Contemporary automata makers are drawn to this labor intensive art form for a variety of reasons and make work in a range of materials and sizes.
I use metal, glass enamel and found objects to construct small, wearable, mechanical jewels encrusted with three dimensional images and text that tell stories when you turn a tiny crank. This art form was a way for me to originally express a mix of profound feelings: I made my first automaton about 5 years ago--one month after my son's father passed away.
It was an epiphany to me that the simple movement caused by turning a crank could convey such a well of personal emotion at the same time as addressing profound universal themes, all in a single piece of jewelry, and enveloped in a cloud of wonder...
With this new format available for expressing my inner world, I read as much as I could about automata and began adding to my repertoire of goldsmithing techniques to add new levels of meaning to my work.