Biddington's Home & Search

REIN TRIEFELDT--Artworks for Sale.   BIDDINGTON'S SCULPTURE GALLERY--More Sculpture in Various Media.

Rein Triefeldt kinetic sculpture
Artists' Studio Visits at Biddington's 
Art Gallery

Kinetic Sculpture

BIDDINGTON'S CREATIVE PROCESS visits the New Jersey studio
of kinetic sculptor Rein Triefeldt.

Editor's Note 2008: This interview was conducted at Rein Triefeldt's studio in April 2000. Rein Triefeldt is, to the best of our knowledge, the first kinetic sculptor to power his works using solar panels. See a video of Triefeldt's Solar Butterfly installed and working in Florida. For information on Rein Triefeldt's activities involving solar powered kinetic sculpture see the December 2003 issue of "Sculpture" magazine. The sculptor's most recent works include large scale public and private commissions.
In 2008, Rein Triefeldt working in concert with teachers and students in the San Francisco Bay area, began developing the Solar Tree Project.

Rein Triefeldt maquette for Solar Tree

Rein Triefeldt Maquette for Solar Tree

Sculptor Rein Triefeldt in his studio Rein Triefeldt: People usually ask artists about sources, inspiration and ideas. Since I create kinetic, or moving sculpture, people nearly always ask me how my work is made:

I begin with the simplest of exploratory drawings--pen and ink or pencil on a paper bag or sometimes even welding chalk on the side of a tool box or board. In these sketches I am composing the framework, the body of the sculpture, and giving some indication of the travel (or orbit) of the kinetic element.

Rein Triefeldt with Tabletop Scale Kinetic Bronzes

Rein Triefeldt gouache study after Migration sculpture

Rein Triefeldt Migration study in gouache completed after the bronze sculpture

sculpture parts

Bronze Casts of Rough Elements for Sculptures (right)

Rein Triefeldt: Soon I'm off the drawing board selecting from an inventory of wood and metal elements--balls, discs, plaster, styro-foam, wax, rods or bits of old sculptures. Working quickly and crudely, I assemble the elements by clipping, gluing or taping them together in order to quickly visualize the piece. This process brings problems to light that will require study and more precise solutions. Here is where I begin making decisions of proportion, size, weight, materials, balance, engineering and time.

bronze figure detail

Rein Triefeldt: The small bronzes are modeled in plasticine (a fine oil-based clay). I mold the clay; then I cast the form in plaster or bronze. (The clay is discarded.) Next, I sand and shape the figures and carve the details in by hand. I prefer to do my fine finishing work directly in the bronze. Bronze is capable of holding shape and details without being broken. A rubber mold is taken from this figure and the figure is nearly ready to become an element in the sculpture.

Triefeldt holding patina brush

Rein Triefeldt: Sanding and filing the bronze surfaces prepare the sculpture for the patina. I paint the patina chemicals onto the bronze with a patina brush--then fire the piece.

Triefeldt Holding Patina Brush

Rein Triefeldt kinetic 
sculpture Flyer IX

Rein Triefeldt: My earlier bronzes are rather restrained in the use of patina: traditionally bronze-colored figures with black frames. My current works are livelier and include red, green and blue patinas on the bronze surfaces; I even gilded one element on an Orbiter.

Rein Triefeldt Kinetic Bronze
"Flyer IX"(left) with Traditional Patina

Rein Triefeldt colored patina detail from Arc Varekai

Colored Patina Detail
from Rotating Bronze Sculpture
Arc Varekai (right)

industrial bearing

Rein Triefeldt: Balance and complete ease of motion are key concerns in my work. I use fine industrial bearings; the axle rod of the sculpture is turned on a lathe to help the figures spin freely. When the bronze elements are ready, I lay them out on the floor and balance them crudely on a teeter-totter kind of board.

Rein Triefeldt: As the parts are welded, changes occur in structure, spatial relationships and balance. Once the sculpture is assembled, I tune and adjust the balance by hand--each sculpture's movement is unique.

Rein Triefeldt: Casting of the bronze elements for the sculptures takes months, then the welding and assembly takes about a week and the patina about a day. So, from exploratory sketches to finished sculpture is a long process.

Rein Triefeldt kinetic 
sculpture Migration

Rein Triefeldt: The "Orbiter" series is serious in tone. The basic form is that of a sphere--but it strongly resembles a land mine. I have dealt with environmental and ecological concerns in my work for a number of years. "Orbiter" continues this vein. "Migration"--the sculpture, related drawings and the print--are specifically inspired by my own family history as refugees from Estonia during World War II.

Rein Triefeldt Migration
Bronze Kinetic Sculpture (right)

Rein Triefeldt original print Migration

Rein Triefeldt Migration
Editioned Original Print
"Orbiter" Series

Rein Triefeldt olympic

Rein Triefeldt: My large sculpture exhibited at the Atlanta Olympics, was about athleticism and dance motion. The Olympic Flyer developed my interest in choreographing sculptural movement even further.

Rein Triefeldt Kinetic Sculpture "Olympic Flyer" (left)

Rein Triefeldt: There are many sources or inspiration--direct and indirect--in my work. I'm doing more with the bronze surface itself; that is the result of looking at old African pieces. In 20th century sculpture, I've learned by looking at sculptors Joel Shapiro and George Rickey.

