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Franklin Institute Machines

October 30, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

I was recently at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.  The Amazing Machines Gallery has some of the best examples of basic mechanics that I have seen. Read more

‘Hungry for Love’ in Chicago

October 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Our USA touring exhibition opened at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry earlier this month.

This Paul Spooner piece, ‘Hungry for Love’ from the Fourteen Ball Toy collection is the most complicated piece in the show, as you can see from Paul’s original sketch.  The waitress walks. The cart rolls. The sailor moves his arms, head and even throat, and the tray pops up at the end, to uncover two very wobbly jellies.

Each piece in this exhibition is labelled with it’s own Haiku. Here is the one for this piece:

Motion for its own
Delight. An automaton
Must not mean, but be.

Exhibition continues until March 2009.

Tinkering with PIE

September 10, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Over the past 10 years we have worked regularly with Mike Petrich and Karen Wilkinson from the Exploratorium, in San Francisco.  Read more

Springs Sprockets & Pulleys

September 5, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Springs Sprockets & Pulleys: The Mechanical Sculptures of Steve Gerberich, Waterloo Center, Iowa, USA until January 2009.

We are great fans of Steve Gerberich and his work, so if you are in Iowa before the end of the year a visit to this exhibition is highly recommended.
There is also a great program of workshops and talks.
Press a button or crank a wheel and Steve Gerberich’s sculptures come to life. A flock of decoy geese overhead flap open suitcase wings. A wooden cow with hooves clad in high-top sneakers is milked endlessly by an over-enterprising farmer.
Constructed from old machine parts, kitchen utensils, pieces of furniture, lighting fixtures, medical supplies, toys and carnival figurines, Gerberich’s work offers viewers a unique way to interact with contemporary sculpture, explore the principles of simple mechanical motion or simply ponder the remarkable inventiveness of art.

Award at Maker Faire

October 26, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Richard Garriott and Sarah Alexanderkit-award2.jpgWe enjoyed the visit to Maker Faire last weekend, and were thrilled to pick up an Editor’s Choice award for our Designing Automata Kit. Richard Garriott, Austin resident, CMT patron (…games designer and soon to be astronaut!) pictured here with Sarah Alexander came along too, and shared some of his great pieces with the crowds.

RoboThespianWe were also joined by RoboThespian, who was the star of the show with his new range of Hollywood Movie impressions.

Designing Automata at Maker Faire

August 22, 2007 by · Comments Off 

mf125x125_austin.jpgJoin us at the fantastic Maker Faire this October in Austin, Texas where you can get the chance to play with our great Designing Automata Kit.
If you are in the USA you can now order the Designing Automata Kit and Cabaret Mechanical Movement directly from the Make: Store. Save dollars on postage too.

Also, I have two one-day tickets to give away.
E-mail Sarah Alexander to get your hands on them!

USA Touring Exhibit opens in Kansas

May 17, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Writers CrampThis Saturday, 19th May, sees the opening of our USA touring exhibit at the Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure in Salina, Kansas.

A great place for a day out this summer, this fascinating place also has a collection of Animatronics, robotic humans including a Hindu snake charmer.
CMT exhibition closes 22nd August

See Bruce Shapiro at new Kinetica Exhibition

November 23, 2006 by · Comments Off 

sisyphus_web.jpgTo Kinetica last night for the launch of their exhibition, Magnetic Visions. It was a delight to meet Bruce Shapiro whose latest work, part of the Sisyphus (IV) series, was the centre of attention.

These pieces are mesmerising to watch. A magnet traces complex, computer controlled paths beneath, while above, a steel ball in a field of sand creates dune patterns in its wake. As in the Greek myth from which it draws its name, Sisyphus rolls its “boulder” endlessly, only to witness the cyclic undoing of this labour.

Bruce is giving a talk on the Art of Motion Control this Saturday 25th November at 4 pm at Kinetica.

If you are in the USA check out Bruce’s Ribbon Dancer which has just been installed at the Science Center of Iowa.

Arthur Ganson’s Kinetic Sculpture

September 30, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Inchworms by Arthur GansonArthur Ganson’s new exhibition, ‘Machines and Mechanisms’ can be seen at the McColl Center for the Arts in North Carolina until November 4th 2006.

Visit MindFest at Fort Worth,Texas 8-9 Sept. 2006

September 2, 2006 by · Comments Off 

MindFestO6Some great activities and workshops are on offer at the 6th MindFest at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History this Friday and Saturday.

CMT took part in the original MindFest, ‘a gathering of playful inventors’ at MIT in 1999. It was here that the Designing Automata Kit in it’s original form was used in workshops.
During the event we sat on the ‘Artistic Machines’ panel along with Kinetic Artist Arthur Ganson, Hiroshi Ishii and Anne and Mike Eisenberg, the creators of Hypergami, (and now JavaGami) – if you enjoy making our paper cutouts, take a look at the Hypergami Sculpture Gallery.
The success of the original MindFest led to formation of the PIE (Playful Invention and Exploration) Network. You can get a taste of some the activities from the PIE Scrapbook which has been put together by veteran PIE-oneers, Mike Petrich and Karen Wilkinson of the Exploratorium, San Francisco.

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