Swiss artist François Junod sat down with Great Big Story in his Sainte-Croix atelier to talk about the amazing and beautiful automatons he creates using traditional techniques that go all the way back to ancient Egypt. Junod explained that the art of automata marries his creative and engineering interests together and that the real difference between an automaton and a robot is the aesthetic involved. The process does take a bit time, but these resulting beauty of Junod’s creations are worth it in the end.
After I discovered automatons, where there is an artistic aspect of mechanics and sculpture, that’s what I’ve enjoyed from the beginning. …To make the automaton there are many skills. There is the sculpture to make the form of the character. Afterwards there is the animation of the head, the eyes, the eyelids; there are the clothes and there is the cabinet making. …The aesthetics are relatively fast to develop, but what takes time is how we’re going to obtain such a movement. What is it going to do? For how long? That takes time to develop.
Here are examples of Junod’s creations from his YouTube channel.