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The Unwelcome Dinner Guest

Image of wood automaton

This automaton is available for purchase. Please use the contact form to reach Dug North if you would like to acquire this piece.

The Unwelcome Dinner Guest automaton depicts a backyard scene with a picket fence, doghouse, and birdhouse. Apparently, the dog has recently been fed because his bowl is full of food. Unfortunately for the dog, his leash has become wrapped around the birdhouse pole and he can no longer reach the bowl. This provides the resident bird an opportunity to enjoy a big meal, free of charge. All the poor dog can do is excitedly wag his tail, jump, and bark as the bird gobbles up the food.

Please scroll down to see video of the piece, additional information, images, and pricing.



This automaton was created as the basis for a wooden mechanical project that was featured in Gizmos & Gadgets, a special edition magazine from the publishers of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts. The article shows the process of making this automaton from start to finish.

This piece was a big hit with thousands of visitors at the World Maker Faire 2012 and played no small part in my automata exhibit being awarded three Editor's Choice Awards.

Images of The Unwelcome Dinner Guest automaton

Sketch of automaton
Artist's Sketch 1
Image of dog figure
Dog Detail
Image of mechanism
Mechanism Detail
Cover of magazine
Magazine Cover

Sketch of automaton
Artist's Sketch 2
Image of bird figure
Bird Detail
Image of automaton
Finished Automaton
Image of magazine pages
Magazine Spread

Purchasing Information for The Unwelcome Dinner Guest


  • 25 cm wide x 35 cm high x 15 cm deep
  • Aspen, brass, assorted hardwoods, leather, waxed linen, spring steel
  • Original signed piece created by Dug North for Gizmos & Gadgets magazine
  • Comes with a copy of the magazine in which it was featured, signed by Dug North
  • Includes one of artist's original pencil sketches shown above (your choice, unframed)
  • This automaton is the ancestor of what is likely to be an entire generation of others based on this design. You can own the very first of its kind.

The Unwelcome Dinner Guest

Price: $1275.00*

Please use the contact form if you wish to acquire this automaton via Certified Check, Cashier's Check, or Money Order.

*Price does not include Massachusett's sales tax of 6.25%. Price does include insured shipping within 48 conntiguous United States. If shipping beyond this area, please contact me before placing your order. Additional shipping charges will apply.

When you purchase from Amazon.com, you can help me support my site and my art by navigating there from any of the Amazon.com links on this site.

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Copyright 2002-2013, Dug North All rights reserved.
Dug North, Machini, and Machini the Marvel are Copyright 2004, Dug North
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Automata by
Dug North