my automaton



Inspired by reading about cardboard automata on the San Francisco Exploratorium's website, I decided to try to make one today, using their instructions as a jumping off point. I've always loved wooden toys with moving parts, so it was great fun to invent my own with recycled materials from around the house. I used a small cardboard box, two chopsticks, scissors, hot glue, masking tape, an awl, and a pencil (just for making holes bigger). From the printed information and from practice, I learned about cams and cam followers. I'm still not sure why I made it, or why the bird and flower, but I enjoyed the process immensely, and I think it took less than an hour.


Love the drawing. And the instruction manual at the side... you have a true gift to inspire others with your serendipity.


I enjoy and am usually inspired by your posts without fail. This one really caught my fancy--grateful for your inventiveness and spirit of adventure as well as for your incredible faithfulness to daily posting! As I've recently been enjoying reading books about Alexander Calder, your automaton seems to me to connect to that same spirit of playfulness, joy, and invention that his works exude.

I've also recently just gotten myself together enough to list your blog on my blog. Yours has been a favorite of mine for almost two years!

Thanks again,


Inspiring is the word.
Thank you VERY MUCH for inspiring me to do this:

Best regards

How cool!
Wonderful that you made something so pretty and even more so that you then painted it in your daily journal.
I am also someone who follows your site and this is another great example of how creative you are and how different all of your posts are. Brill!

You've retained a childlike curiosity and honed a fine lead-by-example teaching technique that makes me think... simple and subtle, yet potent and lingering. (thanks)

It is always a pleasure to make things from scratch =)And the drawing is absolutely wonderful. I think I'm adding you to my blogroll, I fell in love with your blog =)

I'm back! Yours was one of the sites that disappeared in a crash, about a year ago. But now that you're bookmarked I'll pop over to check out your daily sketching.I might even make time for this cute toy!
(I'm still trying to be daily, but often skip a few and have to play catch-up.)



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