I spent a lot of time with Eleanor today and we had a long talk. The result is that she is now moving as she was intended too. (New carriage rack and and a few rollers to reduce friction.) However Eleanor had a few thoughts of her own, completely in character, mind you. Her first demand was that since she knew that any photos of her be taken from her right side, which she believes is her better side, I needed to move the hand crank to the other side to get her cooperation. She also suggested that since I would be moving on to another project she would like a companion to remain with her. Out of respect of her advancing age I agreed to both items!
So here is a quick video showing her movement, it's a little shaky since I didn't use a tripod. (Wim I hope you like it. It is a lot of gears for a little movement, but is slows things down.) Still a few things to do. A handle, fit and paint the dowels on her hips, a nameplate, fill screwholes on top plate.
I had thought by this time that Eleanor would be strutting her stuff around the hallways of her seniors residence, but as always Eleanor has the last word. As Eleanor and I set out to finish today, she just wasn't cooperating. She just couldn't produce the moves that she had hoped for. Of course in reality, it was all my fault, so back to the drawing board for a few mods to get things moving just right. I'm not sure how to put this delicately but I think I overlooked the mass of her generous behind. So here's a few shots of a close to completed automata. With time scheduled in the shop tomorrow hopefully Eleanor and I will see eye to eye right to the finish!
In her younger days Eleanor Walker was a renegade, a non-conformist, an activist and enthusiast. Although her strength is diminished and her profile is grander, she still exhibits an remarkable spirit. One of her favourite literary works is this poem, "Warning" by Jenny Joseph. For this reason Eleanor still adores purple, sporting a purple housecoat on her little excursion. (See the photo below). Unfortunately she left her red hat in her room, but it does give her a chance to show off her latest perm to fella octogenarians.
Ya gotta love Eleanor!
Warning by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me,
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals,
and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired,
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells,
And run my stick along the public railings,
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens,
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat,
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go,
Or only bread and pickle for a week,
And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats
and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
And pay our rent and not swear in the street,
And set a good example for the children.
We will have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me
are not too shocked and surprised,
When suddenly I am old
and start to wear purple!
After a little R&R this weekend and a therapeutic massage this morning I'm back to work. Spent a little time working with my carving group and some time back in my own shop today. As a result I've got a bin of gears, cams, and washers, Eleanor has had her perm tightened, and she is beginning to get a grip on her walker!
Hopefully more to share tomorrow.
After looking at the walker, staying away for a few days, and then looking at it again I couldn't leave it with square bars. I always know when it gets to this point that if I don't fix the thing that is bugging me I will hate it forever. So I have rounded up all the edges and moved on. Here is the walker with a coat of paint on it.
Here is what Eleanor is so determinedly hanging onto. She has some mobility issues because if her advanced age and generous size. Again this remains a work in progress with elastics holding things in place for the photo. I made the walker from maple rather than brass tube to avoid a bunch of tricky soldering and to stay with a wood motif. Still have lots of shaping to do!
Time to meet the character in my latest automata project. I am currently calling her Eleanor Walker. Not sure why I chose Eleanor. She just looks like an Eleanor. You have seen her feet but here she is in her full chubby glory, left and right side views. She has some more work to be done, hair, hands, face and eyes for example. She has an elastic around her shoulders to temporarily hold her arms in place. She also has a hole in her side into which I will install a pivot pin which will allow her to rock back and forth.
An sage carver once said, "Never remove material in big pieces, that way your mistakes will be small and likely repairable." I follow these words of wisdom. The result is carving these things takes time. In that respect I likely have thirty hours into Eleanor and she is not finished yet.
So the question now is what does Eleanor have in her hands. Here is a clue in the photo below although it is only a small pice of something bigger. You'll have to come back to see the rest later.
While working on Eleanor again today I took a break to paint up her completed feet. Nothing remarkable, just pale skin colour like your gramma and those lovely fluffly brown bedroom slippers just like your gramma wears. She's probably has had them since the mid sixties. Anyway here is todays tease. Hopefully enough will be done of Elenor to send out a photo tommorrow.
Working on my next project. In keeping with a temporary air of mystery for a while, l'll share a pair or bedroom slippers on a pair of skinny legs. They belong to Eleanor, the star of the piece. One done, one to finish!
When it's rainy outside my grandsons figure it is a good time to be in the shop building something will gramps. Usually its some battle stuff, battleships, helicopters and the like. This past weekend Ian wanted to make his own automata with me. So here it is, Ian's African Lion Safari. finished and unpainted, but he is happy!
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.