Closing Reception

Closing Reception

"A Well Crafted Tale" Closing Reception

On Saturday we attended the closing reception of "A Well Crafted Tale" at Florida CraftArt, sponsored by AARP Life Reimagined campaign. Appropriately, the theme of the exhibit was storytelling, artists submitted artwork for 14 creative writers from Keep St. Pete Lit and local poets to create original written works inspired by the exhibit.

True Confessions

True Confessions

Thrifty is Nifty

We are financially frugal nest egg nurturers, the poster children of saving for a rainy day (or fancy toy), paying full price is not in our DNA. Before purchasing costly work-related tools and materials we will research extensively and monitor closely looking for price drops. Bargains await for those who wait and last year's model is just as good (and at times better).

Electronic Automata

Electronic Automata

Servo Programmer

To program our electronic, servo controlled automata we use two software applications: Visual Show Automation (VSA) by Brookshire Software and TrackSkull by MonkeyBasic, both rely on visual approach to animatronics rather than having to input code to program the servo movements.

Hand-crank automaton - Part III: Monkey Evolution

Hand-crank automaton - Part III: Monkey Evolution

The final step is designing clothing that will not restrict the movement of the Automaton. Chris and I have to work very closely together at this stage, to make sure the automaton figure will retain the desired movement. Sometimes it may be necessary for the clothing to dampen (confine) certain motions.

Making a miniature automaton - Part I

Making a miniature automaton - Part I

The balance mechanism
The initial experiment was to see how to get the most motion out of the simplest puppet; in reality, automata design begins with a puppet that is controlled invisibly through internal cables, levers or wires. If you have seen photographs of the inner workings of antique automata you know they can be very complicated, the idea here was to make a simple balanced armature that would be robust, trouble-free, and most important, move naturally.

Peter Meder

"Our design process starts with an attitude. We find inspiration in strange and unusual imagery; beautiful, but disturbing, intriguing yet provoke feelings of uneasiness. Interesting faces encountered on our travels, outrageous hairstyles, centuries old religious icons and ornately embellished wax effigies; these are the creative seeds for many of our figures. When we come across an interesting item, we wonder, "Who would wear such a thing?" and design a character that would."

The husband and wife team of Peter Meder and Chris Chomick have been working together for thirty-eight years. They met in 1978, while working as clerks in an art supply store in the Chicago loop and discovered their mutual fascination with puppets, stop-motion films, and mechanical toys. They immediately began collaborating on various projects; one of the first being a stop-motion animated puppet of the Dutch Boy for Sherwin Williams Paints, this began a career creating special effects for national television commercials.

Inspired by their interests in puppets and animation, Chris and Peter combined the knowledge and strengths of their different art backgrounds to create their own unique form of figurative art and automata.

Chomick+Meder's work has been featured in various national and international art doll and automata publications, and is included in many private collections throughout the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe.

Members of Florida CraftArt, St. Petersburg, Florida Artist members of NIADA, an international artists organization. Elected 1997

When creating our automata we work on multiple projects at the same time. During the Rapid Returns grant period we will share our process in making, and mechanizing, our three-dimensional figures, this includes the use of new and traditional materials and methods involving electronics, servomotors, and 3D printing.