I had been going back and forth on how to implement my drawing machine, and what aesthetic to pursue. Originally I wanted to do a fully automated, motor driven drawing machine, but as I learned more about various drawing machines that’ve been built, I found that you can accomplish quite a bit with a gravity driven machine, so I decided to pursue that approach to save money and simplify the mechanism.

I wanted to have a clear aesthetic to my design, and I’ve been interested in working more with copper piping, as I’ve been doing some soldering work around my house in my water system. So, I decided to take the approach of building an industrial, “steam punk” sort of aesthetic, using soldered copper, galvanized steel, and steel wiring to build the machine.

Originally, I thought of just running water through this machine, which I did to test it out, but I moved to paint on butcher paper to provide more of a lasting and visible product. I had a lot of trouble getting the right consistency. Other work from the machine is visible below, but this one is my favorite.

Going forward, I’d like to experiment more with different paints, and alter the geometry of the machine so the second wire leg of the pendulum has more room to swing as I think this will make interesting images!

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  • I love a good drawing machine. I enjoy how what ends up on the paper is a record of the process. I can picture the mechanism just by seeing the drawing. Have you considered leaning into that ‘record of a process’ aesthetic more?


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