Sound Sculpture: Pots 'N' Pans

This week let’s engineer some pots ‘n’ pans sound sculptures – Len Lye style.⁠

Len Lye’s sculptures are often made from shiny metal that stands or hangs, balances or tips, and makes sounds that tinkle or crash.

Under the guidance of your parent/caregiver, raid your kitchen cupboards for metal objects that you think would create good sounds! Include a few non-metal objects for colour. 

WARNING: avoid knives, sharp or broken objects and check your selection carefully with your parent/caregiver.⁠⠀


You will need:

Metal Objects



Biscuit tins





A few non metal items for colour

Take a look at Len Lye's Bell Wand, 2018.

Step 1

Look carefully at each object from all angles including upside down – what makes it special?⁠

Join objects by stacking, poking through, balancing.

Try not to use cellotape


Step 2

Why do they fall over?

How many ways can you rearrange just a few objects?⁠⠀

Step 3

Gently scrape and tap to transform your sculpture into a sound maker.

Arrange in a sink or bath and pour water over your sculpture.

What sounds can you hear? 

Does the water change the appearance of your sculpture?

Step 4

Video your creation in action and listen again.⁠⠀ 

Step 5

Add some drawn stick figures or LEGO figurines to change the size of your sculpture – like magic, your sculpture is now a playground. ⁠⠀

For extra fun, disassemble your creation Jenga style, taking turns with your whānau to remove one object at a time until CRASH!⁠

All Done!

How did your artwork turn out? We would love to see your creation!

Share it with us, take a photo and share it on Instagram with the hashtag #GBCreate or email it to us: and we can share it for you.⁠⠀⁠⠀