Making Mad Toys & Mechanical Marvels in Wood
Formerly published under the title Whacky Toys, Whirligigs & Whatchamacallits, this book is consistently one of
my top recommendations. The automata and mechanical toy enthusiast will find great value in this book because it contains
information that you will not find anywhere else in written form.
Lots of Projects
This book features fourteen projects. Each project has a bit of text, a photo, and many nice vector illustrations
detailing the project's construction. I wouldn't call them formal 'plans' - they are too colorful, assorted, and
playful for that name. People determined to build an automaton, but short of ideas, are sure to find a project in
this book that speaks to them.
Aesthetics to Die For
The author, Rodney Frost, has a truly enviable sense of style. He manages to create a vintage feel in each of his
automata that seems natural - as if each of his creations has existed for one hundred years. The use of form and
color, the right amount of roughness, and even the choice of subject matter are all right on the mark. The projects
detailed in this book speak to Mr. Frost's considerable talent as an artist. I find it inspiring to see his work,
and am grateful to receive any instruction from someone so skilled.
Visual, Not Technical
This book isn't technical. Depending on your approach to automata-making, and perhaps life in general, this is either
a blessing or a curse. For a visually oriented person who doesn't need every step spelled out, this book is a gem.
The drawings -- on nice glossy paper -- are very clear and complete and there is some text to help you through the
In sum, if you have even a little experience working with wood and would like to build automata, this book will be
invaluable. It doesn't dwell on theory or give you a detailed history of automata. This book delivers a bounty of
detailed color drawings that should help you make beautiful automata - something to you'll be proud to display in
your home or to give as a very special gift.
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