To begin with, this is a tricky word to pronounce.  Consultation with the online dictionary yields two pronunciations.  The adjective that means “can move about,” as in, “If we put wheels on the BBQ pit, we can make it mobile,”  sounds like it rhymes with “go, bull”.

The kind of hanging sculpture that I’m talking about sounds like the city in Alabama.  But maybe you’ve never been to Mobile, Alabama so consult the online dictionary.  It has a helpful list of words that rhyme with the art mobile.   It says that this kind rhymes with cornmeal and spike heel.  What ?!?  It really rhymes with “for real”, if you say it like you’re making a hip hop video….”fo’ real”.      OK, then.


Anyway, there is no art form I love more than mobiles.  My earliest ones were paper strung on a coat hanger with yarn.  Then I graduated to blown out painted eggs hanging from string.  Middle school came my cutting up drink cans and connecting them with wire phase.  High school, I had a huge tree branch with other branches circulating about.

When I was teaching, I had a particularly mature and gifted class of fifth graders.  The boys in the class always figured out some way to balance on the edge of appropriateness. I thought I had the perfect art activity that they could not connect to firearms or vomit.  It was a mobile of a parrot sitting on a ring.  They won.  When “grading” one kid’s work, I noticed that his parrot was wearing high-top tennis shoes and a t-shirt that said,  “Say NO to Cigars.”

My post is going to be a creation to provide a suitable place for my new air plants to live and grow.

These are the plants I’m working with.  The largest two came from The Great Outdoors in Austin.  The other ten I ordered from Amazon.  They came in a box.  It was just plants in a box.  They’ve lived in the bowl since then.  Time for new digs. 😆


Here they are sorted.


Now it’s time to wrap each little plant with its own wire.


Finally, all the airplants are wired together…

to spin and fly and grow.



Good ideas lead to other ideas.  I thought about the wisks in the kitchen drawer.


This is a ball moss.  They grow well in live oak trees.


Here the ball moss is sitting in the potato masher.  Really, I included this picture to show the little maple seeds on the Japanese maple tree.

If you regard yourself as a person who can’t keep plants alive, you might want to try some airplants.  They are readily available, even at your local big hardware chain store.  I recommend passing on the expensive hanging globes that are for sale.  You can make your own.  Anything you like can be turned into a mobile…just wire it up and hang it.

a to z letter badge M

2 thoughts on “Mobile

  1. Correction, your earliest mobile was an arrangement of stuffed little birds, clamped to your crib. They moved from a fan or outside air.


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