18 August 2022
We’ve opened Curious Contraptions at Whirinaki Whare Taonga in New Zealand (in the South of the North Island). Click here for more information.
8 August 2022
An online article about our show at The Amelia, in Tunbridge Wells has appeared. At time of writing, it states incorrectly that Paul Spooner is the husband of CMT founder, Sue Jackson. We have asked and hopefully that point will be corrected at some point. To read it, click here.
2 August 2022
25 July 2022
20 July 2022
Our touring show, Cabaret Mechanical Marvels opens at The Amelia, in Tunbridge Wells, UK on Friday 22nd July and runs until 2nd October. Find out more at The Amelia website.
18 July 2022
A new one-off piece from Fi Henshall. Recycled tin birds attempting to devour the cheeseboard on a rusty grater. See it in the shop
11 July 2022
We’ve just launched the re-mastering of Made in Stithians, a video in which Paul Spooner attempts to make a new piece of automata in one day.
4 July 2022
The next running of our Automata Tinkering Global Workshop starts in September. Early-bird pricing ends soon! Learn more.
27 June 2022
New, limited edition A2-size print by Paul Spooner, 1000 Ideas For Automaton Makers.
23 June 2022
20 June 2022
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24 May 2022
If you can’t make it, our cardboard automata kit is here!
20 May 2022
Wanda Sowry has made three new robot automata, which are now in our online shop.
17 May 2022
How To Make Automata, the video with Keith Newstead, is available to stream or download here.
19 April 2022
New in the shop! We have a range beautifully crafted automata from Wanda Sowry. Using the natural colours of different types of wood, Wanda skilfully uses reclaimed wood such as old mahogany shelves as well as off cuts of purple heart, oak and maple.
14 April 2022
New in the shop! Cardboard Automata Kit.
6 April 2022
New in the shop! Vintage Postcard Set.
We have a set of original postcards that were sold at Cabaret Mechanical Theatre when we were located at 33/34 The Market, Covent Garden, London from December 1984 to March 2000. The packet includes a sheet of new CMT stickers and the following postcards: Small Jungle by Peter Markey, The Runners by Peter Markey, The Economic Cycle by Keith Newstead, Junkas Giles Agriplane by Keith Newstead, The Ticket Stamper by Ron Fuller and The Doctor by Tim Hunkin.
28 March 2022
Last few places remaining on our next running of the Automata Tinkering Global Workshop. More information and booking here.
18 March 2022
A new one-off piece from Paul Spooner. See it in the shop.
14 March 2022
A new one-off, original piece from Carlos Zapata. Mr Pear is hand-carved and painted. Behind his back he hides the knife, which might be useful for cutting a pear, or other fruit… Mr Pear in the shop.
9 March 2022
It’s the last week of our show in Derby. More details on the exhibition here. You can also see a virtual tour. The Curious Contraptions exhibition at the Te Manawa Museum in New Zealand is also closing soon!
8 March 2022
A rare chance to buy a Paul Spooner Penguin from 1984. Only one.
28 February 2022
Last chance for ‘early bird’ tickets for our next running of the Automata Tinkering Global Workshop. More information and booking here.
16 February 2022
10 February 2022
Design for a Monument – a new one-off piece by Paul Spooner. Click for more info.
9 February 2022
Our Automata Tinkering Global Workshops have been so popular we’re adding another set starting 10 May. Book now for the earlybird price, places go fast. See our Eventbrite page for more info.
7 February 2022
31 January 2022
Half-term approaches so this is a reminder to visit the CMT at the Museum of Making exhibition in the former Derby silk factory on the River Derwent. You can see 30 automata from our collection by Martin Smith, Fi Henshall, Keith Newstead and many more until 13 March. What’s more you can see The English Spring by Paul Spooner on its UK tour until June. This stunning 2 metre high automata with 100 carved figures and pipe-organ music makes reference to the current mood of divided opinion. See video of the English Spring.
For half term on 22 Feb there’s a workshop for anyone aged 7+ to make your own contraption. Go to their website to book a place.
