The Collector is a perfect example of a piece emerging from just playing around with parts. I had no vision at all of what I wanted to build when I started. In fact, I didn’t even have a robot in mind. His hands are the play and rewind buttons from a lovely vintage German-made reel-to-reel audio tape recorder. They reminded me of gorilla-like hands. So the bulky body, long arms, and short legs seemed like an appropriate choice. The face was a complete mystery until I found the little brassy buckle. I’m not sure where that came from.
I knew I wanted to have it holding something in those grasping hands and the tiny wrench was a lucky find. Because of its adjustable arms and head, it was possible to pose it with a quizzical aspect. Suddenly I imagined it sorting through junk (much like I do) looking for something. That was when I knew it needed something in which to carry more items. I searched for parts to make a little cart, but decided a sort of backpack would be more compact.
The Collector is still available for sale at Argyle Fine Art in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Kyocera gets its name from the little metal badge on its chest which I removed from a vintage film camera. I like the idea that these robots have specialized appendages for very specific jobs, although I t’s rarely clear exactly what those jobs might be. My favourite aspect of Kyocera is its glass-domed head. It magnifies and refracts the light in a very pleasing way.
This is V.I.N.C.E. So called because the disc on top was spring loaded, so when you pushed it down and let it go, it would spring back up. This action was reminiscent of a kitchen appliance that was advertised by an overly-energetic pitchman named Vince. Anyway the Robot’s name was also an acronym for Very Intelligent something something, I forget now.
Constructing found object robots is very fun, but they seem to be less appreciated by others than my ray guns. Perhaps it’s because most of my robots are not so friendly looking. To my eye they seem quite goofy, but perhaps the claw hands and staring eyes are not endearing them to my audience. V.I.N.C.E. hung around Argyle Fine Art for ages and now he’s staring at me from a shelf as I write this.
I have always liked the way rockets in classic sci-fi movies used vertical takeoff and landing. When I constructed these found object rockets I would never have guessed that we would see vertical landings in real life thanks to the efforts of SpaceX.
These rockets are both accompanied by a tiny “maintenance robot”. My vision was that of a rocket landing on some distant outpost in the galaxy and a robot quickly rolling out to perform any required repairs or refuelling.
Really? 2011?? It’s hard to believe these little junk robots were built for a show at Argyle Fine Art that long ago. These robots included boxes with artwork on the covers. I was inspired by the sometimes less than honest packaging of my youth.
The Mighty Galactic Destructo Robot came with a city skyline to threaten with its springy “angry arm action.” The Atomic Oracle has a blissfully grinning silver baby face behind a freely rotating optical lens. All the better to see and know all!
And, as usual, the folks at Argyle Fine Art took more reasonable photos: