every time I would go to have my scene checked, I would look at this little propeller. And I was really intrigued with kinetic sculpture and I asked him, I said, "How'd you do that?" And he said, "Well, it's a secret."
Well, what it was was a little clip that holds the eraser to the pencil. And, uh, what he did was he'd take it down and he bent it and he'd put it on the end of this thing that was spinning. And I said, "C'mon Wathel." "TOP Secret!" So I went back and I kept trying to make these damn things and I ruined tons of them trying to make these little propellers. Finally, after about six weeks, he said, "I'll tell you what ... I'll sell it to you." So he sold it to me for a penny and then he showed me the way you do it is you take a ball point pen and make a dent in it so that it rides in the little bump. OK.
So one of the fellas from the art department came over and said, "Gosh, Rolly, that's a great little propeller. I had it on top of a little cardboard helicopter that I made and it was hanging off the air conditioning. He said, "How'd you do that?" I said, "I'll tell you. I'm not going to charge you, I'll just tell you."
So then he made one but put paddles on it ... little cardboard paddles. And I went and saw his and his was bigger than mine. So I went back but I started making propellers. And I had my frekin' room filled with propellers. I mean after about six months I was making propellers all day long and once in a while, I'd do an in-between. But anyways, what happened was Ward Kimball, uh, one of the Nine Old Men, saw my propellers and was really intrigued by it and he told Walt, "You gotta see this guy's propellers." You know, so obviously, and I didn't realize this, Walt came down one evening and saw my propellers and, uh, said, "You know, we outta get that kid to come work with us on the Disneyland project."
This was when WED was first developed. WED was his initials - Walter Elias Disney - and that was the company that designed Disneyland. And so in 1959, they asked me if I'd be interested and I said, "Yeah, sure, great." I didn't have a clue what I was going to do but I couldn't do propellers for the rest of my life. So, uh, anyway ... we, uh, Walt ... the nice thing about Walt was that he really believed in you.
So, uh, it was kinda cute because the first day I met Walt, he shook my hand and said, "Roland ... it's nice to have you with us." And I said, "Mr. Disney ... it's nice to be with you." And he said, "No, Roland. It's not Mr. Disney. It's Walt. And don't you forget it." So I said, "Okay, fine." Well, we went a few days where I was Roland and then after a while he started calling me Owen. There was a writer named Owen Crump. He was writing for motion pictures. So, oh, for five or six months, I was Owen. So I went along with that. And then I became Orland. Walt started calling me Orland. And I said, "Fine." You know. I don't care. At least he knows who I am. But the real coup de grace was one day we were in a meeting and he turned to Yale Gracey and he said, "Yale, you and, uh, what's his name here ... I want you to work on the Mansion."
So anyway, that's how I got started.
So I was now transferred over into, uh, WED. But I want you to know that when you're in animation, you grow up with cartoonists. And the gags that cartoonists played on each other went clear back to the '30s. And Walt allowed this, in fact, he thought, any of the gags that the guys came up with, we'd do.
Well, one of the greatest gags -- and the reason I'm telling you this gag is because these gags continued on with what we did here for Disneyland, you know ... a way of working. So one day, one evening while I was working on Peter Pan, I came in and there were two guys on their hands and knees and they were drilling a hole in the wall. And this is on overtime. And I said, "When are you going to work?" "We're drilling a hole in the wall." And I said, "Yeah, I can see that. What are you doing?"
Well, they lined it up with the hole in the animation desk in the other room where the light cord goes through ... And that was Milt Kahl's room. So they lined it up perfectly and what they did was they got a great big squeeze ball and a hose and they would stick the hose through the little hole and go pop with talcum powder and there would be talcum powder all over his crotch. So he would get up to go to the bathroom and "Geez! What's all this?" There's talcum powder all over his crotch. And then they would let it go for about a week then poof. And he would yell and scream when he found this talcum powder.
And so then one weekend, they collected flies. And they had a big funnel and they had jars of flies. They kept tapping this jar of flies and the flies would keep coming up from underneath the desk and he's yelling and screaming about the flies.
Well the final, the final thing was he was going to have lunch with Walt and that day wore a suit and tie and everything and he turned off his light to go have lunch with Walt and they shot him right in the crotch with hot water. And that ended the gag but he had to go over to the Rose room and have lunch with Walt with his pants completely wet.