24 January 2022
Since last week’s post was so popular we thought we should remind everybody of another book 😁 Imported from Japan is a beautiful full-colour Paul Spooner catalogue from 2016. It features details and photographs of 48 pieces of automata and includes Paul’s witty descriptions of each art work.
The catalogue is in English and Japanese and each purchase receives a pdf with additional information, notes and photographs by Paul that complement the book. Find it in our online shop.
19 January 2022
We have recently uncovered the last remaining copies of this catalogue of Paul Spooner’s 2004 London exhibition, which featured a wonderful selection of one-off automata inspired by the Victorian model butcher’s shops. Click here to buy a copy.
17 January 2022
The Owl and the Pussycat, a small edition made by Paul Spooner. Read more about it.
14 January 2022
A new one-off piece by Paul Spooner, The World Turned Upside Down. Read more about it.
6 December 2021
Exciting exhibition news. The Curious Contraptions exhibition at the Te Manawa Museum in New Zealand has now reopened, we are delighted that it has been extended until 13 March 2022. It’s open every day.
Plus, CMT at the Museum of Making in Derby opens on 10 Dec. The museum celebrates their 300-year history of making, situated in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Derwent Valley Mills. So much to go and see and discover!
29 November 2021
Back in stock! We now have our 2 wonderful paper automata model kits from artist Andre Pimenta in Portugal.
They come in a convenient book form with pre-cut pieces that are easily detachable. All you need is some paper glue with a fine nozzle. You can then work through the easy-to-follow instructions. There’s also a helpful video to guide you through the making. The sturdy finished pieces are both delightful and playful; the Sea Monster leaps out from the depths to engulf the ship and the Treaty of Tordesillas is brought to life with the noise of the sawing in-half of the New World. This is the last remaining stock of this special gift so order now in time for Christmas. Suitable of children 8+ supervised by an adult.
27 October 2021
We have an exquisite new book for sale by Japanese automata maker Kazu Harada. It’s 144 pages with 96 full colour photographs of his automata including Japanese & English text by Kazu. Includes intriguing extracts from his sketchbooks & notes about the mechanical elements. An absolutely ideal Christmas gift, specially imported from Japan and only available from our UK online shop outside of Japan. Buy the book.
25 October 2021
Are you looking for a new year project or a brilliant Christmas gift? We are launching our Jan 2022 Automata Tinkering Global Workshop – 6 weeks of exploring mechanisms, materials and storytelling online. Plus online studio visits and interviews with CMT artists all facilitated by the wonderful Ryan Jenkins @wonderfulideaco and his expert team. 19 Jan to 23 Feb 2022 at 4-6pm UK time. Book now for the earlybird price. For more information, visit our Eventbrite page.
14 October 2021
New miniatures in the shop! See the new St Legers miniatures in our shop.
11 October 2021
Last Chance to book! Join us for some tinkering with technology. We have a few places left on the Computational Contraptions Global Workshop closing on Friday 15 Oct. Discover & share automata making ideas & mechanisms in an online workshop. Every Wednesday from 3 Nov to 8 Dec 2021 4-6 pm (UK time). You will get a comprehensive kit in the post before the sessions of hands-on making. For more info go to Eventbrite.
29 September 2021
Coming Soon! Our exhibition Mechanics Alive! opens at The Fleet Science Centre in San Diego, CA, USA on Saturday 9 October. They are open every day and have free entrance every first Tuesday for local residents. Go and see exhibits by Peter Markey, Keith Newstead, Carlos Zapata, Paul Spooner and Ron Fuller and find out how they work by trying out the interactive displays. Click for more information.
27 September 2021
There are a few spaces left on our Computational Contraptions Global Workshop that starts on 3 November. Join us to explore integrating simple technology with your automata projects by adding motors, lights, switches & sensors. Meet inspirational artists and makers from across the globe and be part of our growing tinkering community through our online workshop. Supported by Ryan Jenkins and his skilled team of facilitators you will be able to experiment and create your own prototypes over the 6 weekly sessions with a specially designed kit of materials and components mailed to you ahead of the workshop. See our EventBrite page for more information and booking.
