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

Mechanical Scissors

 The scissors are finished and working smoothly. They have been running for 24 hours with no problems.

Mechanical Scissors

 I have been commissioned to make two pairs of mechanical scissors as a window display for a hairdressing salon. Below are photos of my progress so far


 My new pinterest board  https://www.pinterest.com/kiethnewstead/

Spotty Dog

 A new design available to buy at my ETSY shop  https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/Newsteadautomata/tools/listings/218876450

Automata Book

 A new book about automata  www.figuresinthefourthdimension.com

Platform Lift

 Work is progressing well on the platform lift. The actual lift is raised and lowered by motors which are hidden in the legs. To make my version more interesting I have put the motors on the outside of the legs and added a rack which raises up and down,giving the impression that the motors are driving it. The same principle but more in the sprit of Heath Robinson. A hand cranked generator will be added to provide electricity to the motors.

Platform Lift

 More prototyping, this time to get the movment for the man and cat, who are testing the carrying capacity of the lift. I have also made a prototype arm for the man at the top of the lift,who will be taking notes and drawing.

Platform Lift

As The platform lift has a complicated action, I have constructed a wooden prototype, which I can  can adjust it to get a good, smooth movments.
The measurements from this prototype will be used in the finished piece,and in the long run, will save me time and help me achieve a nice movment.
The adventage of prototyping when making automata is that it enables me to work in a quick, intuitive and messy way, without having to worry about final look of the piece, I can just concentrate ont gretting an interesting movment.

Platform Lift

 I have been commissioned by Access Lift Consultants to make an automata to publicise  a very clever product that allows people in wheel chairs to accend stairs.

design in the style of William Heath Robinson

Craft and Design Awards

Please vote for me in this years Craft and Design selected awards.
You can vote here    
Thank you

Trade Fairs

 My wooden automata kits will be on show at two trade fais, details below

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


 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
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
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.