Coilhouse never fails to amaze me with its finds. Meredith Yayanos has found The House of Automata, which consists of Michael and Maria who specialize in restoring various antique automata. With a silly sense of humor, they video the creatures in action and post on Youtube. Such a curio treasury! I’m now inspired to re-watch scenes of Mr. Sebastian’s apartment from Bladerunner. From their site:
Michael and Maria had been restoring automata and singing birds for 12 years from premises in Central London. In 2004 we re-located to the eco-village at Findhorn, Scotland.With an average 8 to 12 week turnaround and expertise in all the diverse fields required, we concentrate on preserving the integrity of the automaton as a fine antique and art object.
Michael Start is a trained Horologist, winning several awards for his practical and theoretical clockwork. In 1995, inspired by the legendary collector, Jack Donovan, Michael left Horology for the theatrical world of the Automaton and Singing Bird. With work undertaken for many of the worlds discerning collectors, auction houses and museums. Michael practises the art of conservation, whilst fully restoring the music and movement.
Maria Start is a trained sculptor and artist, specializing in perfect colour matching and replacement body parts, from a single finger to a complete head. Maria uses traditional techniques and materials, with authentic papier mache and gesso recipes where required.
Together we achieve excellent results that preserve the intangible magic (and value!) of the automaton and we are happy to be contacted about any issue regarding automata, and visitors to the workshop are welcome.
You can see their videos on their YouTube channel. Here are a couple of my favorite from their collection: