To illustrate my point, I'll use the example of my version
of Paul Spooner's Press-up Anubis. The lifelike up and down
action of this piece is achieved with the use of an eccentric
cam with a rod connected to the feet set on a pivot point,
a simple but clever design.
Another interpretation: the author's version of Press-Up Anubis by automatist Paul Spooner.
There are many useful books and Internet resources on
automata and mechanisms. If you plan to try out this amusing
craft, a good start is to gain an appreciation of the automata
art (you can easily find hundreds of automata to view on the
Internet) and acquire a working knowledge of some of the basic
and simple mechanisms used. Then, choose a simple automaton
design and build it. You can take inspiration from someone
else's idea, buy a precut wooden kit or design your own;
just be sure to start with a simple design and go from there
to build up your skill and confidence. There is no substitute
for making and handling an automaton.
you just want to admire the artistry, the CMT has held automata
exhibitions around the world, from Europe to Asia to Australia.
Its current show can be seen at Chicago's Museum of Science
and Industry beginning October 2008 and ending March 2009.
If you happen to visit the Sam Maloof historical residence
in southern California, you will also find a few automata
in his art collection. During my recent contact with CMT,
I learned that a tentative tour for Canada is set for 2011better
late than never.
Lee Valley staff