Finished sandpipers!

After 2 weeks of coating myself in sawdust I’m pleased to have finished (and emerged with) my sandpipers.


Powered by turning the handle, the whole thing works via a fairly basic wooden automata mechanism. The 3 cams underneath push up wooden pegs, each attached to one of the sandpipers legs. The other leg is fixed to the top of the piece by a handmade wire hinge; with the help of gravity, the bird is made to dip up and down.


I’m always fond of (re)using salvaged materials and found objects, and the contents of this piece displays no exception. For example, the frame and birds are constructed from scrap wood, the handle is a large ceramic bead found while beachcombing, and the wheel something I picked out of a box at a car boot sale.

Altogether I think it worked well, especially considering my hit or miss approach to constructing things. I’d like to think I’ll make more of these, but the only drawback is the amount of time it takes, a valuable factor in terms of course deadlines.

SandpiperScaleTalking about this piece, it seems people don’t immediately grasp the scale of it all, so heres a photo for good measure. For as long as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed and find it comfortable to work  small. I like to think it has the benefit of drawing an audience into the art itself, capturing curiosity through the details, but also holding the ability to just as easily be ignored.

(The little insect in the foreground of the .gif is a pleasing case of serendipity)


~ by Brown Moth on October 31, 2009.

4 Responses to “Finished sandpipers!”

  1. You write so beautifully.
    I think your sandpipers are lovely and it looks so so so so good moving.


  2. Ah wondered why i found sawdust in your beard. Especially like your pics here of your creation, better yet would like to see it in front of my face and have a go turning the handle me-self. Sweet.

  3. Saw these today and played with them at the exhibition. A lovely piece.

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