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TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS => Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects => Topic started by: endymion on March 12, 2019 01:51:15 AM



Title: Improbable Bird Lady Automaton
Post by: endymion on March 12, 2019 01:51:15 AM
Now that TheRagingSloth has received this item in the Color in a Box swap, Iíll post more detail about it here. I present the Improbable Bird Lady:


(The quote is a charm from a Tom Holtz collection, which aside from a handful of wood screws, is the only thing I purchased for this project. Everything else was from my own craft supply stash.)



She is an automaton. When you turn the little crank clockwise, her wings flap and she appears to be flying. She was inspired by a Pinterest pin from wolfCat Workshop, and also by TheRagingSloth herself, since she appreciates stitched, artsy dolls. Her chosen color for the swap was purple, which was perfect because I had some purple batik fabric pieces that I got in a Craftster swap, years ago.

I also happened to have a piece of purple aluminum from a discarded beverage can (raided from the recycling bin of a former workplace and flattened and saved in my metal scrap box). Fittingly. it said ďthe PURPLE EditionĒ on it in large letters... I was so excited when I was shopping my stash for this swap and ran across itóso, so perfect! It became the decoration for the base.



The mechanism is made from wooden pieces from a vintage set of wood construction toys, and various wires (mainly coat hangers, but also some electrical wire and craft wire.) The handle is wood, painted purple. The piece of copper with a Celtic-looking pattern on the front looks like decoration, but itís actually a necessary addition to shore up the wing wires.

By a happy coincidence, I also had a very old Sculpy head with a long, curved neck. It was a failed attempt at a Hermione doll (!) from my very first Craftster swap, many years ago. I wired it to some pieces of a plastic from a car dealership advertising license plate from a car I donít even own any more.



I had made lots of holes in the head and neck to allow for attaching hair and clothing, etc. Those neck holes worked perfectly for wiring it between the wings. I also wired on a piece of flexible gridded plastic for the tail.



Sorry, those are the only pictures I took of the work-in-progress... My head gets so wrapped up in crafting that I forget to take pictures as I go along.

Her hair is yarn I got at a fiber artistís garage sale. Itís got some silk fiber content, I think.



She was a lesson in perseverance. I made the mechanism first, and then when I added the doll, the mechanism couldnít handle that much weight and it broke. I was heartbroken! Had to rebuild it. Then took it apart and rebuilt it again just before posting it, to add wood glue for strength.

This may be my favorite thing Iíve ever made, and Iím so grateful that TheRagingSloth kindly gave me permission to go way overboard with it so I could fulfill my artistic vision. No way itís a medium, but I had this compulsion about it.



Notice that I managed to sneak a little yellow in there at the bird-ladyís breast. That is my chosen color for the swap!  ;) I like to imagine that her heart is radiating joy and light.

P.S. I uploaded a video to YouTube; link is below in my signature.


Title: Re: Improbable Bird Lady Automaton
Post by: loves2experiment on March 12, 2019 05:07:14 AM
Wow...this is amazing! 


Title: Re: Improbable Bird Lady Automaton
Post by: The Raging Sloth on March 12, 2019 10:04:45 AM
She is totally radiating joy and light which is just SO inspiring! God, I just enjoy every part of it and I thought it was so funny you had that "purple edition" tin!!! Such a quirky accessory. I also liked your little metal signiture. I love the added ruffles on the wings and tail and I love the batik fabric choice and you are just SO INGENIOUS and I hope the bracelet gives you similar joy. It was meant to be very peaceful and happy. :) so, similar hopes. You seemed to want more functional stuff so I hope going out of your specific suggestions was ok? I get nervous about making sewn things in exact measuremeants (like for pillowcases) because I mostly eyeball everything. Lmao. I'm afraid I will mess up exact measurements since I rarely use a ruler. Pfffft. Bahahaha


Title: Re: Improbable Bird Lady Automaton
Post by: endymion on March 12, 2019 10:25:20 AM
I think we are cut from the same cloth, because I donít use rulers much either. Hee hee! If things are a little wonky, that just emphasizes their handcrafted nature, right? The Improbable Bird Lady is definitely a bit off-kilter and rickety, as the video shows!

I totally LOVE the cuff you made for me and wear it often. It does make me happy and shoos away the winter doldrums. So ... mission accomplished! So happy we swapped!

Oh, and thanks for the kind words, Loves2Experiment!


Title: Re: Improbable Bird Lady Automaton
Post by: craftylittlemonkey on March 12, 2019 02:07:21 PM
Wonderful! I am so keen to make automata, you did such a great job. Beautiful.


Title: Re: Improbable Bird Lady Automaton
Post by: Patraw on March 12, 2019 03:28:23 PM
Wondrous creation--the overall design/construction is excellent and I loved seeing it in action! Everyone should watch the YouTube video link you supplied, as something like this truly needs to be seen in motion to really appreciate it.  My imagination fell short of the reality; very realistic body/wing undulations!


Title: Re: Improbable Bird Lady Automaton
Post by: rackycoo on March 13, 2019 08:44:47 AM
Congrats! This has been chosen as a Featured Project (https://www.craftster.org/blog/march-13-2019-featured-projects/)!  :)


Title: Re: Improbable Bird Lady Automaton
Post by: endymion on March 13, 2019 09:23:18 AM
Thanks so much, everyone! I think it is my favorite thing Iíve ever made, and so glad that my swap partner, TheRagingSloth, loves her and will give her a good home!


Title: Re: Improbable Bird Lady Automaton
Post by: Acadian Driftwood on March 13, 2019 01:23:21 PM
She's truly glorious!!


Title: Re: Improbable Bird Lady Automaton
Post by: TheMistressT on March 15, 2019 02:38:16 PM
Wow! Just... WOW.


Title: Re: Improbable Bird Lady Automaton
Post by: Lmcbride on March 17, 2019 12:55:44 PM
This is the most amazing thing in the world to me right now.  I love it so much!


Title: Re: Improbable Bird Lady Automaton
Post by: endymion on March 17, 2019 01:18:32 PM
Thanks so much! It was a great swap, lots of fantastic explosions of color. Very inspiring!