Stephen Guy is a designer-maker and artist specialising in mechanical art. He generally works as Fire the Inventor and runs workshops, events and produces educational resources, and builds interactive automata for exhibitions, science festivals and schools in the UK and around the world.
His creative process is bricolage and hands-on prototyping. Much of his time is spent hunting down curious objects, components and toys, which are categorised and stored as a library of resources. The creative process is about composition, about finding striking, funny or weird juxtapositions of objects, adapting and hacking them, and constructing mechanisms that heighten the visual impact of the sculpture.
His first introduction to automata and the world of mechanically driven entertainment was at London’s legendary Cabaret Mechanical Theatre many years ago. He is still closely involved with them.
Recent workshops and events have been run for Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, Sligo Engineering Fair, West Dean College, Hauser & Wirth (Somerset), the Institute of Physics, Tower Bridge Museum, Hackney City Farm, the Institute of Imagination, Craft Central, Wilton’s Music Hall, Warwick University in collaboration with Indian Gond artists, and Rose Bruford College of Performance and Theatre.
He has had commissions from Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, the Craft Council, and Compton Verney Art Gallery to create interactive exhibition pieces for handling by visitors. He was a design consultant for the Craft Council’s A Curious Turn exhibition, recently had a solo exhibition at Craft Central, London, and was invited to be the first Artist in Residence at Bow Arts RAW Lab in 2017.