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Richard Garriott's Automaton Collection

This short film features the many collections of Richard Garriott de Cayeux -- video game developer, entrepreneur, and space traveler. Garriott has an enormous automaton collection, featuring antiques as well works by almost all of the modern makers. Three of my favorite fellow makers were featured prominently in the film. It came as great surprise to see one of my pieces, The Birthing Engine, shown and mentioned by name. Amidst so many incredible automata, and artists whom I hold in the highest esteem, I'm dazed and delighted that one of my own pieces made it into the footage.

Dug North at World Maker Faire, 2012

I participated in World Maker Faire New York for the first time in September of 2012. While I didn't get to see much of Maker Faire myself, I did get to meet a lot of people including fans, Richard Garriott, readers, makers, Mark Frauenfelder, the awesome staff of MAKE magazine, Dale Dougherty (founder of MAKE Magazine and creator of Maker Faire), as well as fellow automaton-maker Philip Lowndes. It was a lot of work, but it was well worth it to see thousands of faces -- young and old -- light up when the handles of my automata were cranked. That was tremendously gratifying.

How-to Article in Gizmos & Gadgets magazine

I was asked to contribute an article to a special issue magazine called Gizmos & Gadgets, put out by the same folks that publish Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazine as well a many of the best carving, woodworking, and craft books you will find. They have to be one of my favorite publishers, so when I was asked to write for them, I was really honored. My contribution to the magazine is an article about how to make a wood automaton that I desinged. Titled The Unwelcome Dinner Guest, the automaton depicts a bird stealing a dog's food. The poor dog is tangled in his own leash, so all he can do is wag his tail and bark at the winged thief who pecks away at the food.

Video profile of Artist Dug North

I was profiled in by Howl in Lowell -- the city's hip arts and entertainment site. Their team visited my studio, did and interview, took some photographs of me and my work, and made a great video profile That's done really well on YouTube. In addition to seeing some of my automata, you get a good look at my walk-in vault, its massive steel door, the workshop hidden inside, and some of my hand-tools. Here is where you can see the written article titled "Invention of Dreams" which accompanied the video.

Interview for the movie Hugo

It was very exciting to be interviewed for a special feature to accompany the release of the recent Martin Scorsese film, Hugo. It was even more thrilling to find the footage was used!

I was interviewed for a bonus feature titled The Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo that appears on the Blu-ray release of the movie. A team of film industry professionals associated with Paramount visited my studio and filmed an hour-long interview with me. They asked questions about the history of automata, The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Hugo, Georges Melies, magic, contemporary automata, and the interest in automata among the public. The featurette is about 12 minutes long. I speak several times and I am very pleased with how the whole thing turned out.

Here is a short clip from the special bonus featurette. In this segment, I say a few words about why I think people are fascinated by automata of all sorts.

Quarterly Column for Cabaret Mechanical Theatre

What a tremendous honor it is to now be working with the progenitors of contemporary automata over at Cabaret Mechanical Theatre!

I am so pleased to be contributing a quartery column for the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre Blog entitled Dug's Automata Tips, Techniques and Tricks.

The column is focused on automata construction techniques and assorted methods of creating motion. I also highlight the works of various automata makers -- some you are sure to have heard of and some you probably have not. I hope you enjoy this column and encourage you to post comments and questions at the end of each quarterly article.

Tool Review by Dug North Featured on Kevin Kelly's Cooltools Blog

What a thrill to be asked to review a couple of tools for a blog that I have been reading for years -- Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools blog.

I was asked to review a couple of miniature power tools made by the German company, Proxxon. I was more than happy to do so, because I love both the Cool Tools blog AND Proxxon tools.

In the Cool Tools review, I discuss both the Proxxon Miniature Table Saw and the Proxxon MICRO Chop Saw . I also write a bit about the interchangeable nature of the saw blades -- a great feature.

Here is a link to my review of Proxxon tools on the Cool Tools blog.

Art In Motion, Article featuring Dug North

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by writer Drea Kane. The The Vermont Quarterly published an article she wrote, which is available online.

It's a very nice article that tells a bit about me, the history of automata, and their more recent trajectory. I am honored to have played a part.

