From Denver to Boston and now back to Denver again,
Circular logic was featured in the
“Celebrating Snow Globes”
at the Sandwich Glass Museum.
Given its name, it’s a fitting journey.
One definition of Circular Logic is that the answer contains no evidence that is distinct from the conclusion. Circular logic cannot prove a conclusion because, if the conclusion is doubted, the premise which leads to it will also be doubted.
After a lot of trial and error, this is certainly true of this piece. The curious invention appears to go round and round, but always begins and ends in the same place it started. The conclusion is the same as the premise.
What does change is the murky liquid, which glistens with coppery metallic dust
The tiny machine measures just under two inches tall and wide,
and continues in its endless, and meaningless, journey.
Always a round trip. Of course.
A tiny Ferris wheel contraption with four antique brass roller skates instead of seating is enclosed in a glass globe with shimmering liquid, for those who like endlessly “skating the issue,” steampunk-style. It may have wheels, but this curious invention is going nowhere on purpose.
Now I know that “skirting the issue” reminds me of when someone wraps around a banquet table, ostensibly to cover up anything the guests don’t need to see, a place to tuck your problems, wires, empty dishes, etc. behind the curtain.
But what is “skating the issue?” I imagine it’s when the issue is like a spot of cracked, thin ice, and one skates around it, but tries ever so hard to avoid it. That of course, would involve ice skates, and these are old-fashioned four-wheeled roller skates, so the analogy doesn’t work at all. This waterglobe (or snow globe or waterball, if you must) does exactly what it is supposed to do.
One definition of Circular Logic is restating your premise in a different way and thinking it’s the answer … and after a lot of trial and error, this is certainly true of this piece. It appears to go round and round, but always begins and ends in the same place it started. The conclusion is the same as the premise.
I got a little obsessed making this tiny curious invention, with all its layers of machinery. When I was working on it, I had to set an alarm to remind me to leave the workshop, stretch my legs, eat something. I even set an alarm to prompt when it was time to go to sleep. But I’d be in the middle of making some connection, or finding the perfect component, and I’d reset the alarm for another hour, then another. It was the opposite of the snooze button, wanting to stay awake and see the gears evolve, how the connections worked, spin the tiny wheel.
As you can see from the photo, the finished sculpture was about two inches wide, and less than 3 inches tall when finished.
Placed inside the four-inch glass globe and magnified with liquid and shakeable metallic dust, the tiny assemblage looks larger. The base of the waterglobe is wrapped in leather, and finished with an assemblage of gears and levers, along with an engraved plate proclaiming “Circular Logic.”
Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
I have a friend who told me that she is always dreaming of Paris, which inspired this sculpture, made more of Paris dreams, than Paris reality.
This is not the Paris captured in so many souvenir snow domes, this is the Paris in my dreams. When I see the Eiffel tower, I just think: if they’d only made TWO of them, they could have created an awesome Ferris wheel.
Sure there’s some logistics involved there, and getting the building permit for a second tower would be difficult, to say the least. If they’d only thought of that at the time, but Ferris wheels had not yet been invented. and the tower was built in 1887-1889, while the Ferris wheel was introduced at the 1893 world fair. (Now for some truly deep and deliberate trivia, one of the FIRST SNOW GLOBES ever documented was from 1889, and it contained a model of the Eiffel tower. Nikola Tesla built his first radio station in 1894. Blows my mind. (What does Tesla have to do with this? It’s simple: I never avoid an opportunity to mention him. He is a contemporary of the Eiffel Tower, and the Ferris Wheel. One would have needed Tesla to figure out how to power the Twin Eiffel Ferris Wheel, or look for a really large hamster. So there.)
Back to Dreaming of Paris, the snowglobe. Since it appears unlikely that anyone is going to build a second Eiffel tower soon, I decided to build it here in a manageable scale — less than two inches wide, and less than 3 inches tall. It has a tiny Ferris wheel between two models of the Eiffel Tower, carrying buckets of metallic flowers made of watch parts, gears and re-purposed jewelry. The base is embellished with brass filigree ornamentation, in my imagined style of turn-of-the-last century Paris. Brass plate engraved with “Dreaming of Paris” is affixed to the base. A dusting of gold will swirl through the sculpture when the globe is shaken.
Custom waterglobe (snowglobe) with 2.5″ tall Ferris Wheel made of the Eiffel Tower and carrying baskets of metal flowers.