Thursday, September 27, 2012

Which Card Says 'I Love You' as Much as I Really Do? - Video of Valentine Automaton

As you may have heard by now, I will be exhibiting at the World Maker Faire in New York City this weekend, September 29 and 30, 2012. I know not all of you can make it, but that doesn't mean you can't see some of my pieces in action! I am pleased to announce that I'll be posting videos of some of my own automata over the next several days while I am getting ready for and participating in Maker Faire.

Presenting for the first time online, video of my piece titled Which Card Says 'I Love You' as Much as I Really Do?

I made this one quickly compared to most of my others. I like the general idea because I've been the poor fellow depicted in the scene. No commercial greeting card product seems to hit the nail on the head. Maybe this automaton does? The hundreds of miniature greeting cards took me nearly as long to make as the automaton itself. Here's a close-up shot of the cards in the display shelf:

Photo of Valentine Automaton

The mechanism for the automaton is straightforward. The bouncing heart advertising display is driven by a two-lobed cam. The figure's head is turned from side-to-side by two offset cams hitting opposite edges of a circular driving plate. The rotating card carousel is driven by a small belt twisted 90 degrees from the rotation of the main axle.

The figure and the method of constructing it inspired my Tips, Techniques, and Tricks article #5 about a how to make a basic wooden head from simple shapes.

There appears to be a tradition among automaton-makers to make a piece related to Valentine's Day. This would be my contribution to the genre. Here's a round up of Valentine's Day pieces by other artists including Keith Newstead, Per Helldorff, Marc Horovitz, Rob Ives, Haruki Nakamura, and Paul Spooner. This list is by no means exhaustive; I know I've neglected many fine artists and examples.

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Anonymous Fred said...

HA! What a great automaton! If there was a calandar on the wall that read, "Feb 13", I'd swear that's a video of my bald head nervously bobbing back and forth. Beautiful job on the cards.

September 27, 2012 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Dug North said...

Thanks Fred!

September 27, 2012 at 4:15 PM  

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