Chomick & Meder is a wonderful site detailing the figurative art and automata of Peter Meder and Chris Chomick. Most of the figures are one-of-a-kind doll art, standing between 30 – 50 cm tall, and with heads, hands and feet sculpted from Cernit (something akin to Sculpy, maybe?). The figures are beautifully dressed, too. But its the odd and amusing characters that really draw me in. Take Elvisan, or Baby Dewey, or JouJou L’Amour for instance.
A number of the figures have hand made automata mechanisms. These have been designed and machined by the artist, and consist of ‘an internal crankshaft, which enables the Automaton to operate at varied speed, in forward or reverse. The brass hand-crank mechanism operates a counterbalanced armature, creating a rhythmic side-to-side motion with alternating leg kicks’. In the automata gallery are three monkeys, Cecil and Emo, and the mad scientist Dr. Messmore, MD. With the last, the artist has been developing ‘a programmable automaton using servo electronics controlled by a laptop computer’ enabling ‘customized movements, essentially creating one-of-a-kind moving figurative sculptures‘. Its described as an ongoing process, in which the ‘ultimate goal is to have the automaton operate independently of the computer, evolving from an educational tool to an art object desired by collectors of automata’.