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Tinkering Tinkerer: Paul Spooner

Paul Spooner

“My work as an artist / mechanic amounts to a constant pursuit of elegance and simplicity. I haven’t caught up with either yet because I don’t know how to finish things. Except sometimes. And even then I’m not sure.”

Paul Spooner was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1948. He had mechanical interests from an early age. In 1964 he completed a preDiploma course at Lancaster College of Art where he made a clock and a steam engine from wood. At Cardiff from 1966 to 1969 he studied Art and Design, specializing in mechanical sculpture. Paul's Website

In 1974, Paul moved to Stithians, Cornwall. He made weaving looms for his wife Sue, but mainly worked as a van driver. It wasn’t until 1981 that he made his first edition of automata featuring the Egyptian Jackal-headed God, Anubis. For the next two years he made small machines usually sold in limited editions through Cabaret in Falmouth. In 1983 Cabaret became a Mechanical Theatre and between 1985 and 2000 it was located in Covent Garden, London, with over 40 of Paul’s machines in the collection. The exhibits now tour around the world. Paul Spooner’s work combines humour with delightful and intriguing mechanism.



Paul's interview at Open MAKE Trash