Skip to main content Skip to footer


Automata: Mechanical Marvels in Wood: Extended Session

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 five-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. By request, we’ve added a day to allow painting and other finishing details to be completed with the instructor. These details bring the automata to life as much as the gears. Cecilia will share tips and tricks to make this last stage of the project shine. Mechanical skills and previous woodcarving experience helpful but not mandatory. Beginners are welcome, but be prepared for a challenge!

Currently Scheduled Sessions

No sessions currently scheduled for this course.

View more courses in the Immersion category.

View more courses in the Woodworking & Furniturecraft category.