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Automata making online

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

About the Course

The course is usually at Kingsgate Workshops in Kilburn/W.Hampstead, London, however since the lock-down I am running the course online. This of course relies on the student having access to tools and materials, so if you're still interested, please read on. The online course is flexible to fit with your schedule - it will involve an initial discussion with you, where you can describe what you wish to make. The course is one to one and is conducted on the phone, email and Skype/Facetime, including weekly hour long tutorials. The level of complexity depends on tools you have available, however very sophisticated automata can be made with few basic tools. I will send materials and components, if required.

When the situation permits, actual classes at my workshop will resume in London. These will take place 10.00 - 1.00 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays - again to fit with your schedule. There are places for two students at each session.

The four session course is £340 (including £20 for consumables and materials)

A little bit about my working background - I have taught for over 25 years in schools of all ages and have am a qualified teacher. I currently tutor at Wimbledon College of Art in puppetry, animatronics and automata - some of the work can be seen here. I also run Meta Props and am co founder of Arts Republic, making environmental sculpture.

There are a variety of projects for all levels of experience and skill - you could make a hand-cranked or motorised 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. Please feel free to call or message me if you have any questions or would like to discuss a project you have in mind.

You can learn many practical skills such as metal and wood work, soldering, mold-making, papier mache, simple electro-mechanics and electronics and coding.

I look forward to hearing from you.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

The four session course is £340 (including £20 for consumables and materials)

What you will need

For this online course you will need access to a drill, preferable pillar bench press type, soldering, a range of hand tools; pliers, hammer, tin snips, vice, hack-saw and a lot of patience and perseverance to realise your idea in mechanical 3D.


Tom Wilkinson at Tom Wilkinson

This course is taught online

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Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Advanced/pro level
  • Intermediate level
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners

Available as a gift

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12 hours (10:00am to 1:00pm)

Available dates:

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