Artist Dan Grayber combines elements from industrial design and nature to create objects that seem to defy gravity. Suspended within glass domes, large rocks are held in place with metal scaffolding, or alternatively, lend the sculpture balance by hanging motionless from wires and pulleys.

Each sculpture in his Cavity Mechanism series is designed around a self-resolving problem. “The idea…came about from my thinking about inventions, and objects that exist in our everyday life,” Grayber explains. “These objects all around us are all resolutions to pre-existing problems. They are designed to address a specific need that predates, and exists apart from, the invention. I was interested in creating very purposeful objects that, basically, solved their own problems — they hold themselves up.”

Sometimes the dome itself inspires the work, other times he’ll have a particular concept in mind that he’s interested in exploring. From there, Grayber develops the idea in his sketchbook using pencil, rulers, and a compass (though he’ll use CAD software to work on more complex geometries).

Grayber makes every part of the sculpture, except the fasteners and springs. Over the years he’s begun using smaller materials, though he’s quick to point out, “[making] smaller work is definitely not easier than larger work, it’s just easier to lift.”