Chickens should be plump right? No one ever orders scrawny chicken off a menu. I decided my chicken should be plump for a couple of reasons, one to add the absurdity of riding a unicycle and two, to accent a pair of spindly legs, and three to make room for another performer on his back.
I chose tupelo to make the chicken, because it is light and easy to machine with power carving tools. Making the cavities for the legs and the unicycle seat is easier with power tools rather than trying to carve them with knives. In the left photo you see the bottom of the chicken. The two outside slots are for the legs. They are angled enough to allow full movement of the legs when the wheel turns. The narrow slot in the middle is for the unicycle seat. The photo on the right shows the general profile of the chicken less wings and beak. The comb was shaped from the body block. The small hole holds the pin that passes through the top of the legs and the large hole is for the rod that will hold the chicken upright and drive it around in a circle on the unicycle.
For the carving purists, you'll have to forgive me. For this piece I attached the wings separately. I use brass pins with epoxy to attach the wings in place so they are strong.
,So here's our chicken, eyes on , beak on, and wings on ready for the next stages of construction.
In the early part of the blog I mentioned making the chicken wide so it would have room for other performers. In the photo above you can see the hole that is the mounting point for a little chick.
Here is the little fellow. He is 2" tall and made from a 3/4" and a 1/2" wooden ball. He sports the traditional french clown cap as it balances on one leg while the chicken circles. The long brass rod slides into the hole on his back to keep him steady and strong. The second photo shows him in place on the chicken.
As a final teaser for today here is the chick with his paint in place!
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.