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Automata making

I will take you process of making Automata making through a series of sketch models

Duration: 4 - 8 x half days

Price: £340

Book with: Tom Wilkinson
at Tom Wilkinson

Unit 20 Kingsgate Workshops
110-114 Kingsgate Road

Course Start Dates

Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.

About the Course

The course is at Kingsgate Workshops in Kilburn/W.Hampstead. The times and days are currently
flexible to suit your requirements. These can be on a Saturday morning or afternoon or evening (except Wednesday & Thursday evenings).

I have taught for over 25 years in schools of all ages and have a PGCE. I currently teach at Wimbledon College of Art in puppetry, animatronics and automata - some of the work can be seen here.

The project you would do is up to you - you could be a hand-cranked automaton you have in mind, or you could do one of my projects, for example 'To breathe life into an inanimate object with a hidden mechanism'. In this project you would choose any small everyday object, such as a book, and make it move - as if by magic. In this project the means of producing the movement is up to you - it is wide ranging from the low-tech of motors and cams as in automata, to the high-tech of Arduinos and servos as used in animatronics.

I also have all kinds projects that will suit your ability, from beginner to the advanced student.

You can learn many practical skills such as metal and wood work, soldering, mold-making, papier mache, simple electro-mechanics and electronics. Coding is not something I do so you will have to be self-reliant there.

I look forward to hearing from you.

If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

We will take your idea through all the stages from first sketches, through sketch models. Along the way you will learn about different types of mechanisms, soldering, metal-work and wood. By the end of the course you will have completed a finished working automaton of your design.

Besides all the myriad of tools required for this craft, you will have use of machine tools, lathe and milling machines. Most materials are included except for specialist hardwoods, electronics, motors but I can advise where to obtain all these, in advance if necessary. I actively encourage the use of reclaimed and recycled materials and parts as this can imbue the work with special qualities.

Home work will be a necessary part of this course. I will set a goal to achieve by the next session, however this can be conceptual and designing, if you don't have facilities.

We also offer accommodation at our home nearby, where we have two Airbnb units, one room and one flat. Suitable for couples (not included in fee)

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  • Accessible by public transport
  • Accommodation offered
  • Advanced/professional level
  • Daytime (weekdays)
  • Evenings
  • Intermediate level
  • Long term / weekly / monthly
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • Weekends