The Wizard of oZ

Since experimenting with automata over the last few months I've wanted to create something with a steampunk feel. This was a challenge firstly because I wanted to have a lot more gears and have all the movements showing as part of some weird machine. The first hurdle was learning to make gears that both look good and more importantly have a smooth and accurate movement. I've tried making these by hand with limited success. However I recently discovered the joys of a computer aided milling machine: plug in an image and the miller cuts exactly what you want, so armed with an online gear drawing program and a lot of help from the school tech dept I have started making lovely gears.

the gears after removal from the miller

all sanded and fitted.

Technical problems solved, now what to make?
I had started with a little guy turning a crank, a steam punk Igor perhaps?

I knew I wanted lots of movements and at least a couple of guys operating various levers etc. but I also wanted them to have a purpose.

After a few sketches I came up with the idea of  a robot head which reminded me of The Wizard of Oz, where the Wizard is actually an illusion of smoke and mirrors operated by the PT Barnum like showman behind the curtain.
This presented lots of exciting challenges as I wanted the face of the robot to fairly complex: mouth, eyes, eyelids etc.
Below you can see the basic mechanisim worked out. As yet I've not added the other operator (s?) or any of the  tubes, vials, boilers and pipes that will give it a real steampunk flavor.

side view showing the head and operators chair.

Lots still to do as I'm spending a lot of time just working out how to get the movements to work.


ferinn said...

Looks like the little guy is turning a mangle ,they used to use before spindriers.The movement is a work of art in itself.

Trollman said...

My Grandad had one in his scullery. I was recently told off for using the word scullery,as it's not politically correct, but I told the maid to get back below stairs and that sorted that out. I am really enjoying this piece, hopefully will finish it wen half term finally arrives

BlacknickSculpture said...

I love the behind the scenes look at how you go about creating your wonderful pieces!

junkpunk said...

wow this is magical, can't wait to see it finished! How are you going to paint it, I can imagine the 'wizard' face being garish and bright colours, with the 'behind the scenes' being all grubby and oily :)

Trollman said...

@Blacknick, thanks for the feedback, I always like seeing how people do stuff (I'm forever looking to pinch good ideas) so sharing my process seemed a good idea.
@Junkpunk, not sure yet, certainly hadn't considered bright colours, worth a think though. Maybe polished steel, I saw a lovely mask whoose surface colours etc I like.

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