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Giffi was created by Kuan-Ju Wu, a tangible interaction designer, toy maker, and kinetic sculpture artist.
Here's a lovely video profile of marionette maker Geahk Burchill of The CastIron Carousel Marionette Troupe in Portland, Oregon.
The CastIron Carousel is a small, Portland local marionette troupe which does shows for grown-up audiences. The Figurative Artbeat blog has a nice long post on the automata sculpture of Carlos Zapata.
Working from my present studio in Mabe, Cornwall I have been making kinetic or mechanical sculptures professionally for the past 11 years.
An unusual French (or German) automaton of a man in silk finery, all original, pushing the wheelbarrow which has a second smaller figure in similar clothing. Mimi's in New Orleans, LA is holding their first fundraiser for Automata this Sunday evening.
The EcoFriend web site has a neat round-up of various kinetic sculptures made from recycled and found objects.
Here's a link to the post on 12 incredible kinetic sculptures made from recycled materials. If you have ever wondered what you might find in the book Action whirligigs: 25 easy-to-do projects By Anders S.
Haney's work will also be featured in an upcoming exhibit at Young Harris College in Young Harris, GA. Consisting of pieces that span the career of Georgia artist Tom Haney, Foundation to Fruition includes some of his early work that was heavily influenced by Southern folk art as well as more recent works that reflect his current style, highlighting his experimentation with new material and methods. Due out late in February of 2011 is a most intriguing book by Minsoo Kang entitled Sublime Dreams of Living Machines: The Automaton in the European Imagination. Kang tracks the first appearance of the automaton in ancient myths through the medieval and Renaissance periods, marks the proliferation of the automaton as a central intellectual concept in the Scientific Revolution and the subsequent backlash during the Enlightenment, and details appearances in Romantic literature and the introduction of the living machine in the Industrial Age. Check out this book which examines all manner of quirky inventions and the people who create them.
Americans love their gadgets, and Steve Greenberg, the "Innovation Insider," pays tribute to the country's spirit of inventiveness.
While working in Covent Garden in the late 80's, Peter Lennertz discovered Cabaret Mechanical Theatre. Thanks to Roberto Lou Ma for the wonderful set of mechanical toy plans!Check out more cool creations by Roberto Lou Ma on his YouTube channel. Traced components from download yield an excellent result, however figured dimensions are in many cases wrong to scale. Once you have two three-layer stacks, glue the upper leg pattern to one and the lower leg pattern to the other. Once the two stacks have been cut to the outer line, you need to remove some pieces from the stacks.
For the upper leg, the largest uncut piece with the drilled hole will be sandwiched between the two smaller pieces.
To create the slot in the lower leg, the smallest piece will be sandwiched between the two larger ones. Once the glue has dried, insert the thin part sticking out of the upper leg into the slot in the lower leg.
Thanks, I was just looking through an old marionette-making book trying to figure this out. You can purchase t-shirts and other merchandise featuring original Paul Spooner designs and our Barecat logo from our Cafe Press Store. Patterns for SaleIMPORTANTThese puzzles are designed to be robust but if made of natural wood it is possible that pieces will break off if dropped or chewed.
Here is where you can see the full project and more details about this woooden gear with beads for teeth.

