Well Halloween is over and it is time to start thinking about Christmas, specifically the St Patrick St Anthony Art and Craft Show. I've hit a couple roadblocks in a couple of my designs. I'll have to put them on the shelf for a bit. I need to focus on making 3 Laughing Santas for the show.
I have the basic body and head parts glued up. Now it's a matter of a couple days of carving, shaping and sanding. Then I can build the stands and the mechanisms. Wish me luck!
Grand Haven ArtWalk 2015 ends today. It was another fun year. Many thanks to the organizers, sponsors, venues and volunteers who make this event happen.
The artists market went really well. Poor weather kept us from being outside so we set up shop in the Historical Museum. Many thanks to all who stopped by and said so many nice things about my work. I hope I inspired a few people to possibly try their hand at this art form.
St Patrick St Anthony church is having their annual Art and Craft Show on November 13 and 14 at their Family Center in Grand Haven. I will have a booth there and I am looking forward to sharing my work once more. The organizers have produced a video showing examples of the items that will be available at the show. Click here to see that video. Some 60 artists and craftspeople will be displaying their works. It should be a great show.
Tomorrow is the Artist Market that is part of ArtWalk 2015 in Grand Haven. The market was supposed to be in the 100 block of Washington but because the weather looks to be a bit breezy and cool, they have moved us to the Historical Museum. We were there last year and had a good time. Please stop by and see all the art.
Today is the first day of ArtWalk 2015 in Grand Haven. Over 150 artists will have their work in businesses all around town. I am displaying "Jitters" at Jumpin Java, 215 Washington. I hope you stop in and give her a crank.
The weather is just absolutely beautiful so plan to spend some time wandering the streets and enjoying the art from now until October 11. On Saturday October 3 there will be an Artist Market from noon to 5 PM. I am planning on being there with some more examples of my work.
During ArtWalk 2015 everything is 10% off and I am also allowing everyone to have one of my paper automata plans for free. Click here for details.
Epiphany is a new automaton that I just finished. I tried to make this automaton sometime last year but I had trouble with the mechanism and shelved it. I was going through a box of parts and gears I had made and I came across a worm gear I had carved as an experiment. I also found a 20 tooth gear and they happen to mesh well. The worm gear gave me a 20 to 1 ratio and creates a lot of force which is what I needed for Epiphany. I pulled the old model off the shelf and started a rebuild. I went through four body designs before coming up with one that worked well enough to satisfy me. I had an old piece of cherry and decided to make the figure out of that. Making a round wood ball was a challenge, one I wasn't completely successful at, but passable. All in all I am very pleased with the look and operation of this piece. I hope you like it as well.
I've completed a new automaton for this year's ArtWalk 2015 in Grand Haven. I call it Jitters.
It will be on display at Jumpin' Java during ArtWalk. ArtWalk starts September 23 and runs through October 11. I'm looking forward to this years event and seeing all the great artwork.
In the meantime you can check out Jitters more at its page here.
Yesterday was the Northside Family Fun Fest and it was fun! Thank you for all the great comments and interest in my work. Remember to check out obtaining a free download of one of my paper automata. Click here for more info.
To the person who purchased Christmas Copter, please contact me about some additional information concerning your purchase.
The next event that I'm working towards is Grand Haven ArtWalk 2015 that will take place at the end of September. I'm working on a brand new piece that will be on display in Jumpin" Java. When I get it completed I'll have a new post so you can check it out before the show.
The Northside Family Fun Fest is this coming weekend and I will be displaying my art at the Art Show on Saturday between 9AM - 4PM. I'm hoping for some great weather and looking forward to meeting a lot of people and sharing my work with them.
Well I have finished another automaton that I have entitled Daniel 3:25. As you may have guessed, it is based on that particular bible verse. The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego is a great example of putting your faith and trust in God and not wavering from your beliefs even in the face of horrible circumstances.
I decided to go with a very stylized body shape because of the ease of construction plus I don't believe any sort of detailed carving would enhance the meaning of the piece.
There are 2 rings of flames that go in opposite directions. The flames were made from aluminum flashing and it has some sharp edges and points, I have the cuts to prove it! I thought about using some sort of plastic sheeting but I like the looks of the flashing and I can bend it a bit to keep the flames from hitting each other. As the flames spin, the 3 characters rotate. You can check out the video here or at it's own page. The idea I am tring to convey is one of joyous gratitude for their salvation. The central white figure is the mysterious fouth person in the furnace who I believe to be Jesus.
I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to rotate the rings of fire around the axles and support the pin gears hanging below. I was able to get inspiration from a fellow automata artist, Karen Barkie. She has a beautiful piece called "What a Wonderful World" that utilizes the same principal. Please check out her YouTube channel and her other great pieces.
I have a couple more projects that I'm working through. I may need to step back a bit and work on some projects that I need in the my shop.
Since finishing the new Puppy Love automata I got a little distracted by a few other projects, 2 of which have nothing to do with automata.
Last year I came across a YouTube video of a mystery maze box. It is a cool idea and I've wanted to make one. I finally took the time to and here it is:
The creator of this box is Turnvater Janosch. He has an excellent video of the box as well as several other interesting videos. Please check his channel out. There is a hidden maze that surrounds the drawer. The drawer will not open until the ball in the maze is at a certain point.
After making the mystery maze box I wanted to try a visible 3D cube maze. I have seen a couple examples on YouTube and they looked like fun. I decided to not go for the whole 6 sides of a cube and stick with just 4, similar to the mystery maze box. It would be easier to figure out a maze and easier to encase it in plexiglass. This is what I came up with:
I made this box designed around a standard marble that's about 5/8" in diameter. The runs are 3/4" wide and the walls 1/4" thick. The box ended up about 10 inches square. I had some PVC pipe kicking around so I placed a few internal runs to add a little more confusion. In the bottom left picture you can see the marble just above the black hole. To the right of the marble is a black dot and then an orange dot. There are hloes in the plexi above those dots. You drop the marbe into one of the holes, say the hole over the black dot, and the goal is to manuver the marble to the hole over the orange dot. It is challenging because of the maze but also it weighs about 5 pounds and you end up getting a good upper body workout! I want to scale it down to half the size. I haven't drawn up the plans to that scale yet but that'll be a good rainy day project.
My last distraction does relate to automata. Last year when I decided to attend a couple of shows I noticed that the people would not stop by unless I was actually cranking one of my sculptures. People would look quickly and I could see the puzzled look as they kept on going. If I cranked on a piece their eyes would widen, a smile would pop and they would come over. I felt a bit like a carney beckoning people to play a game at the carnival. I thought I would motorize one of my pieces so it would always be running. Which one should I use? Then I came up with the idea of a sign with moving letters. This is the result:
Each of the 8 letters has a different movement. You can see a video of it on my YouTube channel here. All in all it works well and should get people's attention. Also this could be made up in anyone's name and be a fun gift.
I decided to go with a battery powered motor because electricity isn't always available. I had an old cordless drill that I dismantled. I left the chuck on and that is chucked onto the shaft. I removed the drill's "trigger" switch and I am using it as the speed control. The knob at the bottom of the box is a bolt that can be screwed in and squeezes the switch. The wires exiting the box run over to a battery. I haven't tested the run time on the battery yet. The battery was an odd 19.2 volt but I think I can use other batteries of similar voltage. I have a couple of 18 volt batteries that I can use. I'll test things out and see what happens. My electronics training from the USAF has long since been forgotten and I need to do some research and educate myself in DC and AC motors and controllers.