Here is a link to the article Art In Motion by Andrea Kane.

Dug North Featured as Artist of the Month

I am honored to have been chosen to be featured as Artist of the Month by For Art's Sake -- a community association that celebrates art in Harvard, Massachusetts.

There is a nice article about me, my sorted past, my influences, and why I think automata are among the coolest things on the planet.

Dug North Reviews Dunninger's Encyclopedia of Magic

I'm thrilled to contribute to MAKE Magazine, Issue 13. The theme of the issue is magic. As such, I review a classic book on the subject: Dunningers Complete Encyclopedia Of Magic.

While many of us think of magic as sleight-of-hand or Las Vegas stage shows, there is important aspect of magic that is often forgotten. Magicians have a long history of being exceptional makers of ingenious apparatus. This fact is highlighted well in this compilation of 1920s magazine exerpts by renowned magician Joseph Dunninger.

I found the book at a used bookstore back years ago, and it continues to amaze and inspire me. The book is out-of-print, but available used online or perhaps at your local used bookseller.

Order a copy of MAKE, Volume 13 to read my concise book review. The issue also has a TON of cool articles on magic, profiles of some amazing makers, and other cool things to make for yourself.

Dug North Named Kircher Society Resident Automatist

It is an honor to have been named Kircher Society Resident Automatist by the esteemed members of The Athanasius Kircher Society.

My first official duty has been to compile a list of books essential to those interested in automata. The Society has published my list of essential automata books here.

Dug North in MAKE Magazine Hallowen Issue

When asked to write and article for my favorite magazine -- MAKE Magazine,I jumped at the chance. Editor-in-chief Mark Frauenfelder asked me to document how I made the trick top hat for their first-ever special Halloween issue. In the article, I show you how to make a costume top hat that features a little monster that pops out of the top anytime you want. It's a lot of fun to wear and I hope you will have fun making one for yourself.

Grant Awarded to Dug North for 2007

I participated in a show and sale of artwork in Groton, Massachusetts called The Artist's Valentine.

I am honored to be have been chosen to receive one of the Artist's Valentine Grants for 2007.

Dug North Automaton on MAKE blog

My piece A Boybot and His Dogbot was featured as a post on the Make Magazine web site blog for April 17th, 2007.

Dug North at The Charles River Museum of Industry

My pieces Training for Christmas and A Boybot and Dogbot are both now in a private collection so it can no longer be viewed at The Charles River Museum of Industry in Waltham, MA.

The title of the show was Gadgets, Gears, and Whirligigs. The exhibit ran from November 2006 to early 2008, and featured some prominent automata makers from around the world.

Dug North's 15 Minutes of Fame on

It was a huge honor to be given a link on my one of favorite blogs -- Here are the nice words Cory Doctorow had for Dug North Automata on a while back.

How To Make Automata Article Published in Woodcraft Magazine

I was thrilled to write an article for Woodcraft Holiday 2005

There are very few articles with plans explaining how to make a wood automaton. I'm glad I could help aspiring makers, and advance the art in some small way.

The article features detailed plans and instructions for building your very own automaton of Santa doing exercises in preparation for Christmas Eve.

It's a great woodworking magazine in genenal!

Woodcraft Magazine
Covering the projects, people and products of woodworking! Woodcraft Magazine offers projects for all skill levels, interviews with woodworkers, both hobbyist and professional, and guides for buying tools and supplies.

Eyewitness Robot

Dug North Automtous Robot in Eyewitness Robot

A photograph of one of my autonomous solar robots is featured in a book!

My robot - Creepy - is in Robot (DK Eyewitness Books) in the section covering 'Robots in Art'.

Eyewitness books are a fantastic series of reference books produced by Dorling Kindersley.

This book taks a detailed look at the fascinating world of robots - from the earliest single-task machines to the advanced intelligence of robots with feelings.

If you are want to build your own automous solar robots, I highly recommend: JunkBots, Bugbots, and Bots on Wheels: Building Simple Robots With BEAM Technology

Make Magazine, Volume 6: also contains excellent tutorials on how to make small solar powered robots.

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

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