Reminiscing about metal toys and mechanisms got my gears turning this week, calling up a row of questions such as “why do I love metal?” and “why do I have some odd fascination with wire?” Though I could begin a seemingly endless list for my love affair with metal (as I’m sure many of us could), I believe I can pinpoint when wire first caught my interest. Made of stainless steel and colorful glass beads, wire toy mandalas appear to be making a comeback.

My original wire mandala was fairly small with all yellow beading. Marketed as a “discover space!” toy with the capacity to transform into a variety of “planets”, I completely wore the tension out of its minute joints through hours of well-worn play. A few years ago, I discovered a new one quite by accident under the title “wire toy mandala”. Supposedly, the wire mandalas were used by Buddhists as a meditation aid and representation of the universe, much like the sand mandalas of Tibetan monks. Although I do not doubt the meditative state the steel wire toy produces (with my hours of personal experience as testimony), I have not as yet been able to find concrete evidence on the history of the wire mandala. Regardless, the potential for physical manipulation of the wire form never fails to amuse and entertain.

 

Check out “How to Make a Wire Mandala” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BduUJAKDH5w

(There were a hefty amount of tutorials; I chose to share one that seemed the most comprehensive without being lengthy. Enjoy!)

Image: http://www.toyday.co.uk/

 

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