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my repurposed automata


I’ve had this idea in my head for some time. Like many of my favorite projects, I think about what I want to make and what I would need to do so. Then I get a little inkling in my head to visit a particular thrift store and bam!, there are the parts. Pretty cool way to create. This one required a wind up toy. Evidently, I wasn’t specific enough in my head about what type I wanted so the universe gave me, SIX DIFFERENT KINDS in one week. Wow!


I ended up using an old metal wind up mechanism from some of those plastic chattering teeth. The toy no longer functioned properly but the winding mechanism was usable. Believe it or not, I took it apart no less than three times in the process of making this. In the end, I soldered the joints together so they wouldn’t come apart at random times.

Her name is murmur.

I wanted the piece to be raw. I wanted people to see every element in its original form. I want the viewer to visually dissect this insect. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And she works. There’s a little blinking at the back (from a tooth brush) that engages randomly from the movement of winding her up. The winding primary controls the flutter of the wings, though she skids a bit as they flutter. Her eyes bobble a bit, too.

I love the idea of reworking old toys in to something…odd. Now I have a little stash of them. Let’s see what I come up with next!

One Comment

  1. Cindy

    This is really amazing! So lucky that you found the parts you were needing. Can’t wait to see what else you dream up!

So, what do you think ?