What If Machine

This year I was once again part of a team making one section of a ‘What If Machine’ in Derby Silk Mill Museum. To explain, a ‘What If Machine’ is a machine along the lines of Rube Goldberg or Heath Robinson. Its the sort of machine that finds a long and complicated way to achieve a simple task. The task we had to achieve last Saturday was to unroll a banner saying ‘WE MADE IT HAPPEN

The banner unrolled successfully.

Each team was given a wooden trigger operated by an elastic band. The idea was that the team before us set off our trigger to make something happen and the end of our machine set off the trigger to make the next section work. We were the last team so it felt like a big responsibility as we had to make sure the last part worked to unfurl the banner.

Triggers being out together ready for the What if Machine
Triggers being put together ready for the What if Machine

Each team was given a black bucket containing items such as golf balls, plastic cups, marbles, string, tape and cable ties. We were able to help ourselves from a table full of assorted goodies.IMG_5774

Last year teams had two days to complete their sections which I wrote about in this blog post anneclarkhandmade.co.uk/what-if-machine-derby/ . This year the machine had to be completed in one day starting from 10.00 in the morning. We had a break for lunch at 12.30 and then the general public were allowed in to watch the final preparations from 1.00pm. We continued working until 4.00pm when we tried the first run through. We were thrilled with our section of the machine which needed a little help on the first run but then worked perfectly after that.

Run through of the What If Machine
Run through of the What If Machine

During the day Sally Jane Thompson  who is now the artist in residence at Derby Museums captured our machines on paper which was fantastic.CbGZArNWcAALnZ_.jpg_largeHere are a few photos of some of the other machine sections. IMG_5788IMG_5787IMG_5784And here is our part of the What if Machine.IMG_5791

Another place to see some good photographs is Ashley Franklins blog.

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