But that was just -- I could go on forever about the gags that we played. So a sense of humor is something that did carry and kept us as cartoonists even when we were working on the Disney projects. And I'll give you an example. I'll give you two examples of things that took place.
Yale Gracey and I were asked to design all of the illusions for the Haunted Mansion and so we had this big, big room and we blacked out all of the windows. This was in the animation department. And we had skulls and skeletons and we had stuff all around the room ... gory heads. And one of the things that we had was a great big monster that we painted with all kinds of things on it and everything and a weird head. And we had a string attached to its head and when Walt would come in we'd let him ... we were just playing around with stuff. We didn't know what we were going to use it ... we'd take this gun and shoot the monster and the monster would blow up, the lid would come off and there was some black stuff underneath and the head would come off and swing around the room. My wife made a China silk ghost that you'd put over a small caged fan and when you turned it on, the ghost would fill up and start shaking and everything. And so we had all of this stuff.
Well, one day what happened was we get a call from the personnel department and they said, "The janitors have requested that you leave a light on." So Yale and I said, "Oh, all right, we'll leave a light on." And so what we did was we rigged the room. Right in the middle of the room we had an infrared beam and when you first came in the lights were kinda low but they were on. But when you broke the beam, the black lights came on, the real lights went off, the monster blew up and up comes the ghost. So we came to work the next day and the ghost was going all night long and the head was hanging in the center of the room and right in the middle of the floor was a broom. And we get a call from the personnel department, "They are NEVER coming back."
So this was it. No matter what you were doing there was this little craziness that kind of stayed with you when you were doing stuff.
I was working with ... we were working on the World's Fair and we were working on the Ford Pavilion. And Blaine (Gibson), the head sculptor, sculpted this very powerful woman. A BIG, powerful woman. And sent her over to the studio to have a fiberglass body made of her for the Primeval World sequence. And they sent her back and they had the rubber skin on her and they painted her and they had a raccoon skin wrapped around her. And Blaine said, "You know, Rolly, I'm not sure that skin color is the right value. Would you mind taking your shirt off, standing by her and having your picture taken with her? Because the Polaroid is black and white and we'll find out if the value matches." I said, "Hell, I'll do better than that," and I rolled up my pants, took my shoes off and wrapped her raccoon skin around me. And I had my picture taken with her ... And I had my picture taken with her ... And I had my picture taken with her. I basically attacked this woman and we had 8 or 10 of these black-and-white Polaroids of Rolly, you know, with the cave woman and we put them in this little file.
Well, a couple weeks later, Walt's over and Walt is asking Blaine about something and Blaine says, "Oh, I think I have that on file. I have a little Polaroid file and maybe it's in there." So he's going through it like this and Walt's looking over his shoulder. And all of a sudden you see Rolly attacking this cave woman and Walt says, "What's that?" And Blaine says, "Oh, I was just checking some skin values with Rolly." And Walt said, "Let me see them." And he takes them out and lays them out and Walt busted out laughing. Here's Walt laughing and checking out Rolly, you know, attack a cave woman.
Meanwhile, I've got indigestion. I headed across the room to where there was a 7-Up machine and got a 7-Up to calm my stomach down. And this friend of mine is standing by the machine, and he says, "Rolly, what's going on over there?" And I said, "Walt saw the pictures of me with the cave woman." And he said, "What did he say?" And I said, "He laughed." And he said, "Oh." And I turned around and Walt was standing right there and looked me straight in the eye and said, "That's right. He laughed." That shows you the crazy things that you could do or whatever that was a part of what you did for a living.
The next thing, after I got done working on the Haunted Mansion and the illusions for that, our next involvement was to do the Tiki Room. The Tiki Room was originally designed to be a restaurant. And so I remember - and these are the things that I remember that are so special - our sitting in a room with Walt when he would come up with an idea. And then all of a sudden it was one of the attractions at Disneyland. Being there when the idea was first kicked off was very special.

Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room
One thing that happened was Walt said, "I want to do a little Tiki Room. I just want a little Tiki, Tiki Room for over in Adventureland. We're re-doing Adventureland." So we said, "Okay, fine."
So John Hench, one of our lead art directors was asked to do a rendering of what the Tiki Room would look like. And John did. He did a beautiful rendition of birds in cages and the interior of this thing and Walt took one look at it and said, "John, you've got birds in there." And John said, "Yeah," and Walt said, "Well, you can't have birds in there." And he said, "Well, why not?" "They're going to poop in the food." Yeah, he really said that.
And John said, "No, no, no. They're not real birds, they're stuffed birds." And Walt said, "Disney does not stuff birds." And John said, "No, no, no ... they look stuffed. They are little mechanical birds that cheep." And Walt said, "Oh, little mechanical birds that cheep. Well, maybe they can cheep and cavort with each other." And that's how we started the Tiki Room.
And then we went on and on and on and then all of a sudden we started to develop the works of these little guys and the sounds and everything. So all of a sudden that was in production.
And then Walt said to me, "Rolly I want you to design the pre-show Tikis outside so that the people waiting to go in ..." See at that time, it was still a restaurant. "... While they are waiting to go in, there will be a little show that goes on." So I say, "Okay, fine."
So I started doing these little sketches and I got all this information out of the library about the different gods and goddesses of the islands of the Pacific so I'd be authentic because Rongo was the god of kite flying, Pele was the god of fire and everything, so I did all these little sketches and for one of them I got an idea. In the Orient, they have where they drip water into a little piece of bamboo and when it fills, it dumps. And when it comes back, it hits a log and scares the rabbits and the deer away. I thought, "Yeah, I'll do that." Supposedly, what he hits on top is his wife and that's the way the story goes, that's his wife between his legs.
So anyway, I'm showing all these pictures to Walt and Walt looks at them and says, "Are these all authentic, Rolly?" And I said, "Yes, sir, they are." "What's that the god of?" And he pointed right to the one with the bamboo. And I didn't know what to say. Luckily John Hench was standing next to me and said, "That's the god that tells the time." And Walt said, "Oh, okay." So when the meeting was over, John said, "You better find out who the god is that tells the time," which I did. I went to the book and it's Maui.
So anyway, Maui was then designed. All these were were little quick sketches that Walt bought off on. They weren't even in color. They were just little line drawings. And Walt said, "Build 'em." So I took them to the head sculptor and said, "Will you get started on these? Walt bought off on them." And he said, "Rolly, I'm too busy. I don't have time for that." And I said, "Well, who's going to sculpt them?" And he said, "You are." And I said, "I am? I've never sculpted before in my life." I want you to know that the first piece of sculpture I did in my life is Maui in the pre-show of the Tiki Room.
Anyway, what happened was, I said, "Okay, fine." And he started telling me how to build the armatures, how to put the clay on. And it was plasticine clay, an oil-based clay. And when it's cold, it's really hard to work with. And this is in the springtime and it was really cold in this little barn that we worked in. So I take them and put them on wheels and push them into the parking lot. And I actually put the clay and sculpted them in the parking lot. So I want you to know that all the pre-show Tikis before you go in there were sculpted in the parking lot. They were not sculpted in a beautiful studio with north light.
And from there, I sent them to Disneyland and they made them out of fiberglass. They sent them back to me. Once I got them, I painted them. Painted them all up. And then I took them to Disneyland, and I actually took a wrench and installed them. If you were to have that done today, you'd probably have about 50 people. There would have to be renderings done and engineering done. In those days, and that's why I call them my naïve days, we just did it. We did whatever it took to do it. In those days, again there were only 30 of us and that included the janitors and the people who worked in the accounting department and everything. So, it was marvelous.
The humor also carried on in this first building that we were in. I had this motorcycle and I had been riding it at lunchtime. And I came back in and I was just getting ready to park it when one of the secretaries said, "You know, I've never ridden a motorcycle before." So I said, "Get on the back and I'll take you." So I went through the building, right up to her desk and dropped her off. Well, Dick Irvine, the lead art director, opens up the door, looks out and says, "Oh, it's just Rolly," and shuts the door. That's because there was this constant fun that we had and it continued on forever.
Okay, now the next thing is that after we finished up the Tiki Room, and Walt basically said after we were designing it, "No one will leave the restaurant, so we're going to make a show out of it." So when you sit on those chairs, I want you to know those chairs were purchased for a restaurant. Because if that was meant to be a theater, there'd be bench seating all the way around.
And the other thing was that I sculpted the birds, actually, I sculpted 80 percent of the Tiki Room. The bird mobile that comes out of the ceiling, well, they sent me up on a Raymond Lift because I had to work on it 15 feet up in the air. And they sent me up and they let me down only when I had to go to the bathroom and when I wanted lunch. So that was kind of fun doing that. And again, like I said, they sent it over to the machine shop that made this damn thing that opens up and they sent it over and said, "Okay, Rolly, sculpt it." So anyway, that was that.

