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Celestial Mechanica is a 16-ft tall kinetic steel sculpture of our solar system representing the majestic dance of the heavenly bodies Read more

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$16,775
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on July 24, 2014.

Celestial Mechanica is a 16-ft tall kinetic steel sculpture of our solar system representing the majestic dance of the heavenly bodies

Gescykae Welz
Project by

Gescykae Welz

First created  |  0 backed

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About this project

STRETCH GOAL OF $18,500!!! A little birthday present!

First off, thanks to EVERYONE who helped us reach our initial goal of $15,000. We were so impressed with the love and support that we received throughout the campaign! In fact, we like you all so much that we want to give you a present....how about a birthday present?

With some extra funds, our team is confident that we can tweak our design to allow our beautiful orrery to position itself based on a date input. Imagine seeing how our solar system was arranged on the day you were born! Think about walking up to our Celestial Mechanica solar system, punching in your birthdate, and watching the planets swing around to their exact position on that special day....now that's power!

It will require some extra work as we'll have create the input device and ensure that our planetary movements are precise enough but we think we can do it! Help us reach this goal so that we can give a birthday present back to you!

Happy Birthday...here's a solar system!
Happy Birthday...here's a solar system!

As we soar through our solar system we are reminded daily of its omnipresence: tides ebbing and flowing, the sun rising and setting, and the waning of the moon. We’ve relied on the heavenly bodies for centuries to navigate, to farm, to reveal our very destinies, but few have had the opportunity to witness the elegant movements of our solar system.

Celestial Mechanica will represent this amazing system at the humble human scale; affording us the opportunity to tangibly experience the precision, grace, and brilliance of our solar system in its entirety at Burning Man 2014.

Artist Rendition of Celestial Mechanica
Artist Rendition of Celestial Mechanica

As you approach Celestial Mechanica’s 16' tall, 50' diameter structure from a distance, you will immediately be drawn to the power and beauty of the Sun, as flames lick and flash through its 6ft diameter steel shell. Getting closer, you will begin to hear the gears, chains, and motors responsible for choreographing the majestic planetary dance that occurs overhead. Ranging from 2.5" to 3' in diameter, the 8 major planets will each be rotating around their own axis, while simultaneously orbiting the sun. Each planet will be a unique artistic piece with its own tell-tale characteristics. Materials used to portray the individual personality and aesthetic of each planet will include: bronze, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, blown glass and of course, fire! At night, each planet will glow with a pulse of energy from within. Even the moons of Earth, Jupiter and others will be twirling loyally around their masters. Though smaller in scale, these moons will be painstakingly handcrafted so that there will be no trouble telling Io from Europa.

Early Celestial Mechanica Scale Diagram
Early Celestial Mechanica Scale Diagram

While observers appreciate the magnificence of the Celestial Mechanica solar system, they will also be able to touch the asteroids that form the observation ring. This asteroid belt that encloses the rocky planets and Sun will be composed of beautiful and unique asteroids intermixed within a cloud of sparkling LED stars.

Celestial Mechanica will provide the opportunity to experience our solar system with all five of your senses. By recreating the heavens at our human scale, you'll be able to appreciate their beauty, recognize their power, and smile in awe as the eternal waltz circles before you.

Please help us make this dream a reality!

About the Artists

Gescykae Welz (Lead):

Gescykae studied fine arts at Santa Rosa JC while developing a career as a professional welder. She continued her studies by receiving a B.A. in fine arts from UCSC. Her skills and talents allowed her to quickly expand her artistic network when she moved to San Francisco in 2008, giving her the opportunity to work on numerous projects.

Most notably, she became a member of the Flaming Lotus Girls and was a Lead Fabricator for Tympani Lambada, also working on the projects Merope, Xylophage and Soma. She also was the Lead Fabricator for Dana Albany’s Burning Man project Y.E.S. last year and has been Charles Gadeken’s Lead Fabricator on many of his projects including Aurora Palo Alto, Helix for BM, Wave for Coachella and Squared..

