Following on from a previous post, Autumn is Coming, here I illustrate the next few stages of this Green Man project, which turns out to be slightly more complicated than I had anticipated.


I have formed a rough body from air-dry clay around a tin foil mass. I tried to use the same clay for the hands, but even when soft I found it hard to manipulate without the clay breaking, so I used sculpey instead.

Elastic holds one arm up in position, the other is fixed. Another piece of elastic dangles from the moving arm and will hopefully be pulled downwards by the mechanical action, although I have realised that I have to replace this with string that doesn’t stretch.

The box is two nice bits of wood supported by dowels, and it will all soon be decorated with mosses to make it all feel like it fits.


It feels like it ought to be quite a simple automata, but the number of stages involved in making it work is really complicated, and I have no idea if it will work or not. It would have been more sensible to have done a few technical tests, but I’m not very disciplined like that.

I’ve been keen to try making automata for a long time now. I love the Timberkits, and am a fan of the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre. We went to see an exhibition of theirs in Basingstoke last year, which was fantastic. I was particularly drawn to works that weren’t the traditional wooden toy-type, but which showed a different sort of stylistic approach.

I’m enjoying the process and hopefully will have an update soon with the finished piece.


One thought on “Automaton

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