Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re intrigued by the mesmerizing and intricate world of kinetic sculptures, chances are you’ve heard of George Rhoads’ Ball Machines. These elaborate installations feature thousands of balls rolling, bouncing, and weaving through a complex network of tracks, ramps, and mechanisms, all choreographed to create a unique audiovisual experience. As with any work of art, you may have questions about how they work, where they come from, and what makes them so fascinating.

To help you satisfy your curiosity, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about Rhoads Ball Machines. To access the information you’re looking for, simply click on the question of interest to reveal the corresponding answer.

You should contact the institution where the machine is located. That organization (i.e. museum, airport or hospital) is the owner of the machine. Neither Creative Machines nor George Rhoads own the machines and therefore aren’t in charge of maintenance. If enough people express an interest in seeing the machine fixed, the owner is more likely to repair or refurbish the machine.

Unfortunately, George Rhoads passed away in 2021. However, Creative Machines and Emily Rhoads Johnson (George’s sister) love to hear from fans of George’s work. You can find emails for both on the contact page.

Creative Machines offers limited edition and custom ball machines for public and private collectors. Please submit an inquiry form at and someone will get back to you shortly.

It can take 4 months to 13 months to design, build and install a sculpture. This depends on the size, complexity, electronics, and installation site.

The sculptures have traditionally made noise as a means of attracting and communicating a tone. George Rhoads developed the machines as audio-producing sculptures. We do, however, create sculptures for silent spaces by eliminating sound-producing elements and using quieter balls.

Yes! We make a variety of interactive devices that allow viewers to trigger mechanisms and chain reactions.

There are now over 260 Ball Machines around the world!

Yes! With the exception of the Limited Editions, every single sculpture is unique. Many devices have been developed through the years and have been duplicated, but each sculpture, as a whole, is one of a kind.

For inquiries regarding ball machines, please contact Creative Machines Inc. using the form below, or directly at:

For inquiries regarding paintings, please contact Emily Rhoads Johnson.