Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nostromo watch, inspired by the ship in Alien

Nostromo watch, inspired by the ship in Alien
We don't travel down the modern-watch road too often here on The Automata / Automaton Blog, but this one recently featured on Engadget is just too mechanically cool to pass by. The watch, called "The Nostromo", is inspired by its namesake -- the ship in the movie Alien. The exposed gears -- and everything else -- are stunning.

Here's Engadget's recent post on the Nostromo Watch.

[ Thanks Tom! ]

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Keith Newstead: profile of the artist and new blog

Kieth Newstead submarine automaton
There is a great profile of automata-maker Keith Newstead over at the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre site.

Also be sure to check out Keith Newstead's blog which he just recently started.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Step-by-step carving of a dinosaur marionette

Step-by-step carving of a dinosaur marionetteWez Champion is documenting his efforts as he makes a very cool dinosaur marionette. Champion says he is a fan of the Prague style of marionette making.

Says the artist:
One of the things I like most about ALL Prague puppets is the way they don't try to hide the fact that they are made from wood... the master craftsmen seem to use the straight edges of chisel cuts to form unique facial expressions and unbelievable style to each character...this is what I someday hope to master for myself!

His blog posts document his project from drawings to roughing out the figure, to carving details. Stay tuned as he goes on to paint and assemble the puppet.

Here is a link to Wez's World -- the blog that documents the making of a marionette.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Victorian Flea Circus Chariot Project

The other day, I wrote a short post about a very nicely made miniature tool bench. If you are interested in miniatures, you should hop on over to the Workshop Shed blog to see more about how Andy put together this amazing little brass chariot.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

'Masters of the Obvious' - hand-cranked sculpture

Check out this video of the newly finished hand-cranked kinetic sculpture by Gina Kamentsky entitled Masters of the Obvious.

In her recent posts I made a discovery: I'm not the only one looking to Five Hundred and Seven Mechanical Movements for inspiration!

Not only is the piece a lot of fun, but she documented much of its construction on her blog.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gina Kamentsky's 'On the Workbench' Blog

Gina Kamentsky's 'On the Workbench' Blog
Just a few days ago multi-talented artist Gina Kamentsky started a blog entitled 'On the Workbench'.

From her first post:
I've been cranking out some interesting new work in studio and have added some new features to the Mechanical Confections website including On the Workbench, a blog where I'll be updating progress on new kinetic sculpture work as it evolves. In addition, this section will feature updates on gallery shows, new work posted to this site, links to resources and inspiration for mechanized sculpture.

I look forward to following along as she creates her clever creations!

Here's the link to Gina Kamentsky's On the Workbench Blog.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

100 Blogs That Will Make You Smarter - Here!

The Automata / Automaton Blog was recently included in a list of "100 Blogs That Will Make You Smarter". Our humble blog is in some fine company in the "Do It Yourself" section of the list.

Do It Yourself

  1. Make: Blog. Learn how to make some seriously cool stuff with this blog from the popular Make Magazine.
  2. Instructables Community Blog. Find out how to make the world’s largest pinata or test your Instructables knowledge with a quiz on this blog.
  3. Hacks Blog. Make a cake in a coffee mug, a Linux-controlled power switch, or play backed-up Wii games with the information here.
  4. DIY City Blog. Independent artists with a DIY flair share their ideas that range from knitted hats to hand-made jewelry.
  5. DIY Audio Projects. From vacuum tubes to subwoofers, this blog will help you build your own audio projects.
  6. The Automata/Automaton Blog. If you are interested in making or collecting automata or mechanical toys, this blog will provide you with plenty of information.
  7. DIY Woodworking, Home Improvement, and Art Projects. From building a guitar to installing a toilet, learn how to do it all here.
  8. Gizmodo. Learn to see in 3D or read about the latest tech gadgets at this blog.
  9. Hacked Gadgets. Learn to make your computer control an LCD display or create a beer cooler lock down on this blog.
  10. Chic Knits. Get your knit on with this blog that offers suggestions, tips, photos, and more to help you knit stuff worth wearing."
Here the link to full list of 100 Blogs That Will Make You Smarter at

[ Thanks Kelly! ]

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Photos of Automata in Paul Spooner's Tribute

Paul Spooner: A Cheap Automata Shop
Our colleagues and friends over at the blog Spiel und Kunst mit Mechanik have directed me to a massive picture pool of automata by dozens of artists that participated in the exhibit celebrating Paul Spooner.

Paul Clarke, and his mother Margery Clarke, operate "The First Gallery" in Southampton, England. The assemblage of photos is by Paul Clarke and is located on the Gallery's website.

Visit the Paul Spooner Tribute Exhibit photograph page.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Automata / Automaton Blog has Search Feature

Automaton BlogThe Automata / Automaton Blog is pleased to inform its readers and subscribers that the site now has a search feature. The search box is located in the upper right portion of the site's sidebar.

Now you can find posts on particular topics without hunting through the archives or guessing which label it might be filed under.

Once you have entered a term and clicked the "Search this blog" button, you will be directed to a results page. Sadly, the titles are almost always the name of the blog itself, but the descriptions beneath are accurate and helpful. Should you wish to search again, you can use your back button, or click on the blog title at the top of the page.

The new blog search feature is not to be confused with the Automata-Specific Search Engine, which searches many different automaton related sites. This Search Engine can also be added to your iGoogle homepage as a Google Gadget which is pretty cool.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Automata / Automaton Blog Reviewed

The Automata / Automaton Blog has been reviewed on Intute -- an online service that provides access to web resources for education and research. The service is created by a network of UK universities and partners.

They give a good description of my personal site, and the resources I've referenced there. The also mention the blog, and I'm glad the word is getting out!

Check out listing of

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

New URL: now directs to The Automata / Automaton Blog

If you've ever had trouble remembering the URL for The Automata / Automaton Blog (, things just got easier.

I've secured a new domain name that will automatically forward you to the blog's current location. All your old bookmarks will still work because nothing has really moved. Think of this as a shortcut to the blog's home page.

The new URL is:

Thanks for visiting and thanks for all the great suggestions you have sent in!

Dug North

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