Every year the grandkids come north and we attend the evening Santa Parade in Fenelon Falls. It' a pretty good showing for a smaller rural town. Since the kids are a little older I pitched that maybe we should enter a float in next years parade! I figured with a little twist on my automata work we could do something little different, fun and, fun for the family and the community.
Before committing I thought I should try and make something that would meet my personal criteria which are entertaining, weatherproof, sturdy enough to survive the trip to town and the parade route, and of course, somewhat automated. So I set out to build a prototype penguin to see how hard working with foam and scaling things would be. Well here is my guy. My daughter has named him Pete. He is 36" tall, opens and closes his mouth and he will waddle side to side when install on the float.
I found a few challenges working with the foam, but basically I think I can pass the 10 ft blink test needed for a parade character. Anyway, here is Pete!
My pregnant character, “Mom”, has finally arrived in the Clinic Waiting Room. She has started contractions as she waits her turn to see a doctor. It’s only a little disturbing for those around her. She still needs more paint but here she is.
I've completed the third of four waiting patients in the "Clinic Waiting Room", a sequel to the original "Waiting Room" automata. This character is a petite little girl. She is made up as a Catholic school girl type, in that she sports a institutional style school tunic and wears a religious icon around her neck.
She has swollen cheeks and is running a high temperature. Even with an ice bag on her head she remains quite flushed. Perhaps she has the mumps, or maybe impudent behaviour resulted in having her mouth washed out with soap, which precipitated an allergic reaction.
Here is Eloise; that is what I have been calling here lately. Perhaps she reminds me of the stories of a little girl living in a hotel in New York City. Anyway, her head turns, her eyes shoot up and down, and she swings her legs aimlessly as children often do.
A big thanks to all the folks who stopped by our table at the Ontario Wood Carvers Association show this weekend in Pickering. Always a fun time to exhibit some automata and discuss the craft with wood working enthusiasts. There is always lots to talk and giggle about.
A special thanks to Jocelyn for coming again this year to help out, always appreciated!
Here's a couple of photos from the show.
Lots going on, but I did manage to get a little time in the workshop. Here is the lumberjack for my current project "The Clinic Waiting Room", a variant of the previous Waiting Room. He's reading a book he should have read before!
Conquergood Creative will be at the OCWA Magic in Wood show this weekend in Pickering Ontario. This years show is 1 day only, a change from last year, being held on Saturday Oct 21st at the Pickering Recreation Complex, 1867 Valley Farm Road in Pickering.
Hope to see you there!
I get many requests in person and online to make plans for some of my more complex automata projects available. Documenting the steps involved has always seemed like a daunting task to me.
I have decided to give it a try using video as the primary medium for instruction as an accompaniment to printed plans. So I am in the beginning of building and filming the building the project that has had the most request for plans - "The Waiting Room". To preserve the uniqueness of the original piece I will reconfigure it as "The Doctors Office" with a few modifications the in characters.
The impatient skelton will be part of the new project. I've been busy building and filming the building of a new version. Right know I am editing the video which will likely end up in excess of one hour, and that is just for him!
I'll push through to the finish and assess the complete project and how ultimately I might make it available.
For now here is the new "Bones".
A big thanks for dropping by at the Kawartha Carving Competition this past weekend. It was nice to see some regular visitors and some new folks as well. A special thanks to my brother for helping out, providing a local dimension to the booth since he lives in Bobcaygeon.
The glasses in the diagnosis performed admirably in its first public showing and the Trojan Cat was a big hit. Here's the dynamic booth duo. I'm the more handsome one!
I've been busy packing up the latest projects to take them over to the Kawartha Carving Competition in Bobcaygeon this Saturday. If you can make it, stop by to say hello. The show is on Saturday the 9th from 9:00 am until late afternoon. The show is in the curling club on the fairgrounds. Come and see lots of incredible carvings from across southern Ontario.
Yes it has been a while since I have posted on the blog. I will try to do a better job of keeping up with this side of things. I am posting to say that I just added a video of my latest automata project on Youtube. It is called, "The Diagnosis". It is a skeleton who receives her diagnosis from her doctor. I not have added website pages on the site yet, but if you would like to view it now,you can flow this Youtube link.
Here's a teaser photo.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.