Rein Triefeldt digital print Le Baron

Rein Triefeldt: My series Cirque de la Lune is inspired by the Cirque du Soleil performances. They are a creative, high-energy group. I've been honored to be their guest at several performances. I share a affinity with Cirque in the sense of having rhythm, balance and emotion in my work. Often, a Cirque concept or even a specific Cirque performer will influence my sculpture.

Rein Triefeldt "Le Baron"
Editioned Digital Print

Sculptor Rein Triefeldt

Rein Triefeldt: My work is light-hearted and thrilling. With this series, I subvert the historical expectations of traditional bronze sculpture as I work against logic, and gravity in these whimsical kinetic sculptures. These sculptures are all about motion, balance and fun.

Rein Triefeldt

See Rein Triefeldt kinetic sculpture, gouaches & editioned digital prints for sale in
BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery.
Price range: $1,500-$30,000 for editioned works; commissions priced on request.

Rein Triefeldt creates site-specific sculpture for interiors, gardens or large outdoor spaces for private or institutional collectors.
Email: for more recent biographical information and about sculpture commissions.

Rein Triefeldt kinetic 

Rein Triefeldt Selected Public Art Exhibitions Commissions:
2003 Dutch Biennale "Art In Motion"
1998 "Sculpture Now" Washington, DC
1998 Merrill Lynch Building, Canada.
Commissioned by Developer PHP Management Limited
1997 University of Windsor, C.A.W. Student Center, Canada
Commissioned by University of Windsor, Public Competition
1996 Centennial Olympic Games, Atlanta, Georgia.
Commissioned by Developer PHP Management Limited

Rein Triefeldt Selected Corporate Collections:
John Kuhn Bleimaier, Law Offices, Princeton, New Jersey
Can-Am Communications, New York, New York
Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong
Harry Rosen Gentlemen's Apparel, Toronto, Canada
Johnson Restorations, Ottawa, Canada
Marasco, Detroit, Michigan
Meltzer & Associates, Washington, DC
Merrill Lynch Building, PHP Management Limited, Windsor, Canada
Private Collection, The Netherlands
Scotiabank, Toronto, Canada
Shearson-Lehman Brothers, Stamford, Connecticut
University of Windsor, C.A.W. Student Center, Windsor, Canada
The Williams Collection, Princeton, New Jersey


CREATIVE PROCESS at Biddington's is designed as a forum for watching art in the making. Usually, this process happens in the privacy of the artist's studio. At BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery & upmarket, online art & antiques auction--we find it interesting to witness the steps leading to the end product and to hear the artists speak about their work in the relaxed surroundings of their own studios.

Email Biddington's with your questions or comments:

Sigmund Abeles Expressive Realist Painter
Javier Astorga Figurative Metal Sculpture
Nancy Azara Sculptor
Tova Beck-Friedman Sculptor & Mixed-Media Artist
Todd Bellanca Abstract Painter
Carol Bruns Bronze Figurative Sculptor
James Burnett Non-Objective Painter
Garrison Buxton Abstract Paintings on Paper
Cynthia Capriata Peruvian Painter & Printmaker
Catalina Chervin Argentine Surrealist Artist
Diane Churchill Expressionist Painter
John Clem Clarke Pop Artist
Lisa Dinhofer Illusionist Painter
Michael Eastman Faux-Primitive Painter
Eduardo Fausti Natural History Paintings
Lynne Frehm New York Abstract Painter
Betsey Garand Organic Abstract Painter & Fine Art Printmaker
Mary Teresa Giancoli Personal Documentary Photographer
Debora Gilbert-Ryan New Image Painter
Janet Goldner African-Influenced Steel Sculpture
Harry Gordon Monumental Sculpture
Patricia Hansen Portrait and Still Life Painter
Richard Heinrich Welded Steel Sculpture
Charles Hewitt Painter & Monotype Printmaker
Diane Holland Intermedia Collage Artist
GH Hovagimyan Pop/Conceptual Artist
LA Hughes Pop Artist
Frances Jetter Bronze Sculptor & Editorial Illustrator
Scott Kahn Fantasy Painter
Susan Kaprov Digital Printmaker and Abstract Painter
Babette Katz Narrative Printmaker and Book Artist
Richard Mock Abstract Painter & Linocut Printmaker
Bill Murphy Contemporary Realist Painter
Jim Napierala Abstract Painter
Frances Pellegrini New York City &Fashion Photographer
Eolo Pons Argentine Artist
Joseph Reeder Cross Media Artist Paintings & Ceramics
Laura Shechter Contemporary Realist Painter
Annemarie Slipper Figurative Ceramic Sculpture
Gary Slipper Fantasy Painter
Margaret Speer Landscape & Travel Paintings
Serena Tallarigo Marble Sculptor
Rein Triefeldt Kinetic Sculpture
Vivian Tsao Painter of Light
Nancy Van Deren Contemporary Painter
Joan Berg Victor Drawings from Nature
Edward Walsh Figurative Sculpture in Bronze, Marble & Steel
Kate Wattson Contemporary Colorist Painter
Betty Winkler Organic Minimalist Painter & Printmaker

COPYRIGHT: Images and information within are © Biddington's, Inc. --except where preceded by individual copyrights of the artist.
Downloading or printing for online or print reproduction of any materials without specific written permission from Biddington's, Inc. is prohibited.

PEDIGREE & PROVENANCE--art words & terms defined. JAKE BIDDINGTON'S INVESTING--financial advice for art collectors.

Biddington's Home & Search