Born in 1965, Matt Smith spent about six weeks at the Falmouth School of Art before deciding he would rather spend his time “making silly things.” He began making automata in 1980 and, in 1986, formed the Fourteen Balls Toy Company with fellow artist Paul Spooner. Today, Smith produces automata of his own design in addition to bringing many of Spooner’s designs to life.

Explore Smith’s whimsical storytelling, what he describes as “moving cartoons… hopefully moving cartoons that make people laugh,” at the Exploratorium‘s Curious Contraptions automata exhibition in San Francisco. The collection is returning from November 16, 2017 to January 28, 2018.

Watch more automata videos, including Curious Contraptions by Paul Spooner, Rowland Emett’s Marvelous Dream Machines, a LEGO lawn mower man endlessly cuts the grass, and the hand cranked mechanical singing birds by Bliss Kolb.

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