22 September 2021
Cabaret Mechanical Marvels exhibition opens at The Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock on the 25 September. It’s free entry every day except Monday and there’s no need to book. Come and see iconic automata such as Paul Spooner’s Barecats as well as other pieces from our collection of the UK’s finest contemporary makers. Try out the interactive displays and explore mechanisms and learn more about CMT’s history and origins from the early days in Falmouth, Cornwall. Something for everyone! Click for more information.
13 September 2021
Visiting the Museum of Making in Derby.
6 September 2021
Update: Last chance for Early Bird tickets for our next online Computational Contraptions Global Workshop. 6 weeks from 3 Nov to 8 Dec 2021 combining programming, simple electronics and crafting. Brilliantly facilitated by Ryan Jenkins. See our EventBrite page.
10 August 2021
We’ve uploaded a new video of The English Spring by Paul Spooner:
The English Spring by Paul Spooner. Currently in Hastings Museum and Art Gallery (until 29 August 2021). Paul informs us that the message appearing in the “chasm between the two parts of the machine” is a saying attributed to Leopold II of Belgium: “What is wrong with you? Are you not happy?” or words to that effect. Apparently old Leo was one of the most unpleasant monarchs in history.
26 July 2021
We only have 3 places left on our Automata Tinkering Global Workshop. To find out more and book please visit the EventBrite page.
15 July 2021
We are opening at Poole Museum with Cabaret Mechanical Marvels on the 17th of July. It’s free, open everyday and you don’t need to book. It runs until the 5th of September. See the Poole Museum website for more details.
13 July 2021
We only have a small number of places left on our Automata Tinkering Global Workshop. To find out more and book please visit the EventBrite page.
3 July 2021
We are delighted to announce our exhibition opens on Sat 3 July at the wonderful Te Manawa museum in New Zealand. Curious Contraptions includes 30 exhibits from our collection together with works by Blair Somerville, an amazing automata maker from New Zealand who set up The Lost Gypsy Gallery.
28 June 2021
Last chance to book a place on our next Automata Tinkering Global Workshop with the ‘early bird’ discount. For more information or to book, see the Eventbrite page.
22 June 2021
If you are visiting Cornwall this summer Ingenious? has just opened and runs until 11 September with something for everyone. Falmouth Art Gallery’s exhibition is a celebration of invention and innovation in Falmouth and Cornwall with archival work and new automata together with choice exhibits from our collection. Follow this link to book your tickets. It’s free!
21 June 2021
14 June 2021
Announcing our next Automata Tinkering Global Workshop. For more information or to book, see the Eventbrite page.
8 June 2021
Stephen Guy will be sharing some ingenious ideas in an hour long webinar on making automata from everyday material. £5! Saturday 19 June 11am-12pm. Book here.
Part of our Ingenious Contraptions exhibition at Hastings Museum. On until 29 August, free entry but booking necessary.
24 May 2021
Our new exhibition Ingenious Contraptions is now open at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery. We’re showing more exhibits from our collection following our Automata on the Pier Exhibition in April 2018. You can also see The English Spring by Paul Spooner and ingenious items from Hasting Museum’s collection. It’s free although you need to book on their website. Open Thur-Sun 10am-12.30pm & 2-5pm until 29 August.
18 May 2021
28 April 2021
A new one-off piece by Paul Spooner, available here (now sold).
21 April 2021
Paul Spooner in conversation with Rosemary Hill, recorded at The London Review of Books Bookshop on 21 Sep 2019 but the podcast only recently surfaced (as far as we know). Listen here.
8 April 2021
A Town Explores A Book – you can watch the video here.
8 February 2021
Online talk with Sarah Alexander for St Albans Museum. More information and tickets (£5).
14 January 2021
Online workshops with St. Albans Museums – see their What’s On page.
To learn about our new tool for experimenting with mechanisms, sign up for our new Makers email list.