12 July 2021: Frustratingly, almost Completed
Five Slat Message Board


I began creating this automaton in early March 2021.  The Five Slat Message Board is a complicated automaton that includes the materials that I normally work with (wood, metal, leather, gear motors), and also 3d printed parts, and also a microprocessor-controlled proximity sensor..

As of today, the message board is almost done, with the only remaining task being ‘making the slat rotation reliable’.

When I create an automaton one of the things that I desire is absolute reliability.  The slat rotator works most of the time…but not all of the time…so I must re-engineer the linkage.

We (humans) are all different.  I consider myself an artist and I define a piece done ‘when my heart is satisfied’.  This is not a tangible, definable situation.  It’s a ‘state of being’.  So the trick to all of this is to not get frustrated and not get angry.  Instead, I try to learn.  Each automaton that I create is easier and better than my last.

The second image shows some of my waste pieces.  These pieces were created as part of the slat turning mechanism.  In the end, they were discarded.  Lots of little lessons in the pile.

These parts all failed to do their job (my fault) so have been sent over the rainbow bridge.

Note the French curve.  I have three of these and use them often.  My preference is to have few straight lines in my art.

Hopefully, my next post will be able to report that Five Slat Message Board #1 has been completed.

Five Slat Message Board is almost complete. July 12, 2021.