Automata are the self-operating machines. They take their name from the word automaton, which is the latinization of the Greek αὐτόματον, “acting of one’s own will”. It is more often used to describe non-electronic moving machines, especially those that have been made to resemble human or animal actions such as our old cuckoo clocks or the magnificant examples shown us in the movie Hugo -the clockwork machines with chaotic inner schematics and design!
Unfortunately, these fascinating pieces of art has lost their popularity -mostly caused by the raging evolution of the technology and the changes in consumption habits. But as well as the automata fans, some little studios and companies are still have the passion to resurrect and preserve this old craftsmanship!
Like The House of Automata!
The House of Automata is a specialist automata company, restoring, advising on, and making automata to commission. Uniquely, they have expertise in most types of antique and modern automata. Their clients include collectors, auction houses, media and museums. And they are always happy to advise on any automata question!
The House of Automata also welcomes visitors to a Micro Museum of inspiring wonders and an interactive exhibition which can be enjoyable and educational too. They have a visible workshop where you can see rare automata being restored to life. A Shop full of curiosities, scientific wonders and moving gifts!
The company is run by Michael and Maria Start. Michael is a trained Horologist and Automata Historian winning several awards for his practical and theoretical clockwork. 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.
And they think “The interest in automata is increasing…”
Well, if you are also interested in this old fashion flavoured passion, you can check their website in here!