Il Vesuvio

Free standing

130 cm * 50 cm * 80 cm

Stainless steel

25 mm glass marbles

Screw lift - motorized and remote controled


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Finished in December 2012. It was commissioned by the rolling ball sculpture enthusiast from Naples in Italy.

The frame is made of 22 mm and 14 mm round tubes and a 6 mm rod. For tracks, track spacers and brackets 3 mm rods are used. I used 5 mm rod for a panoramic impression of gulf of Naples with a volcano Vesuvius in a background. Lift is rotated by a 12 V, DC wiper motor, powered on 12 V. It´s connected through a remote PWM so it can be remotely operated (on / off and speed). This way speed of the lift can be adjusted from 8 to 36 RPM. The wavy base is made of nickel plated metal sheet.

This is a thematic sculpture, presenting a gulf of Naples (Italy) with a volcano Vesuvius (Il Vesuvio in italian) in the backgroud. The volcano is still active and it had many catastrophic eruptions in the history. 

The main feature of the sculpture is volcano eruption. For this purpose two 10 ball collectors are used. One collector is discharged when other is half full. Balls are then rolling trough a track merger (it merges tracks from both 10 ball collectors) on a jump ramp.The ramp leads to the right peak of the volcano where balls jump. This presents an eruption of the volcano which indeed erupts from the right peak.

Another feature is a wheel of fortune with numbers 1 to 90 and a lucky horn (pepper) pointing to a number. The fins of the wheel are also shaped as the lucky horn.  Belived by Italians the horn brings good fortune and protects from the curse.

The frame measures and the overall measures of the sculpture are in golden ratio. There is also a double golden spiral on the top.

The wavy track presents the ocean in the gulf of Naples.

All the balls are downloaded on the wavy base and then to the track - rolling around entire base before entering the lift.

Other elements on the sculpture are:

4*track switches, big S track, large spiral, large track dip, track skip, balls on track, S track, pendulum, two track 2 ball collector, second ball delayer, double spiral, tall spiral, tipping arm, flat spiral with two entrances, triple loops.