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Calder was encouraged to create, and from the age of eight he always had his own workshop wherever the family lived.
For Christmas in 1909, Calder presented his parents with two of his first sculptures, a tiny dog and duck cut from a brass sheet and bent into formation.
The circus became a lifelong interest of Calder's, and after moving to Paris in 1926, he created his , a complex and unique body of art.
The assemblage included diminutive performers, animals, and props he had observed at the Ringling Bros. Fashioned from wire, leather, cloth, and other found materials, was designed to be manipulated manually by Calder.
Calder's renderings of his circus often lasted about two hours and were quite elaborate.
Indeed, the predated performance art by forty years.
Calder converted an icehouse attached to the main house into a studio. Calder's workshop consists of a tent with a wooden floor. (CF, Nanette to Trask, 30 March; Calder 1966, 26–27) Fall: The Calders return to Philadelphia.
Word traveled about the inventive artist, and in 1928 Calder was given his first solo gallery show at the Weyhe Gallery in New York.