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Hotchkiss Mobiles and Gallery

Hotchkiss Mobiles is easier to describe as an ongoing event rather than a single entity. Similar to the movement of our mobiles, we are in a continual process of creating, fabricating and running our business. We design and fabricate hanging and free-standing mobiles of all colors, sizes and shapes to museum stores, galleries, mobile lovers and collectors throughout the US and around the world.

From very modest studio quarters in an industrial section of Oakland, CA in the early 1980's, we have developed our artform into a successful business venture with a well established reputation for contemporary mobile designs, quality craftsmanship and dependability, year in and year out.

Our first rule of business has always been to ensure that our customers enjoy their mobiles.

Making a Kinetic Mobile

Joel develops new designs by first sketching them and then drawing larger patterns for individual elements of the mobile design. From these patterns our craftspeople fabricate a prototype and fine tune the design to reflect the "intent" of the original drawing, making sure the balance is accurate and that the movement is fluid and uninterrupted.

Many of our mobiles combine metal armatures with various colored fabrics. Aluminum is the primary metal we use both in rod form and sheet for its lightweight strength and durability. When necessary to meet structural and design objectives, we introduce steel, copper and brass into our pieces. We use durable sailcloth dacrons and nylons, as well as canvas fabrics, to acheive a wide palette of colors for our mobiles.

Once the parts of a hanging mobile are formed, welded and painted, the fabric is applied. After trimming the excess materials, we connect the pieces and perform "eye-hand balancing" before signing and carefully packaging the mobile.

About the Artist

Joel's interest in designing mobiles began in the late 1970's in Boston, MA where he was working at an advertising firm. Seeking a more satisfying "hands on"creative experience, he started making mobiles "out of the blue". His studio apartment was soon filled with hanging mobiles and he's been looking up ever since.

Joel attended Pratt Institute from 1967 through 1971 and received a BFA in Visual Design and Communication. In 1993, Joel and his wife Sandra returned east from California with their two young daughters Shaina Marie and Larisa Grace. They settled in the rural town of West Stockbridge in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts where they currently operate their studio, as well as Hotchkiss Mobiles Gallery. The gallery features Hotchkiss mobiles as well as various crafts and artpieces representative of artists throughout the country.

We thank you for your interest in Hotchkiss Mobiles. If you would need more information about our hanging mobiles, the design and fabrication process, or commissioning an original work, please feel free to call or email us. We look forward to hearing from you, and if you're in the neighborhood, please drop in and see us.

Joel & Sandra Hotchkiss
telephone 413-232-0200 (toll free at 1-866-4-HOTART)


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