Automata and mechanical toy making

What you'll do

Welcome to the magical world of automata - the perfect blend of craftsmanship, engineering and art.

In this hands-on experience, learn about commonly-used toy mechanisms and how to build them. Your knowledgeable host will give you a design, to fill you with inspiration, before you start creating your toy. You will build up your craft by learning how to construct every piece, under the guidance of your host.

You’ll be drawing and cutting cams, cranks and mechanisms. Using different types of wood and a vast range of tools throughout the day. Soon handling a bandsaw and pillar drill will feel second nature.

After you have assembled your toys, you can paint them with any of the acrylic paints available. Your host will be there to provide any additional help at every stage of the process.

Once the day wraps up, you’ll understand the basic movements of a mechanical toy, how to design and build eccentric cams, snail cams and plenty more. Guests can expect to finish the day with a lovely, fully-functioning one-shaft mechanical toy. What a joy!

Please note, this experience is limited to 2 people

Minimum fitness level required.

Upcoming dates

What you'll do

Welcome to the magical world of automata - the perfect blend of craftsmanship, engineering and art.

In this hands-on experience, learn about commonly-used toy mechanisms and how to build them. Your knowledgeable host will give you a design, to fill you with inspiration, before you start creating your toy. You will build up your craft by learning how to construct every piece, under the guidance of your host.

You’ll be drawing and cutting cams, cranks and mechanisms. Using different types of wood and a vast range of tools throughout the day. Soon handling a bandsaw and pillar drill will feel second nature.

After you have assembled your toys, you can paint them with any of the acrylic paints available. Your host will be there to provide any additional help at every stage of the process.

Once the day wraps up, you’ll understand the basic movements of a mechanical toy, how to design and build eccentric cams, snail cams and plenty more. Guests can expect to finish the day with a lovely, fully-functioning one-shaft mechanical toy. What a joy!

Please note, this experience is limited to 2 people

Minimum fitness level required.

Share this experience

Facilities

  • Adult changing
  • Parking
  • Toilets
  • Child friendly (0-16)

COVID-19 guidelines

  • Only 2 students for each course

On the day

  • Suitable for absolute beginners, as well as those who may already have some experience.
  • Please note, due to the potentially dangerous use of power tools, this course is unsuitable for those aged under 14. Children aged 14 and over may attend if accompanied by a participating adult.
  • This workshop is located on the 1st floor (accessible only by stairs, no lift available).

Changes happen, don't worry

How to change dates
Change of plans? You can easily rebook the next available slot up to 7 days before your experience.
How to get a refund
Can't make it? We understand things happen! You can cancel and get a full refund up to 7 days before your experience.

About Penlan Crafts

Penlan Crafts specialises in mechanical toys and automata. They offer a range of workshops in Bristol sharing their knowledge and expertise. Learn how basic mechanisms work or how to build toys from scratch. Expect hands-on, engaging and fun experiences.

Your host

Stef Palazzi

Stef will be your Penlan Crafts host. He’s originally from Italy but has lived in many different countries. Stef started designing and building automata in 2013 when he was living in Bangkok. Since then, he’s never stopped. He moved to the UK in 2017 and is happy here!

How to get there

Any questions?

Ask your question directly to Penlan Crafts.

Price
£120 / Adult
Duration
8 hrs
Age restriction
14+
Rebook or cancel up to 7 days before your experience.