One Eyed Automata

Welcome to One Eyed Automata!

This site shows some pieces of Peter Shields' mechanical sculptures, also called automata.

For contact, please email:

Bonsai Workshop Bonsai Workshop 16th March 2019.

Here you can find the slides as shown during the session.

Other ongoing mechanical and restoration project:

Banjul Challenge 2018

Banjul Challenge 2018 - Fundraising for Amnesty Internationl


Banjul Challenge 2018 - The preparation of the vehicles

Restoration of an Afghan Jezail 2017

coming soon
Fishy Missy

Fishy Missy

An automaton of Missy, my cousin's Jack Russell Terrier, fearless in braving the high seas with her owner fishing the murky depths for mackerel and lobster pots.

Hand operated

Wood, Brass, Steel, Leather

see it on youtube

Fishy Missy

Aupres De Ma Blonde

82 cm high

An automata commissioned in 2014 but subsequently rejected because it was too big for the client. A blind French soldier plays his hurdy-gurdy, monkey on his back, and reminisces on the woman he once loved. Famous French marching song.

Hand operated

Mixed media


see it on youtube

Work in progress
Work in progress
Work in progress
Work in progress
Work in progress
Aupre de ma blonde
Dogs of Law

Let Slip The Dogs of Law

A commission for a London barrister.

Hand operated

Mixed media

see it on youtube

Let Slip the Dogs of Law

Artificial Stupidity

Hand operated

Mixed media


Artificial Stupidity

Le Gene Egoiste

Hand operated

Mixed media with mooing noise

Cows only exist because their genes are useful to man. Selfish little things!

£500 SOLD!

Le Gene Egoiste
Last Night I Dreamt of Manderley

Last Night I Dreamt of Manderley

A commissioned Automata for Troska in Lymington. She kindly gave me an eclectic mix, a sort of, "these are a few of my favourite things" exercise. I tried to include them into her desire for a wall hung cyclist piece similar to another I have done. His hat is a folded page from Daphne Du Maurier's 'Rebecca' and his jumper in knitted courtesy of Angel-A. The flags circling the globe represent the countries Troska has lived in and the globe itself represents a map of the Netherlands only. The music is by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and is called Music for a Found Harmonium.

95 cm high

Hand operated

Wood, Brass, Resin, found objects

£500 SOLD!

see it on youtube

Last Night ...

Deliberate Disguises

176 cm high
80 cm wide
22 cm deep

Hand operated

Wood, Brass, Aluminium, Resin, found objects

£475 SOLD!

see it on youtube

Let Me Also Wear Such Deliberate Disguises
Through a Glass Darkly

Now We See Through a Glass Darkly

20 cm high
20 cm wide
15 cm deep

Hand operated

Oak, Brass, Aluminium, Resin, found objects

£230 SOLD!

see it on youtube

Through a Glass Darkly
Through a Glass Darkly
Through a Glass Darkly
Der Schoss ist fruchtbar - Picture 1

Der Schoß ist Fruchtbar - 2011

64cm high
40cm wide
24cm deep

Hand operated

Copper, brass, concrete, found objects

£800 SOLD!

Ihr aber lernet, wie man sieht statt stiert
Und handelt, statt zu reden noch und noch.
So was hätt einmal fast die Welt regiert!
Die Völker wurden seiner Herr, jedoch
Daß keiner uns zu früh da triumphiert-
Der Schoß ist fruchtbar noch, aus dem das kroch.

