For the past 30 years Woody Jones has been creating what he calls mechanical amusements. “People tell me their stories and I make an animated little theatre depicting their story. They are hand cranked, all wood, hand carved, one of a kind automatons.” Woody’s greatest pleasure comes from watching the joy he spreads through his art.
Woody Jones has spent a lifetime observing people. His various careers as a police officer, private detective, waiter, air traffic controller, bartender, social worker, and emergency medical technician have afforded him the opportunity to study what people do, how they look and react. For the past 30 years Woody has applied his keen sense of observation to the creation of what he calls mechanical amusements.
“People tell me their stories and I make an animated little theatre depicting their story. They are hand cranked, all wood, hand carved, one of a kind automatons. Automatons have a history going back 2000 years to Japan and China. They have a crank on the side and a mechanism underneath. When you turn the crank the people move around and do things. I make them look like you, and they tell your story whether it’s a job, hobby, life history, or significant event. I always look for something different in each scene to make it uniquely yours.”
Woody has shown his mechanical amusements in hundreds of art shows across the country and has won prestigious awards for his brilliant creations. He has crafted automatons of their car assembly lines for the Ford family and a replica of Grand Central Station for the mangers of the site. Yet, his greatest pleasure comes from watching the joy he spreads through his art.
“Many people let life get them down. They’re thinking about their jobs, kids, and house payments. One can get dragged down into the mundane world. Escaping it is everybody’s goal, and I want to be a guide out of there. When I get them to come over and play they break loose for a minute. They’re so happy while cranking the thing. It is thrilling to watch that happen. I feel like I’ve done my mission sprinkling a little happy juice all over the world. It’s the best form of social work that I’ve ever done.”