Welcome to my new blog, here are things that come into my mind, feel free to comment on them if you wish.

Bursledon Windmill Automata

 I have been working on a donations box for Bursledon Windmill. It is not an exact copy of the windmill as I wanted the figures to be as large as possible, so I had to juggle around with the overall proportions. It will have syncronised sound with a specialy composed sound track, based on the song  'A Windmill in old Amsterdam'.

A little mouse with clogs on

How the other half lived

 The automata is finished and will be shipped  to it's new, country estate home, in the next few weeks.

Steampunk Running Dog

AutoBots

 I have jus finished a mad week designing and making four new automata kits. They have been designed specificaly for children, something I try to avoid in my work as it is hard not to be patronising when thinking of 8 year olds at my ripe old age.Fortunatly for me the child within me is a dominant force so I had a nice week playing.

First design,Rocket, Monday
Whirlwind, Tuesday
StarSurfer, Wensday
Jet, Thursday
Back to Rocket on Friday for painting and removing the annoying hole in his midriff,
My favourite,he has a certain vulnerability.

Rowland Emett OBE Exhibition

The most exciting event of the year, 10 May-21 Sept 2014 at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

How the Other Half Live

 I have finished all the woodwork. The next job will be painting,and after that, recording the sound track and cutting the cams. I also need to make a plinth and instal a coin slot mech.

Door mech
Door mech
Toothed drive belt

How the other Half Live

My head has been spinning over the last few days. I needed a shadow puppet background that depicted the upper classes in a debauched light  without causing offence.

Best behaviour Rosie, his Lordship has an important meeting with the Duke of Burgundy.

New Commission

I have been commissioned by Cusworth Hall Museum to make a daontions box to brighten up their dark entrance hall and hopefully lure people in to explore the house. The shadow theatre idea (three blind mice) seemed ideal so I am re-visiting it.

First design
First design
Picture of the house sent to me after my design was recieved
Revised design . Not an exact copy, just trying to catch the essence of the house
Construction begins. It reminds me of a visit to the Sir John Soan's Museum in London.Well worth a visit.

Three Blind Mice

 The mice are up and running. There is a dark sub plot to this automata. The cat lures unsuspecting mice customers into his sleezy establishment and later eats them.
There is sometimes a sinister side to my work, it comes from listening to radio 4 all day.

A sailor on leave from the SS Edam
A soldier from the Royal Cheshire regement
Glitter is a wonderful thing
The stage with mechanical clouds
Each cam moves a different element of the automata
Slave stagehand
Captive choir
Lunch
A poster in the Victorian style.

Leg Test

 A mock up of a figure inside a treadmill.

Three Blind Mice

 I have finished the painting, which took one week. 9am until 9pm every day. I am very happy with the result. I mananaged to get the slightly sleezy, run down effect, that I was looking for.

There is a bowl of mouse tails near the cat. This is to illustrate my sub plot that the cat lures mice into his show and then eats them. Every day I hear terrible stories of exploitation on Woman's Hour, a radio 4 program. Dark thoughts are absorbed .
I am amazed by the difference that the LED panel makes, It brings the whole piece to life and gives a feeling of depth.
The duration will be 35 seconds, hence the big cams.

Three Blind Mice

 Three weeks have passed and I continue to work in the 'sweet spot', the place where everything is exciting and dissapointment  has not reared it's ugly head. 
The other day, my partners ex husband suggested that I should add an owl. I added an owl,   and a moon.

Big Cams
Plinth, awaiting Big cams
Big cams in plinth. It's almost sexual.
The whole thing, put back together for the five hundredth time
The Moons a Balloon (David Niven)
Owl , a good idea

Three Blind Mice

Here is my progress so far. I am making rought prototypes of every moving part. In the end, it saves time and allows for improvment.

Prototype mice
Foreground figures, with linkages
Theatre construction
Balcony and doors
View from the balcony
Test with finished mice
Mechanical clouds
Mouse in a balcony

New Project

 Three Blind mice, a sleezy tale of all night shows and mouse abuse featuring a shadow theatre. Below is an early drawing and a test shadow vidio, since then , what started out as a cute portrayal of the popular nursery rhyme has developed sinister undertones.

Wooden Automata Kits

 My new slot together,  wood automata kits should be available in Europe soon.
This has been a long road and my Taiwanese partners, Evergreen International, have put a lot of time, money and faith in my ideas.

Evergreen cover art
Aviator
Scuba Cat
Surfing Dog

Pre cut slot together wood automata kits

 My new slot together, no glue, can be painted, wood automata kits should be available in Europe soon.
This has been a long road and my Taiwanese partners, Evergreen International, have put a lot of time, money and faith in my ideas.

O Fortuna

 The automata is finished and will be winging it's way across the Atlantic to Canada in the next few weeks,
It was cimmissioned by Ray Mantella  www.raymantella.com an artist of extrodanary diversity and talent.

Wooden Automata kits

 I am hoping that my wood and card Automata kits will soon be avaliable in the UK and rest of the World.
My Tiawanese partners have had many meetings and good results at the Chinese toy Fair, and I believe that a distributer has been found.

O Fortuna

Almost finished, here is the latest progress. 

Future scope.
This mechanism disengages the motor allowing the automata to be hand cranked.
The governor.

O Fortuna

 The automaton now has a new name, inspired by Caremina Buranda. It also has a wheel of fortune, which lead the new name.I will use the music in the video.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD3VsesSBsw (fantastic video) Here is my progress so far.

Romancer

 Here is my progress so far.

I have given this version four wheels
The heart compartment
I have rounded off the door
Front wheels. The tyres will be stained black.

Steampunk Romancer

Happy days. I have a commission to make another Steampunk Romancer. I made the first one way back in 2007.

The chassis is constructed over a simple plywood jig to keep everything square
Wheel hub and spokes,
Wheel rim in the wheel jig,
The finished wheel,

Moby Dick

Moby Dick is painted and working but it has been a very sad time due to the loss of my sister. I have dedicated this work to her, for all the good it may do. 

Hey Diddle Diddle

 The automata if finished. It took me a while to get good amplification from the music box but now it is nice and loud.

Moby Dick

 The Moby Dick automata is now ready for painting. 

A thank you message held aloft by a squid's tentacle
The back of the automata will be on view so I have tried to make it interesting

Moby Dick

 Here is my latest progress on dear old Moby Dick.

The automata's base
A gimbal for the sliding crank   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimbal
A gimbal for the sliding crank http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimbal
The motive force, a 12 volt vending machine motor, 5 RPM
The motive force, a 12 volt vending machine motor, 5 RPM
The crank for Moby. Note the nylon insert.
The crank put togfether.
The wave crank
A wave
Waves in position
Moby Instaled
A small water spout.

The Flying Present

 I have designed a number small flying boxes for the containment of small Christmas presents. They can be purchased from my ETSY shop   https://www.etsy.com/listing/167875495/the-flying-gift-box?

Sable and Ox

 I am now selling my work and taking on comissions at an exciting new web site called Sable and Ox   http://sableandox.co.uk. Please check it out, they have some very nice things.

Brass Dragon
Brass Dragon

Moby Dick

 I have started work on a donations box for the Elstree film Museum.The subject will be a  scene from the film Moby Dick (with artistic licence),which was filmed at Elstree, and happens to be one of my favorite films..

Hey Diddle Painted

This is my record long time for painting an automatata,. 2 weeks. 2 coats of undercoat, sanding, and then three coats of acrylic. All very zen. I hope I have captured the  feel that Mr Tong X Ming was loiokiung for.