(Extract from: "Der aufhaltsame Aufstieg des Arturo Ui". Bertolt Brecht, 1941)

Watch video at Youtube

Der Schoss ist fruchtbar - Picture 2
Der Schoss ist fruchtbar - Picture 3
Der Schoss ist fruchtbar - Picture 4

Perfect day for banana fish - 2009

33cm high
14cm wide
10cm deep

Hand operated

Copper, brass, resin, found objects


…….the young man said. "You just keep your eyes open for any bananafish. This is a perfect day for bananafish."
"I don't see any," Sybil said.
"That's understandable. Their habits are very peculiar." He kept pushing the float. The water was not quite up to his chest. "They lead a very tragic life," he said. "You know what they do, Sybil?"
She shook her head.
"Well, they swim into a hole where there's a lot of bananas. They're very ordinary-looking fish when they swim in. But once they get in, they behave like pigs. Why, I've known some bananafish to swim into a banana hole and eat as many as seventy-eight bananas." He edged the float and its passenger a foot closer to the horizon. "Naturally, after that they're so fat they can't get out of the hole again. Can't fit through the door."
"Not too far out," Sybil said. "What happens to them?"
"What happens to who?"
"The bananafish."
"Oh, you mean after they eat so many bananas they can't get out of the banana hole?"
"Yes," said Sybil.
"Well, I hate to tell you, Sybil. They die."
"Why?" asked Sybil.
"Well, they get banana fever. It's a terrible disease."
With her hand, when the float was level again, she wiped away a flat, wet band of hair from her eyes, and reported, "I just saw one."
"Saw what, my love?"
"A bananafish."
"My God, no!" said the young man. "Did he have any bananas in his mouth?"
"Yes," said Sybil. "Six."
The young man suddenly picked up one of Sybil's wet feet, which were drooping over the end of the float, and kissed the arch.

The young man put on his robe, closed the lapels tight, and jammed his towel into his pocket. He picked up the slimy wet, cumbersome float and put it under his arm. He plodded alone through the soft, hot sand toward the hotel.
He got off at the fifth floor, walked down the hall, and let himself into 507. The room smelled of new calfskin luggage and nail-lacquer remover.
He glanced at the girl lying asleep on one of the twin beds. Then he went over to one of the pieces of luggage, opened it, and from under a pile of shorts and undershirts he took out an Ortgies calibre 7.65 automatic. He released the magazine, looked at it, then reinserted it. He cocked the piece. Then he went over and sat down on the unoccupied twin bed, looked at the girl, aimed the pistol, and fired a bullet through his right temple.

(Extract from: "A Perfect Day for Bananafish". J. D. Salinger, 1948)
Perfect day for banana fish - Picture 1 Perfect day for banana fish - Picture 2
Medusa and Child - Picture 1

Medusa and Child - 2012

52cm high
20cm wide
20cm deep

Hand operated

Copper, brass, steel, lead (painted), found objects

£490 SOLD!

Medusa and Child - Picture 2
Medusa and Child - Picture 3
Medusa and Child - Picture 4

The Chronic Argonaut - 2011

30cm high
29cm wide
13.5cm deep

£650 Sold!

Those who were there say that they saw the Chronic Argonaut, sitting in the toneless electric glare, on a peculiar erection and that he seemed to be smiling at them, half pityingly and half scornfully, as it is said martyrs are wont to smile. Parts were of nickel, parts of ivory and ebony; parts had certainly been filed or sawn out of rock crystal. There was white metal in it that blazed in the noontide sun like incandescent magnesium, ebony bars that drank in the light, twisted crystalline bars and white parts that gleamed like polished ivory. Yet withal it seemed unreal. The thing was not square as a machine ought to be, but all awry: it was twisted and seemed falling over, hanging in two directions, as those queer crystals called triclinic hang; it seemed like a machine that had been crushed or warped; it was suggestive and not confirmatory, like the machine of a disordered dream.

“It defies accepted opinions to mortal combat. Opinions of all sorts, Scientific Theories, Laws, Articles of Belief, or, to come to elements, Logical Premises, Ideas, or whatever you like to call them--all are, from the infinite nature of things, so many diagrammatic caricatures of the ineffable--caricatures altogether to be avoided save where they are necessary in the shaping of results…… we find ourselves no longer limited by hopeless restriction to a certain beat of time--to our own generation. Locomotion along lines of duration--chronic navigation comes within the range.”

(Extract from: "The Chronic Argonauts". H. G. Wells, 1888)

The Chronic Argonaut - Picture 2
The Chronic Argonaut - Picture 3
The Chronic Argonaut - Picture 1