Saturday, January 30, 2010

Per Helldorff's Mekaniskt hjärta (Mechanical heart)

Per Helldorff is a Swedish artist who uses both hand-carving and carpentry techniques to create beautiful automata. The one shown in the video here is called Mekaniskt hjärta (Mechanical heart) is appropriate to one upcoming holiday.

See more of Per Helldorff's automata on his web site.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Automata Orchestra in Malmo Sweden

Automata Orchestra in Malmo Sweden
Reader Jerry Johansson wrote to ask about this amazing automata orchestra that is currently on display at the Technical and Maritime Museum in Malmo, Sweden.

Jerry writes:
Little is known about the orchestra but it's said to be constructed in England sometime during the 1920s. A well known Swedish toy expert came to the conclusion that the orchestra must have been serial made, but due to the size (it is life size) of the orchestra, and the rather complicated machinery, I don't find that statement plausible. I was wondering if you might have any information regarding robotic orchestras, or indeed any robotics manufactured in England during this time period?

For so little to be known about such a large and complicated system does seem a strange mystery. If you happen to know anything about this or similar automata bands, leave a comment at the end of this post.

Here's a link to a video featuring the Automata Orchestra.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wood Gears & Swedish Gadgets by Per Heldorff

Wood Gears and Swedish Gadgets by Per Heldorff
Master carver Per Heldorff began carving in the Swedish slöjd tradition and progressed to mechanical work incorporating cogs, wooden gears, and animated figures. As with most contemporary automata artists, his work often contains a whimsical element.

The work of master Swedish carver Per Heldorff will be featured at The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. The exhibit is entitled "Wooden Gears and Swedish Gadgets" and runs from August 6th through September 28th, 2008.

Here is a link to Per Heldorff's web site.

Here is a book for further reading on Swedish carving techniques -- Carving & Whittling: The Swedish Style.

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