Simon Drake’s Automata


In 1979, Simon was introduced to automata collector, Jack Donovan by musician Steve Hackett. Steve had approached Simon regarding creating music visuals for his first album since leaving Genesis. Entitled 'Please Don't Touch', the album was inspired by Jack's shop in Portobello Road. Around this time Simon started to dabble in making automata, building about a dozen simple originals. In 1990 he designed the growing and blooming flower as a tiny homage to the great Robert Houdin. This can be seen in the Devil of a Hat routine in Series 2 of Simon's Secret Cabaret. In 2006 he got more interested in making a type of automata known as the 'Working Model'. Many of these models are on display at the House of Magic.