The Story of the "Tempest in a Teacup" Automata.
If you are a lowly mouse it is sometimes hard to find ways to have real fun. It's bad enough that the mouse you idolize has giant theme parks in Florida, California, and France, but as a mouse you live a life of limited resources and travel to these places may well be beyond your lifespan! Like most mice you've seen the famous teacup ride in Disneyland on TV and in magazines and your heart aches. So some mice have to make their own fun.
These industrious guys have taken over the local china shop after hours and they created their own version of Disney's tea cup ride. What could be better? For a few moments they are in heaven, spinning, twirling, and squeaking; a real tempest in a teacup; mice full of mayhem!
A big thank you to my friend Jim Lang who collaborated on this piece turning the cup bowl and saucer! I'm not sure I would have attempted this piece without his assistance.
This automata employs right angle gears fabricated from wood, not pinwheels, designed with the help of the gear template generator program available from wood gears.ca. The rotational mechanism is similar to my "Inner Demon" automata.
Automata "Tempest in a Teacup" Video
The "Tempest in a Teacup" Photo Gallery
Like the "Inner Demon" automata the interesting dynamic of this project is that the mechanism that operates three of the mice in the cup is constantly spinning itself while the automata is being turned. Here are some photographs of various components during the stages of construction.