When designing a kinetic sculpture many different types of balance need to be considered. This was especially true with Duality.
First there is visual balance. Marji (my partner, wife, art teacher) taught me about visual balance many years ago when I was working on my first sculptures. Basically it is trying to achieve balance in the appearance of the sculpture. Symmetrical designs are visually balanced but can be boring while asymmetrical designs are harder to balance but usually more interesting.
Second, there is simple balance. Here each mechanical part of a kinetic sculpture must be either in balance or off balance by a precise amount as related to gravity. Absolute precision in this area is impossible to achieve when working in wood but it is essential in my design to have a clear understanding of the tolerances available in each design.
And lastly, I work with what I call patterning balance. I created this term to define the balance I need to achieve between the complexity of a motion and the designs of the individual components (wheels, levers, etc.) within a sculpture. More complex patterning wheels usually require a more restrained motion than less complex wheels to prevent the sculpture from becoming visual chaos. Duality has what I consider a more complex asymmetrical wheel design. In order to fully comprehend the patterns created, the mechanism has to move the wheels in a more predictable way. Alternatively a sculpture like Infinity has symmetrical wheels so I used a more random and unpredictable mechanism to move it. After designing the wheel for Duality I needed to experiment with the various motions I can create to establish the visually most exciting combination. Once I achieve that patterning balance, I have a sculpture!
Detail Photos of Duality: