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Automata: Mechanical Marvels in Wood

Course Overview

Cranks wind, gears turn, dragons chomp and birds fly. Welcome to the whimsical world of automata: simple wooden machines that delight and amaze. Join Cecilia Schiller for a four-day exploration of the art of making wooden machines and the mechanisms that make things move. Starting with the design process in cardboard, students will learn mechanical principles by creating simple cams and levers. The instructor will provide a basic kit with templates for selected gears. Students will cut drill and assemble their projects, as well as design and craft the figure, animal or (insert your imagination here) that surprises and delights viewers when it comes to life with the turn of a crank.


Thu, Jul 27th, 2017  –  Sun, Jul 30th, 2017

Course Details

Length: 4 days
Skill Levels: Intermediate to Advanced
Hours: Day 1: 5pm-8pm, Days 2-4: 9am-5pm
Intergenerational age: na
Registration Cost: $365.00
Includes materials fee of $65.00


You will need the following tools for this class:

carving knife (available for purchase in the North House School Store)
good 6″ or 12″ ruler with increments of at least 1/32″

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call the front office if you have not received it within 24 hours.

Waiting List

This course is full.

Fill out the form below if you would like to be placed on a waiting list and notified if an opening becomes available.