Creating interesting characters is an important part of making a wood automaton because they are often the actors on the mechanically-driven stage. This is a list of related books, materials and tools which may be helpful when reading articles from our blog series Dug’s Automata Tips, Techniques and Tricks. Commercially made dowel pins come in a variety of diameters for joining different thicknesses of wood.
Dowel centres are little metal caps that go into a set of holes that have been drilled for dowels The dowel centres have points that are used to mark the locations for the dowel holes in a second piece of wood. These specialized clamps hold boards at right angles to each other, making the drilling for through-doweling much easier. To get things moving in an automaton, some parts must be attached firmly to round wooden shafts.
Gears are very useful to the automata-maker, but they can be tricky to make depending on your knowledge, skills, tools, and patience. Circles are found in dozens of mechanisms including cams, eccentrics, cranks, pin wheels, collars, followers, and flywheels.
We are delighted to introduce the first of a new quarterly column by automata maker and enthusiast Dug North. We hope you enjoy this new column and encourage you to post comments and questions for Dug at the end of each quarterly article. He has once again graciously supplied us with a set of instructions and images, this time showing how to make a ramp-walking wooden robot like the one in the video above.Click on each of the images below for full-sized plans and patterns. I have bookmarked this particular Instructable because the engine looks great, requires only a few tools, and is made almost entirely from recycled materials and scraps! The kit is made up of three types of moving parts -- rotating, straight line motion, and sweeping -- connected by supporting parts. The video gives many fascinating glimpses into the process of making lifelike moving figures. Our themes include: Victorian era Science Fiction, 1920’s horror, prison, gangsters, Fairy tales and monster stories.
Although my background is within Fine Arts, I am a self taught automaton artist, who often accepts commissions for my sculptures from both private and public collectors worldwide.
Not many specifics regarding its age, maker, or origin, but it's generating a fair number of bids on ebay right now. Here is another piece by Bliss Kolb which features the same excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail.
Focusing on kinetic work, much of the show will feature kinetic, interactive pieces along with some static pieces and new pieces operated by electric motors. He concludes with a reflection on the destructive confrontation between humanity and machinery in the modern era and the reverberations of the humanity-machinery theme today. It is both an interesting look at an assortment of inventions and a useful study of the process of bringing an invention to market -- or not! Featuring more than 100 quirky innovations, Gadget Nation is a fun and inspirational showcase of clever creations. From simple things like marble hill climbers and wind up banks that snatch a coin from a perch to much more complicated devices, it’s all here. The figure uses geometric figures and straight cuts, so it should be fairly easy for everyone to make.Click on each of the images below for full-sized plans and patterns. Thanks a lot to Roberto and to you Dug.Would be very interesting to see also how the robot is made. Staying close to the line, cut around the outermost black line of both the upper and lower leg pieces with a coping saw or scroll saw. For the upper leg, pull only the bottom layer of wood off the stack, leaving two layers and the pattern in place. Once again, glue the pieces together using the flat area near the knee to properly align the pieces.

From the side, look through the drilled holes and line them up so that you can see light through both pieces.
Thank you, I’ve been carving jointed legs out of solid stock and never could get the range I wanted.
The process doesn’t change much from the full-size version, just the scale of the tools. The creator used the Gear Template Generator designed by Matthias Wandel to create two gear patterns.
With the right bits and accessories, this little powerhouse can cut, carve, engrave, drill, grind, sand, brush, and polish a variety of materials!
In this article, we will make a generic male head that does not require woodcarving skills or special tools.
Circles may also serve as the foundation for gear blanks, pulleys, or animated parts of an automaton.
You bring your moving creations to life by combining the different parts and connecting the power via a battery box or wall plug. This photograph shows the figure in an unfinished state, and when completed will have a corroded iron finish. My sculptures are made out of wood and metal, and I often use reclaimed wood and scrap (or recycled) metal in my artwork, as I believe this makes the sculptures even more unique, with a story behind the story. From the useful (a "Finger Shield" for when you're chopping food) to the offbeat (a diaper for your pet bird), you'll get a behind-the-scenes journey through the eccentric world of invention.
You may have to set your printer to scale the image up to get the pattern to print at this size. The stacks allow you to cut several pieces of wood at once, saving time and helping to ensure that parts are identical. For the lower leg, remove the bottom two layers, leaving only the top layer with its pattern. Next, press the brad into one of the lower leg holes, through the upper leg, and out the other side of the lower leg. Or maybe you cut the mortise and tenon before carving the overall shape of the piece…? For this reason these patterns are offered for the construction of heirloom artefacts, beautiful objects to be looked at and admired. After gluing one of the patterns to a circular piece of wood, holes were drilled into the edge at the proper increments. I take my influence mainly from South American, Asian,African and British art and my work is colourful and full of emotion, and often carries a political or social comment, in sharp contrast with humorous language. Wear safety glasses, use guards and other forms of safety equipment, follow safety precautions, and use good judgment. The small arks have small pieces which make them inherently unsuitable for children below 3 years old.
The beads came with a hole through the middle, so all that was done to them was to add a countersink for the screw head. Finally, the beads were screwed to the circle, creating the finished product you see in the image.
The techniques discussed below apply to cams, pulleys, eccentrics, cranks, gears, handles, and other parts. For further inspiration, study the joints used on plastic action-figure toys — especially those representing athletes.

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