Gescykae has been an artist, professional welder, and machinist for many years though her first time at Burning Man was just recently in 2011. There she witnessed the transformative power of art and appreciated what could be done with the skills that she had acquired over the years. From that point on she has dedicated her skills and passions to creating and sharing art with others in order to make our universe that much better, that much more beautiful. 

Gescykae has had the idea for Celestial Mechanica for many years. It really started as a child when she was fascinated with the mystery of the solar system and in particular how we interact with it. The physical process of building our solar system coupled with engineering the mechanics that will be responsible for making it twirl around us has been a challenging but exciting experience. Gescykae looks forward to sharing that experience with all of you.

Though Celestial Mechanica will be Gescykae's first piece that she can call her own, she is well acquainted with exactly what it takes to make big, beautiful, Burning Man art a reality!

Charles Gadeken (Planet Casting):

Charles is a veteran when it comes to Burning Man art and has been a professional artist in the Bay Area for 20 years. His work has been commissioned for festivals all over the world, including Coachella, Burning Man, Robodock, EDC, Maker Faire, and many more. Furthermore, he is a founding member of the Flaming Lotus Girls and the founder of the Box Shop in San Francisco, the place where some of the most incredible Burning Man art has been created.

Charles will be focusing primarily on casting the various planets and asteroids for Celestial Mechanica, so you can be certain that each one will be a unique and beautiful work of art.

Celestial Mechanica Bandana Design
Celestial Mechanica Bandana Design
Celestial Mechanica Shirt Design
Celestial Mechanica Shirt Design
Celestial Mechanica Hoodie - Front
Celestial Mechanica Hoodie - Front
Celestial Mechanica Hoodie - Back
Celestial Mechanica Hoodie - Back

Risks and challenges

We currently have received partial funding of $22,000, but in order to complete the piece we need to raise at least $15,000 more. Every dollar that you donate helps make this project a reality by bringing our solar system to a playa near you!

Raising this money is one of the first steps that needs to be completed so that our team can focus on the remaining challenges this project presents. The Celestial Mechanica team of over 30 artists, engineers, designers and volunteers are all committed and eager to put in the work to bring this piece to life but we need YOUR help first and foremost. Please join us in bringing Celestial Mechanica to the Playa in 2014!

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    42 backers

    A beautiful Celestial Mechanica postcard and sticker!! Plus a huge shoutout to you from the Celestial Mechanica team on our facebook and website!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    63 backers

    A logo imprinted dog tag! Plus you also get the postcard, sticker and huge shoutout on the facebook & website!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    46 backers

    The playa, like Mars, can be a little unfriendly. Protect your beautiful face from those dust storms with a stylish Celestial Mechanica bandana! Plus you'll get the dogtag, postcard, sticker and shoutout!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    26 backers

    A limited-edition Celestial Mechanica T-shirt! There's no better way to protect yourself from those painful gamma rays! Plus you get the postcard, sticker and shoutout.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    25 backers

    It can get cold out on the playa at night, and I mean Neptune cold. Keep warm with the Celestial Mechanica hoodie! Plus you get the postcard, sticker and shoutout.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    8 backers Limited (7 left of 15)

    A stunning archival print of Celestial Mechanica lighting up the playa! Plus you get a t-shirt, postcard, sticker and shoutout!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $350 or more

    5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)

    Custom designed, limited quantity acrylic mobile designed by the Celestial Mechanica team! This mobile will have aesthetic features that emulate the actual project! Guaranteed to be the coolest mobile on the planet.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $600 or more

    2 backers Limited (4 left of 6)

    Want to stop the solar system? The power is at your fingertips! When the planets cease their orbit, you'll get a personal tour from Jessika herself out on the playa! Plus you'll get a professional photo with the piece and the sticker, photo, t-shirt, and hoodie! Any donors for this reward will be contacted directly in order to schedule the date and time of the tour!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    You'll get the metal model that you saw in the video in its completed state! It will be outfitted with planets and each arm has the ability to move freely. This model was the pivotal first step of the project and it can be yours! Plus you'll get all the other rewards as well and a massive thank you from our Celestial Mechanica team.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (28 days)