27 December 2012

Winter Carousel (Ladislaw Starewitch)

Having stumbled upon the animation of Wladyslaw Starewicz I have spent the last few hours watching the oddest films! 

26 December 2012

Fairy Swap

Frosty fairies was this years theme and my wonderfully talented artist friend Sue Brown sent me a tiny paper and enamel frosty fairy attached to a label. She seems as fragile as frost and like she is just about to melt away.

I sent her a creepy little frosty imp.

I tried to make him look like a seductive black and white movie villain. 
Not quite sure what I was thinking.

24 December 2012

Smacking Automaton

This is the first automaton I made in America, rediscovered in a cupboard.
A cat with very British teeth!

That smacks a girl

who smacks him back.

  Randomly accurate smacking occurs with the cam mechanism and the heavy off balance characters which makes this look a little more complex that it is.

I have a new camera and haven't mastered filming with it yet!

13 December 2012

Mr Punch Automaton of Proverbs 19 v 3

I bought a wonderful little catalogue from an exhibition that Sam Smith had in the London Serpentine Gallery in 1980. Thank you Amazon UK. It was so inspiring it made me want to try a more 3D, pieced together approach to building figures. 

So for the next Proverb I have experimented with a slightly different look. It has turned out to be a bit larger than intended but has some elements that I will develop further. I also found a Sam Smith website.

Proverbs 19 verse 3
A man's own folly ruins his life,
yet he rages against the Lord.

I think that filming this in action may explain it better.
I also want to make more cats, oh dear!

14 November 2012

Automaton of Flossing a Cat

This will really be the illustration of another proverb but in it's test it does look like a bit like Liam Neeson flossing a cat.

07 October 2012

Flea Circus

A horrid cold and rainy afternoon in Baltimore but I got to see my first flea circus! Something I have always wanted to see and it couldn't have been more perfect! Mr Alberti you are fabulous!

My photo doesn't do this any justice but he did tell me he used one mechanism and the rest was purely imagined!

This was followed by an extremely odd puppet show! Each character was introduced onto the stage with "You don't need to be afraid" but you were!

18 September 2012

A Dark and Grainy Film

Mr Punch is in the House

Proverb 30 verses 32 and 33. 
"If you have played the fool or exalted yourself
or if you have planned evil, 
clap your hand over your mouth!
For as churning the milk produces butter,
and as twisting the nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger produces strife."

Ready to clap his hand over his mouth!

Twisting and churning, well shaking milk.

And meet the trouble and strife.

Can't seem to get the film to upload at the moment but will try later as my simple pull string mechanism works and has many possibilities.
 A successful test!

17 September 2012

Mr Punch has a House

Well a sort of house and he hasn't moved in yet. I am thinking that I will make this series of automata in the style of the comic strip and need to work out a way of getting a lot of movement without adding bulky mechanisms between each layer of action. This is my test piece.

I have been looking at Windsor Mccay's, Little Nemo in Slumberland, cartoons on a fantastic website, Comic Strip Library

I can decide which I like better Krazy Kat or Nemo, both are so inspiring! Anyway Mr Punch will hopefully take up residence tomorrow and I can see if my simple mechanism works.

12 September 2012

Proverbs with Mr Punch

I have started a new range of automata based on the biblical Book of Proverbs with Mr Punch as The Fool. Here are the first three characters ready to act out the first proverb that I am attempting to illustrate.

A Punch that will slap his hand over his mouth.

A Punch that will twist his nose and shake milk

and Judy 

05 September 2012

My Largest Automaton is Finished

Sorry the photo and the film are a bit poor quality. But it works! 
The whole thing is 24 inches by 24 so my largest one yet. 

Here is the mechanism before it was fixed together and strung. 
Simple cranks.

14 August 2012

Today's Hair and some Old Hair

An old collagraph print of my son Jacob and the funny face he used to pull as he got his hair just right.


12 August 2012

Today's Horrid Hair

The monstrous updo therefor looking gingerly into a mirror and static.

11 August 2012

A New Altered Book Group Project Begins

I have been invited to take part in an altered book exchange. A fantastic chance to play but I am not too good at responding to the book. I have decided to use the first book as a sketch book and continue to consider hair problems.

09 August 2012

Sam Smith - Genuine England - 1976

A wonderful old Arts Council film! I am so inspired.

"You have to find a language that is natural to you and my language is wood"

30 July 2012

More of the Automaton

Here is Toby based on a real boy,

the little girl riding the crocodile

and the lay out so far a bit randomly propped up. Next to make the stage and get them moving, the cardboard background doesn't really add any drama.

28 July 2012

Mini Mr Punch and The Peacock has a Tail

A few slightly more finished elements.

The Bobby will be the boys puppet hence the missing lower arm.

16 July 2012

Automaton Progress

Slow progress and this is not quite the final composition but I am at long last at the gluing and painting stage.

Also testing some movement options as I can usually improve on my initial ideas when I have the 3D figures  to play with.

03 July 2012

New Automaton Roughed Out in Wood

Lot of cutting and sanding and I have the first stages of my next automaton. Slowly the doodle is becoming 3D.

01 June 2012

More design doodles

I have invented a crocopotomus! 
More doodles done on construction paper while babysitting.