Also I will be showing my work as part of an automata open house on Sunday Nov 20th at the home of Wanda Sowrey a talented automata creator along with other automata artists as part of the Bishopston arts trail. More on this later in the month, but if you lve in Bristol it will be well worth popping in.
In preparation for this I've been working on some new automata.
The Witch, below, is a mini version of The Hag and unless I sell it will be an xmas present for a good friend. If it sells I'll have to make another!
I've been having a lot of fun with these pieces and feel I'm getting to grips with some workable techniques so I'm now going for something more ambitious, 3 witches!
I was givvn some good advice about trying to work everything of one central rod and I originally intended to have all the cranks, which pull the cables and make the witches move on a long horizontal one. However I realised that the pull on the cable wasn't right and it worked much better off a vertical central rod (which works the cauldron) I think this is because the cables are always moving in the horizontal plane rather than vertical.
So most of the actions come off 3 cranks. Different lengthed levers for arms etc allow for different movements. The tricky bit was getting the witches to move without catching each other.The central witch is basically a remake of the previous one, as is the one on the left.
I wanted a different movement for number 3 so she rocks from side to side. At presnet she is just a stick but I plan for her arms to go up and down too.
I also reckon moving trees at the back will look cool (I have an idea but can't explain it)
The basic mechanism ro work the cauldorn, thick ply and carefully measured brass pins give a smooth movement. The vertical bits are vital to keep the rods centered and stop the cogs becoming unaligned.
I've added 3 cranks here, snugly held in place by horizontal pieces. I was woried that the cranks would not be strong enough and that the pull of the rods moving the witches would distort them but they seem fine. I used wooden rods slightly thicker in diameter than the holes so a ver snug fit and thin brass pegs hold them all in place.
Below you can see the first 2 witches hooked up to the cranks, heads, bodies and arms all have different cranks so combine to give interesting movement.