He met Louisa James (a grandniece of writer Henry James) on one of these steamer journeys and the two were married in January 1931.
Its first performance was held in Paris for an audience of friends and peers, and soon Calder was presenting the circus in both Paris and New York to much success.
In the fall of 1931, a significant turning point in Calder's artistic career occurred when he created his first truly kinetic sculpture and gave form to an entirely new type of art. At that time, on Euclid Avenue in Pasadena, I got my first tools and was given the cellar with its window as a workshop. My workshop became some sort of a center of attention; everybody came in.
The first of these objects moved by systems of cranks and motors, and were dubbed "mobiles" by Marcel Duchamp—in French mobile refers to both "motion" and "motive." Calder soon abandoned the mechanical aspects of these works when he realized he could fashion mobiles that would undulate on their own with the air's currents. Portfolio of lithographs by Calder, Chillida, Guinovart, Miró, Ràfols-Casamada, Tàpies, Vedova, Viladecans. Mother and father were all for my efforts to build things myself—they approved of the homemade . (Calder 1966, 21) 1 January: Calder attends Pasadena's Tournament of Roses, where he experiences the four-horse chariot races.
Calder worked for several years after graduation at various jobs, including as a hydraulics and automotive engineer, timekeeper in a logging camp, and fireman in a ship's boiler room.
While serving in the latter occupation, on a ship from New York bound for San Francisco, Calder awoke on the deck to see both a brilliant sunrise and a scintillating full moon; each was visible on opposite horizons (the ship then lay off the Guatemalan coast).