Spinner Project: Playful Portals to Presence!

Have a Spinner already? Click here for Spinner care instructions.

What is a Spinner?

Spinners are luscious works of animated art, a sort of meditation toy with many benefits, like making conversations more interesting, quieting your mind for sleep, unwinding stress, or replacing a phone addiction. They aren’t for sale, they already belong to everyone. We’ll explain more about that below.

4th generation woodturner Tom Clark loves exploring wood on a lathe and has been making gorgeous wooden disks for decades. Behavior specialist Grisha Stewart loves interactive, playful art, and is always on the lookout for ways to calm the nervous system and bring harmony to the world.

When Grisha & Tom fell in love with each other, an artistic collaboration also took root. Grisha had the insight to spin crystal spheres on Tom’s wooden platters, instantly transforming visual art into interactive sensory objects. As a result, Grisha’s become a woodturner, too!

We think of Spinners as portable oceans and hand-held public works of art. Playing with a Spinner is quite simple, and that’s the point: some marbles or crystals on a well-crafted disk of wood, and there aren’t any rules. Most are handheld and portable, some are quite large. All are fun and encourage mindfulness.

Spinner with marbles, held in Grisha's hand.

How is the Spinner Project Helping Make a Better World?

The Spinner Project is a global experience of play for re-membering belonging and building positive connections. We give spinners away for free to link people through conversation and online sharing of the Spinners’ journey from hand to hand around the planet. These Spinners belong to us all, and they are meant to be gifted and re-gifted, so all may experience them. They’re universal love in a tangible form.

We don’t sell Spinners; we make and share them at no cost to the recipients – individuals, schools, trauma centers, community organizations, senior centers, etc. These “Spinner stewards” enjoy them and pass them along, hand to hand, around the world. Right now, we’re making the Spinners in our spare time, and as word gets out, if more Spinners are wanted than we can make, we may start crowdfunding.

Collaboration: If you’re a woodturner who is interested in making a Spinner and gifting it to the world, please contact us.

Future plans: The Spinners are numbered. We plan on having a blog series for each one for videos as they travel around the world. The artist biography will go on that page.

Spinner meditations, free classes on making your own DIY Spinner, a podcast on the Grisha Stewart Academy, and more. Grisha already has meditations for dog lovers here.

There are no rules for playing with a Spinner! We invite you to breathe deeply and release. Let your shoulders relax away from your ears. More videos here.

About the Artists: We Love Movement and Play!

Tom is an artisan, dancer, father, and a fourth generation woodturner, joyfully committed to designing and building sanctuary. He began to explore my love for crafting with wood at the age of six when his father built a workshop and reluctantly allowed him access (ok, Tom snuck in at first!), proving to be the perfect place to build with his passion for this material. He’s been playing around with the design of the Spinners for over 30 years, without knowing what they were ‘for.’

Grisha is has a bright mind and a love for movement and connection. She is a dog behavior specialist, podcaster, songleader, and grief tender whose curiosity and playfulness brought Tom’s wooden disks to life, elevating them from objects of tactile and visual beauty to a deeply interactive animated experience with the bones of trees.

We are also amateur musicians and contact improv dancers. We craft songs for community singing as the Butterfly Farmers. The video below has one of our songs for you to enjoy, written with the same intention as the Spinner Project.

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