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Automata and Mechanical Toys

I have been anxiously awaiting this book since I ordered it from Amazon.com a few months ago. Without question, it was worth the wait.

What will you find in Automata and Mechanical Toys?

    The chapters are as follows:
  1. A Brief History of Automata and Mechanical Toys
  2. The Origins of Contemporary Automata
  3. Tools and Materials
  4. Techniques
  5. Making Automata Mechanisms
  6. Theme Projects
  7. Design
  8. Painting and Finishing

It's everything you could ask for in book on automata.

The organization of the book is a little unusual. The title of each chapter might lead you to believe that it covers one 'how-to' topic in detail. Well, not really. Here's the typical organization of a given chapter. First, the chapter has a brief summary of the topic in question -- say tools and materials. Next, the chapter moves on to showcase the work of two or three automata artists with many pictures and a page or two of information about the artist.

The artists featured in the book are among the best known automata makers in the United Kingdom.

Images to Inspire

The photographs of automata in this book are outstanding. You can really get a sense for the devices, their construction, and most especially finishes. The sections that do cover construction techniques are clear and informative. The bearings box they build would be great for teaching kids about basic mechanical devices.

Learn About Mechanisms by Doing

One the really cool things about this book is the automata mechanism test platform. The reader is given complete instructions for making and testing commonly-used mechanism. There are printed patterns for pin-wheels, ratchets, and splined gears. This is really useful stuff.

In Sum

If you love automata, want to see more of them, and want to learn about some of the top automatists in the contemporary scene, this book is a must-have.

This book is somewhere between a coffee table book and a how-to book. This isn't a bad thing per se. If you buy just one book on automaton making -- I would have to recommend this very book.

Click here to learn more about Automata and Mechanical Toys

When you purchase from Amazon.com, you can help me support my site and my art by navigating there from any of the Amazon.com links on this site.

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