Well, my name is Petre Staicu and i am the creator of these mechanical jokes. I’m 42 years old and for 20 years, i live and work in Bucharest. But in this adventure, i jumped recently, no more than one year and a half ago, so that’s why i call it ”an adventure”
Although, i’m relatively new in this line of work, my artistic background helped a little. I have more than 20 years since i work as a visual artist, a university degree as stage designer and i’m also certified as a muralist painter.
Over the past years i worked in diferent domains of art. I worked as a set designer for theater and cinema, i designed and manufactured in general scenery for theatrical productions. More recently i worked as graphic designer, including classical and digital illustration, character design, storyboarding and the list can continue. But enough about me.
The title is based on the greek word automaton. An automaton it’s a self operating machine, one of the earliest form of mechanical engineering and it is more often used to describe non-electronic moving machines or in this case, animated figures which are put into motion by the turn of a handle.
All these mechanical sculptures ar made from wood, metal rods, gears, screws, and a bunch of other stuff in my little workshop. I started from scratch and all my sculptures are handmade and they are all prototypes.
In simple words:
When an idea hits me, i draw a simple sketch (you can see examples to the sketch section of this site) and if it looks promising i make another more technical drawing. After that, follows a mixture of dust and sweat,…because the beginning of each project is surrounded by dust and a lot of noise. Working time varies depending on complexity. Sometimes, it takes me hours of experimentation until i find the perfect movement.
I work with beech wood (and this is a hardwood) which require a long time for carving and polish, but it has a big advantage: it will last for a long time.
And after many and many hours of work, broken nails and superficial injuries a new automaton is born.
Finally, each new automaton takes his place in Automatonia…a place where almost everything is possible… almost.
…and this is all about.