Another day in the shop, another Rat for the philharmonic. This time it's a tuba player. Not the marching band Sousaphone type but an orchestral tuba. It's still big and cumbersome for this little rat though. Her name is Melody, an irony in that as a tuba player she never gets to play one.
She will rock forward and back as she belts out big notes.
The next member of the Rat Philharmonic is a trumpet player. Here he or she is, whichever you like. There is one photo painted and one photo before painting but after burning. This rat will twist back and forth as he plays and tap his foot in time to the music.
Well, months later I have finally posted the video I assembled that highlights the 2018 Fenelon Falls Santa Day parade Float called "Driving Home for Christmas". You never want to rush these things, right? anyway it is not posted on Youtube on my channel but only available on my website. If you would like to see something different for a change give it a look.
Here is a shortcut. The Driving Home For Christmas Float Video
Another member of the Rat Harmonic automata has appeared. This is Fergie the Flutist. She moves her head up and down while playing soft melodies. Her favourite piece to play is Ode to a Cheese Lock in A Minor by Ludwig van Rodent.
Despite the face it was -18 degrees Celsius overnight again, it is the start of the spring show season. This Saturday March 9th I will be attending the Brooklin Carving Club's competition and show at the Brooklin Community Centre, 49 Cassels Rd. E. in Brooklin. I will be displaying only a small amount of work. I will be hanging out at the Bobcaygeon Carving Club table. Drop by and say hello and chat about automata! The show is open to the public at 10:00 am.
Next weekend, March 16 and 17, I will be at the National Wildfowl Carving Competition at the RIM recreation Centre in Waterloo. If you are in the area drop in there too. Always some beautiful work on display.
Been few distractions lately, but I finally got around to completing the newest character of the Rat Philharmonic. I am pleased to introduce Chelsea the cello player! Okay now it is time to move on to the next one. Back to the shop.
Last Friday "The Umbrella Factory" was released to Netflix. It is a story of a dysfunctional family of adopted children with super powers who come together later in life upon learning of the death of their father. I had been approached by the production company last year about the possibility of providing an automata piece for a scene in the series.
Of course directors plans often change and the feature placement was eliminated but I was asked to supply a couple of pieces for the background in one sequence, hence my 1/5th of a second of fame! About 16 minutes into Episode 3 Vanya (Number 7), played by Ellen Page, walks into the rear of an antique furniture store, into an area where the shop keeper builds antique toys.
Below is a screen shot of the scene. That is Ellen Page walking into the workshop. In the top right corner is my "Trojan Cat" automata. Shortly later there is a glimpse of my "Owl Hijinx" on a crowded shelf below it. It won't make me famous but it is fun to see!
The latest addition to the rat orchestra is Percy the percussionist. He is the left of the photo playing the kettle drum. His arms move up and down to beat on the drum. He follows Clarence the Clarinet player, Viola Lynn the first violinist, and Victor the second violin who is kneeling on the floor. Anyway there are some more rats to come. Perhaps a cello, a flute, or a horn some kind.
Here'a an update on the rat peering over the side of the automata I'm working on. The first photo is him laying on my computer. I prefer to burn hair lines on my characters rather than carve them or cut them with a wheel. He takes on a brown appearance because of the ash generated by the pyrography pen. The second photo show his hollowed out belly. You can see the lever that will move his head. There is another yet to be added to move his tail. Although I have used just wooden parts before, this one has a 1/8" brass tube through the body and a 5/64" brass tube as the axel. The head will be secured on with CA glue. This is sufficient since therein very little load on the connection.
I’ve started another project and for now I dubbed it the “The Rat Band”. It will feature a few of the characters peering into the mechanism. Here are a few photos of progress to date. There is Clarence the clarinet player who lifts his instrument up and down as he plays, and Viola the violinist who bends at the waist to look over the edge of the top plate. Lastly there is one under construction that is kneeling to look over the edge that will swivel his head to look around.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.