“It’s been a while since we turned our hands to anything mechanical,” my brother Henry said, rather wistfully.
We started exploring piles of promising-looking items in the workshop.
“Wheels?” I suggested, holding up some circular wooden blanks. “Hard to get the hole for the axle right in the centre though.”
“Cams!” he replied jubilantly. “Drill the holes off-centre and we can make some cam-operated wind-ups.”
And that was all it took. He started to put some sturdy little boxes together, the ladies decorated them and I (Charles) got to work on the cam mechanisms and handles.
The first was a multicoloured dancing tree, made from twisted wires, sequins, beads and charms. Next we raided the vintage watch parts for some springs and gears to put together with coiled copper wire. Then we became more ambitious and produced a tiny hot-air balloon, complete with top-hatted magnificent men to fly it. 100% upcycled junk! An old Christmas tree bauble was covered in plastic mesh which held Mrs S’s garlic, a few beads and jewellery bits added for the basket and the gents were fashioned from cotton bud stalks with tiny shoe eyelets for their hats! Many hours of exacting work, of course, but we’re very happy with the finished result and now planning a series of dancing birds, octopuses and who knows what…
Proud to say that this week they have been the most viewed item in our Etsy shop. Here’s a quick link, in case you’d like to take a look.
Oh, and while you’re on Etsy, we’d recommend searching for printable items produced in Ukraine. Our fellow sellers there have been forced to shut their regular shops, due to the war, but still receive money direct to their PayPal accounts if we buy their digital artwork.