it's a small world
We had handstand-walking contest, you know, in the middle of the model shop. When I was in animation, that was the rage to be able to walk coming down the hall on your hands. I thought it was pretty cool, yeah, I could do that. And all of a sudden our lawyer came in and I said, "We're having a handstand-walking contest." "Well, can I enter?" And I said, "Why, yes." So he took his jacket off. I didn't realize that he had been a gymnast in high school - All-City. He jumps into a handstand and just goes all over the room. And that was our lawyer. We had some fun with that.
We played Frisbee. I want you to know that Blaine Gibson, who was our head sculptor, was the finest Frisbee player that we had. We had yo-yo contests at break times. I had to give magic shows at break time. And we just had a marvelous, marvelous time.
There was one little gal, Leota ... it's her head that is in the ball in the Haunted Mansion, and Lee was an absolutely gorgeous creature, absolutely gorgeous. And when I was doing Adventureland Bazaar, Lee was hired. And when I came back to do the Tiki Room, she had been there for about six weeks. And you know, I was just playful, having a lot of fun. She was kind of a shy little thing. And she told me later, she said, "You know, Rolly, if you had been here when I started, I would have quit."
In fact, she and I had a lot of fun. We were painting one day, we were working on the birds for the Tiki Room and I reached over and I painted a little heart on her and she reached over and painted a little heart. So we were sitting there painting, we were painting each other, and she was kind of "healthy" so I painted this little line that kinda went underneath her blouse and I had her lift her leg and I painted a line all the way down to her big toe. I said, "When you go home tonight, show this to Harvey, your husband, and say, 'Look what Rolly did.'" And she did. So again, this is the part of never letting go of your sense of humor.
Okay, now, once we finished the Tiki Room and we got that all done, I was in charge of the bazaar, which is over in Adventureland, when you first come in, it's the little one on the right. And they said, "Okay, Rolly, we're going to let you have the chance at doing your own thing." And I said, "Okay, fine." And they said, "You've got to re-do this bazaar and you've got six weeks and that's it." And I said, "Okay, fine."
So what they did was, what they said, "We're going to give you six carpenters, six painters, and we're going to rent a soundstage over at Allied Studios and build that there." I said, "Great." I didn't have a clue as to what I was going to build or what I was going do and I had six weeks to do it in. And so I came down to the boneyard here, I collected old ticket booths. They were out in the dump. I got columns that were in the dump. I got streetlamps in the dump. And all that stuff shipped up to the soundstage that I was in.
And I worked off an applebox and I had a bunch of crates and stuff. And so I'm doing sketches and I'm giving the sketches to the carpenters. And I'm working out what the colors are going to be and I've got my little stack of books. One day the carpenter comes up and says, "I got your sketches, Rolly, but what's the scale?" I said, "Scale? What's scale?" And he says, "Well, do you have a scale ruler?" And I said, "What's a scale ruler?" I didn't have ... this get's back to not knowing what you are doing, you just do it. So he and I took, and I said, "Well, this is about 8 feet tall and this is about 6 feet." So we actually made a little cardboard scale ruler. He had one and I had one. And what it was was one inch and a quarter or a sixteenth, equaled a foot. And so I came to learn about this little scale ruler. So I went back to WED, one day I said, "Do you know what a scale ruler is? Show me what it's all about." And they showed me and I said, "Ew, I like my little cardboard one better." So anyway, what happened, when we got finished the carpenter stuck his head in and said, "If we ever work together again, I'll be all ready for you."
They were naïve years. We just did it and we had a lot of fun. The interesting thing about it is I wasn't ... my boss, Dick Irvine ... never told me that this particular design I was working on, he gave me a week's lead time. So it was really opening a week after he said it was going to open. Then I found out through the grapevine that the reason he lied to me is because he didn't believe in me. And we had it done.
Every Friday, I'd go up and I'd meet with him and I'd tell him exactly where we were and what was going on. So I went up one Friday and I said, "Tonight at midnight the trucks are arriving to pick it up and they'll be delivering it probably at 2 o'clock, 3 o'clock in the morning tomorrow." And he just went pale. And he didn't tell me that he hadn't put the floor in yet. And so he had to get on the phone and call Dick Fowler, who was running Disneyland at the time, and he didn't, he was embarrassed to say anything in front of me, and he said, "What do you mean the floor's not in? Oh, it was on schedule? Oh, okay. Well, the truck is arriving tomorrow night at 3 o'clock in the morning so that floor had better be in." So they did. The guys worked all night long to get the floor in. And I never told Dick that I knew he was playing with me. I had a lot of fun with Dick too. He was a marvelous administrator. He wasn't a very good designer but he was a good administrator.
Once we finished doing the Tiki Room, that's when the World's Fair projects came along. Walt called us in one day and said, "We have one piece of real estate left over at the World's Fair," and he said, "I've got a little idea for a boat ride." A little boat ride? What was this all about? We had done Mr. Lincoln. We had done Carousel of Progress. We had done all of this high technology, of making Lincoln stand up and all this good stuff. And he wants to do a little boat ride. What we were thinking was maybe the boat ride is like Storybook Land and we were thinking, "Oh, that's kinda corny."
Anyway, nine months to the day that Walt said I have this idea for a little boat ride; we installed Small World at the World's Fair. And nothing has ever been done in that time frame, that quickly. And that was because we had Walt. If you were asked to do something by Walt, everybody stepped away - management stepped away. It was between you and him to get this thing done. So, we did. We got it done.
We actually had it constructed in Los Angeles; we had all of the animatronics figures made at the machine shop at the Disney Studios. And then we built the sets, lit them and put in the sound system. Then we set it up dry in one of the soundstages at the studio and we pushed Walt through in a boat on wheels at the right speed so he could look at it like he was really on the ride. And once he bought off on it, off to the World's Fair it went. And so away it went to the World's Fair.
Well, we all got shipped off to help install it at the World's Fair, which was kind of an exciting time frame. Because back there, we didn't realize it, that the guys that were helping us put this together had a sense of humor. And so one morning we came in, and they had put super suds into the trough and we had foam like this going through the ride. So we had to spend the whole day to clean the foam out and then about two days later we came in and it was filled with Koi. In the middle of the night, they had gone next door to where Kodak was and stole the Koi and brought them over and stuck them in the big trough.
So anyway, we had our fun, and it was a marvelous time - a very, very exciting time.
-Photos and transcription by Matthew Walker

Rolly Crump "Pete's Poop Deck" poster by Miehana.
Illustration by Roland Crump


About Rolly Crumps mobiles....
Rolly Crump with a
few of his kinetic mobiles and sculptures, 1963.

It's all about balance.
The completed mobile is shown below.
Re-designed Rolly Mobile made by Julie Frith
 47"wide by 16"high plastic and stainless steel
Originally designed by Rolly Crump


For more about Roland Fargo Crump:

More mobiles by Julie Frith:
This article was a collection of many articles,
joined together by Julie Frith

Japan Dangles 20' Art Mobile

Hanging, dangling down the stainwell this large 20' mobile is displayed in Osaka, Japan. Not one , not two, but four mobiles in one, all connected... making it 20' long. Colorful petals delight the viewers eyes as they go up and down the stairs. Kinetically balanced each bar of the mobile moves from the air currents from below, making the mobile move. This mobile was custom designed just for this space.

For more information see: Mobiles by Julie Frith.

Balancing a Mobile

Learn to balance a mobile, with this interactive NGA program for students and teachers. Add weight to a bar, then add another, see what happens when you change their size! Everything is balanced by the other side. Add different shapes, and change their colors. A fun site for learning the art of balancing a mobile.

Make your own Mobile!

Watch the virtual mobile change and grow as you add branches, shapes, and colors. Adjust the orbit speed and make the pieces spin. See how the mobile casts shadows on the wall, then change your point of view and watch it create spirographic patterns as it moves through space.

National Gallery of Art NGA Kids a great site for all ages! Watch a Flash video showing one of Calder's mobiles and it's shadows.

Alexander Calder, Cascading Flowere 1949 painted metal, painted wire, and wire 221 x 243.8cm (87"x96")


Modern Art Mobiles