Rapid returns

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.