Check it out: Tipsy




I’ve explored the corkscrews-as-people theme before, but it was the discovery of an unusual brass one that got me interested again.  This piece was also an excuse to delve into patinas.  Note that the figure is polished shiny, while the rest is stained a deep brown/purple.


Corkscrew, door hardware cover plates, cooking pot, candle stick parts, toy gearbox, motor, aluminum and brass stock.


A litte while back I did a piece titled “Zip Synch“.  After it found a home I was approached to make a similar piece on commission.  The client was interested in the thematic value of the little vintage film canister cases and he even managed to source another pair for the project.  In keeping with the theme, the base was built using two heavily modified winding mechanisms from a film editing machine.

The resulting piece was titled “The Conversation”.


I’m very pleased to say that it has been a long time since I’ve had good clean failure in the shop.  Unfortunately today I broke my streak.  I’ve always said that failure is a necessary aspect of learning and now its time to eat my words.  I’ve had this little brass corkscrew figure in the works for quite some time.  I’ve just been working up the nerve to build it into a machine using an old wind up record player motor.  The trouble with these is that they produce very little torque.  I believed I had worked around this by adding a gear box which would reduce speed and increase torque.  Unfortunately after many hours of fiddling I have to admit that the motor just isn’t up to the task.  The piece will eventually work out, I just have to use an electric motor, and return to the ambition of a spring powered one another day.


Here is a quick video of a new machine I’m working on.  This one uses a timing belt and wheel from a BMW as a rack and pinion gear set up.  The idea is to attach a figures feet to the two reciprocating bars to produce a “walking” motion.  It is my intent to build the system robust enough so that no additional support for the figure is needed.  This is a goal that has eluded me in the past, so fingers crossed….