Thursday, February 04, 2010

Some early machines created by Tim Hunkin

Here is a real treat for you: nearly 10 minutes of video showing large-scale coin-operated machines and automata by the inimitable Tim Hunkin. Hunkin is a not only a great automata-maker, but a cartoonist, engineer, and host of a television series called The Secret Life of Machines.

Learn more about Tim Hunkin
on his web site.


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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Huge Automaton Clock Sculpture @ London Zoo



Master mechanical artist Tim Hunkin has created a giant automaton clock for the London Zoo. This amazingly complex kinetic sculpture is base on the theme of Victorian Era attitudes towards the animal kingdom.

The artist has a section of his site devoted to the London Zoo Tropical Aviary Clock. The pages show his photos and sketches (he's also known for his cartoons) of the automaton, rejected design ideas, technical aspects of the piece, and various other factors that influenced him along the way.

It is wealth of information, a fascinating look at one kinetic artist's creative process, and very entertaining. The video is a few minutes long, but only because the sequence of the automaton is so elaborate. Well worth it!

Here the page devoted to the London Zoo Tropical Aviary Clock. Here is the page about the design of the clock.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

UK Crafts Council - Great Automata Resource

A kindly reader of The Automata / Automaton Blog was kind enough to share with me a fantastic resource. The UK Crafts Council has their permanent collection displayed in a searchable interface on Photostore.

Should you visit their search page, simply select "automata and toys" from the "Discipline" drop-down menu. You will be presented with 56 pages of automata images by many of the most famous, distinguished, and notable automata-makers. Shown above is a great collection box automaton by Tim Hunkin.

As I explore the collection more, I'll keep you posted on what I find. If you find items of note, leave a comment on this post, or drop me a line using the Contact Dug North link in the right sidebar.

Search the UK Crafts Council collection of images.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Great Review of CMT Exhibit with Photo Sets

Over at the Pixelsumo blog, the author has a great review of a visit to the newly opened Cabaret Mechanical Theatre exhibit at Kinetica Museum that I told you about here.

The post features links to a huge set of flickr photos of the show itself.

Check out this great review of the CMT show at Pixelsumo.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Cabaret Mechanical Theatre at Kinetica Museum

If you can be or will be in the UK between April 6, 2007 and May 5, 2007 you must visit Kinetica Museum located at Old Spitalfields Market, London.

Kinetica will be hosting
a major retrospective show on Cabaret Mechanical Theatre which includes more than 80 automata and a number of previously unseen works.

The show will feature artists including: Ron Fuller, Arthur Ganson, Tim Hunkin, Will Jackson, Pierre Mayer, Keith Newstead, Paul Spooner, and Carlos Zapata. (Many of my favorite artists are in that list!)

The exhibition will also include a series of talks and hands-on workshops by the founders of CMT and prominent British automata artists. Speakers will include: Tim Hunkin, Sue Jackson, Sarah Alexander, Will Jackson and Paul Spooner.

Learn more at CMT's Mechanical Blog or visit Kinetica Museum's site



Cabaret Mechanical Theatre (CMT) dates back to 1979, when a handful of automaton artists began to work together as an artists collective.

The group, founded in 1983 in Falmouth by Sue Jackson, moved to London’s Covent Garden shortly thereafter, where their collection of automata immediately received both critical and popular acclaim.

They produced a book (shown at left) that teaches about basic mechanics and the construction of automata.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Automata-Makers: Add a Coin Mechanism

Here's a nice little article on how to add a coin activation mechanism to your automata. Find a public location for your masterwork (retail store, library, restaurant, etc.) and you may be able to put that automaton to work for you earning $$$.

This comes from Tim Hunkin of Cabaret Mechanical Theatre fame. He's the maker behind many of the larger interactive automata. He's also been a cartoonist and had a TV series called The Secret Life of Machines.

Check out the Coin-op tutorial [via] that is itself [via]

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