An early drawing of the drawing instruments when I was working on the chassis that eventually supported instruments One, Two and Three. The instrument was designed to hold a Czech made bell jar. I will post a picture of one of these chassis with the intended glass dome. I subsequently chose 18th c. French domes that were larger and lighter (as you see on Instruments Two and Three and will be incorporated in the current instruments) and later from second hand clocks.
The instruments at this stage work between a vertical drawing on the wall and a horizontal one on the table. The observer can work with the vertical drawing through a headset fixed to a bracket on the wall. At this stage the folding picture plane is separated from the drawing instrument chassis.
At the time I was milling out the patterns for the instrument and the drawing was made as an illustration to show a group of colleagues (in a discussion group) what the pieces might look like when assembled. The characters and their condition were related to a story known to some of those in the group.
In an earlier post (https://natchard.com/2011/10/02/peepshow-ladders/) I showed a proposal for some ladders to site a peepshow at a high horizon so that it could incorporate the rest of the items in the room as part of the content of the peepshow. The pictures in that post were of the Mk. 1 ladder, a sketch model. The subsequent two versions developed the ladder design so that it could be cut out of standard sheet sizes economically and have a little more stability and stiffness. Here are the three main versions.
Early sketch model for a house in Winnipeg working from Instrument Three. An interior steel frame supports a series of hanging vessels that hold the wet services and one bedroom. There was a particular reason for the sobriety of this model – the next versions warmed up considerably.
The various versions of Instrument Five have models under a glass dome so that the person drawing is reminded of the content being discussed by each instrument. Each model shows part of the content of a later version of the bird automata test track, and the models and figures were designed and built by Samantha (Sam) Lynch and Jason Campbell while I was working on the instruments. The image above (and below in detail) is the workbench / operating table to assemble and maintain the automaton birds. It was made by Sam.
Instrument Five Model
The second model (below) by Jason shows the tracking station where all the bird’s movements during a test flight are recorded.
Instrument Five Model
Instrument Five Model
The glass domes protect the models from the flying paint.
Instrument Five Model in position (Nat Chard)
The image above is a reminder of the model location in Instrument Five.
The models are built at 1:24. The figures are made up from a German kit of body parts that allow you to pick and choose from a variety of heads, torsos and limbs. They come naked, which seemed better than the available models with clothes – either military figures or estate agents. They looked a bit strange completely naked so Sam made some work aprons for them. If you think they look a bit pervy, compare them with the suggested assembly on the cover of the kit box.
Natural poses and clothes...
Some of the body parts
Here is one of the plastic mouldings from the female kit.
I have started working on a new series of instruments. This is the first chassis of (probably) four instruments, two of which are developments of Instrument Seven and two of which ask for more direct engagement. They incorporate some simple analogue computers to drive architectural models – architectural automata.
Instrument Eight, in progress (Nat Chard)
They are made from quarter inch (6.5mm) aluminium plate. I had the pieces waterjet cut. All the joints are slotted for structural integrity and are held together by bolts. The cutting is slightly off so all the joints need to be filed to get the pieces to fit – better than too loose I suppose. The chassis is much stronger than the acrylic ones I built for instruments four to seven, to the extent that I can comfortably stand on this one without it complaining. It is also much more resistant to breakage from knocks. I will tell the story as the thing develops. The design of the chassis is a development of that for Instrument Seven. It has a slightly different geometry and there are no interchangeable parts.
This film runs with the previous post and is of the apparatus for the full scale picture plane built in collaboration with Mette Ramsgard Thomsen and Florian Koehl. There is a moment when the crane remains still for a while and then moves again, so please be patient!