Friday, May 16, 2008

Poisoned Milk - a Classic Paul Spooner Automaton

Here's a great little video of an classic Paul Spooner piece called Poisoned Milk.

The means of animating the tongue is very clever and requires some lateral thinking. See if you can figure it out.

Visit Cabaret Mechanical Theatre and Fourteen Balls Toy Co. to see more Paul Spooner automata.

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Blogger Unknown said...

A magnet on a cam?

Or a different string for the tongue?

May 17, 2008 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Dug North said...


You are thinking laterally and that is good. You haven't hit on it just yet, however.

Anyone else?



May 18, 2008 at 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If one looks closely at the leather strip, it is pushed up and down by (properly a ratchet). creating the effect of the cat licking the milk. That's my take and certainly I use a similar technique (whether it's with a vid or a still pic) to try to figure out what a certain mechanism is employed to create some life-like effect.


May 18, 2008 at 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of lateral thinking, I found elastic string a wise choice of material that, in a straight thinking mode, we would only resort to springs or rubber bands and the like.

Here's another example of the use pf elastic string in making automata: The ghost of
William Howard Taft
sits down by Marc Horovitz:

Happy lateral thinking,


May 18, 2008 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Dug North said...

Charles has revealed a lot by revealing that the milk is actually white leather. He's also indicated the motive power behind the tongue's motion.



May 19, 2008 at 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leather has special effects? I don't get it..

August 22, 2008 at 9:39 AM  

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