Tom Haney | Automata

"Ovation" In progress……..

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My latest commission is a music box of sorts. When you lift the lid, a figure on a stage pops up and the sound of applause is heard. Here is my rough sketch of the piece……

When I first talked with the woman who requested this piece I was not sure what her budget or size constraints were. Initially I envisioned a grandiose, elaborate, and much larger piece. I imagined a moving figure, operated by strings or rods connected to a motor, popping up, illuminated by stage lights. After some consultation we scaled it back to what you see here, (she wanted it to fit on a bookshelf).
This piece is more like what she had in mind.

Here are my in progress shots, in order—-

I took apart this old crate and used the wood for my box….

My box with lid……

The hinge that enables the stage to swing upwards….

After drawing out how this piece was going to operate, I had exposed linkages on either side of the stage that I thought were very distracting (ugly). I had an idea to make them decorative, to make them look like they belong there. They work to pull the stage up when you lift the lid.

The stage showing the 2 post that act as connector rods.

The stage connected to the lid with the linkages…

Cutting the linkages…

Linkages cut out and ready for finishing…

Finished linkages. My idea was to make them look sort of like ropes.

The figure’s legs and shoes. The figure needs to be well-built because when the lid is closed she rest at a 22 degrees angle.

That is where I’m at today. I will post more pics later.

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Written by Tom Haney

July 28th, 2010 at 11:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

"Trundle" 2010 New Figure….

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Many of my pieces, especially my Figures, deal with the idea of the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity. This piece is no exception. I love his optimism- he has a sense that “nothing is going to slow me down”. This piece is SOLD.

His wrench rests on his shoulder. I took a while to figure out the angles to make this happen.

His back, showing the hand stitching.

His carved wooden hands. I carved the hands separately and added them to the arms using glue and a bit of brass rod.

His body pre-paint and pre-assembly. The wheel is an antique pulley, I added a “tire” made from an old electrical cord. His head, sculpted from polymer clay, was painted when I painted the previous figure’s head.

The box I used for the base was found at a flea market in Maryland, or was it Delaware?

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Written by Tom Haney

July 22nd, 2010 at 5:02 pm

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"When Things Just Mesh" has sold!

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I will post another new figure soon…….

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Written by Tom Haney

July 18th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Newest figure….

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This is my first attempt at creating a head that is more of a caricature. I think want to take my work in this new direction. I love the way he turned out. This piece is titled “When Things Just Mesh” and is $395.

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Written by Tom Haney

July 16th, 2010 at 10:54 am

Posted in Available,Figures

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A successful adventure…….

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Last Saturday I ventured west of Atlanta in search of more old boxes for my Story Boxes. I found 6 great boxes and many other good things…

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Written by Tom Haney

July 7th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Posted in In Progress

My work featured in Brandon Boyd’s video…

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Two of my pieces were shot and included in Brandon Boyd’s latest video.  These pieces are at Obsolete in Venice, CA and I really like they way they look in the video.

\”Runaway Train\”

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Written by Tom Haney

July 2nd, 2010 at 11:40 am

Posted in News

Show of New Works Announced……

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I’m very excited to announce my show of new kinetic works at Obsolete in Venice, CA
The opening is Saturday November 13, 2010
I will be bringing as many pieces as I can, plus a few surprises……
See info here soon…..

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Written by Tom Haney

July 1st, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Posted in News,Shows

Story Boxes…….

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I’ve been thinking a lot about stories and storytelling lately. Since completing my latest shadowbox pieces, which had a bit of a narrative, I began to think about stories and how they can  add so much to a piece of artwork. While I’ve never been known to be heavy-handed with narratives, each of these new pieces have their own open-ended story.

Each box is a snapshot from a lyrical tale with the action stopped mid-story. I allow the rest to be determined by the viewer who adds his or her own interpretation as to how the story  continues, and what the piece ultimately means. I always enjoy hearing other peoples’ viewpoints when it comes to my work. This adds another interesting level of interaction between the  viewers and myself.

The inside of each box is decoupaged with vintage paper and select found objects are incorporated to help direct the story.

Pieces can either hang on the wall or sit on a table or bookshelf.

“Sometime, Somewhere”

8 x 10 1/2 x 4 1/2

$475

Maybe because I was starting with a box, but the idea of how things reveal themselves, was the original concept for this piece. I soon began to think about how hopes and dreams are revealed and the notion of not knowing the future until it arrives. I think the title, “Sometime, Somewhere”, captures that feeling perfectly.

The title was found in an old songbook from the turn of the century. This beautiful handmade box was found by my brother at a flea market. It’s an old cobblers box and each compartment was filled with hundreds of small nails and tacks. The lid, which has become detached, was once held on by 2 leather straps and will probably show up in a future piece. I’ve also collected all the old nails, tacks and accoutrements to be used throughout my subsequent work.

“The Recovered Key”

9 1/2 x 10 3/4 x 4 3/4

$475

Whenever I’m walking in my neighborhood I’m always looking for (and picking up) discarded odds and ends. Sometimes it’s no more exciting than an old rusty washer shed by a passing truck, but sometimes you get lucky. I once found a great vintage key in the street; I polished it up and put it on my keychain. To this day I wonder what lock that key may open and who may have lost it. This piece is about that feeling you get when you have found some long lost item.

A great old box with finger-jointed corners houses this piece. The figure’s dress is actually a portion of an old doll’s dress I found at an antique store. Usually I make all the clothes from scratch, but this one was just what I was looking for and guided the color scheme perfectly.

“In the Woods, but not Alone”

7 1/4 x 12 3/4 x 2 1/4

$425

Even though I currently live in the city, I cherish any time I can get out into nature. I grew up across the street from a large expanse of woods and feel I spend most of my childhood there among the many birds and towering trees.  I find the woods refreshing, centering and calming. I never then, and still to this day, felt totally alone in the woods.

This piece is decoupaged with paper from a publication of John Milton’s work in Latin. Collected on the banks of the Ohio River, the branches help provide the setting. The woodpeckers are from a humble collection of wooden birds I bought a couple of years ago at a flea market.

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Written by Tom Haney

June 21st, 2010 at 10:35 am

Posted in Available,Figures

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New figures on the way……..

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Written by Tom Haney

June 15th, 2010 at 9:56 am

Posted in Figures,In Progress

Collecting found objects, after a fire….

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I’m always on the search for found objects to use in my pieces. Last week while in Philadelphia, I visited Sander’s Supply which carries mostly restaurant equipment but is a great place to find old junk. I’d been there a few times before but this time ventured to the 6th floor where they had a fire back in April ’09. Since the building is made mostly of reinforced concrete, it was pretty intact, but everything else, the floors, walls and ceilings were burned up. I found some pretty cool pieces in the charred rubble. The kind of pieces that are perfect for me- nondescript with a lovely patina. I could, should have, collected more.

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Written by Tom Haney

June 8th, 2010 at 8:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized