Author Archives: Steven Walton

Villard’s Hammerwheel

Villard's Hammerwheel

A short video of a physical reconstruction of Villard de Honnecourt’s sketch of a “machine that moves itself”, that is, a supposed perpetual motion machine. To give you the long version short: it is NOT a perpetual motion machine. In fact, it works as a self-braking wheel because the center of gravity is always below Continue Reading

CFP: ICMS Kalamazoo 2020

Remembering Robert Mark and Andrew Tallon  I: Personal Perspectives (A Roundtable) II: Interdisciplinarity in Studying Gothic III: Gothic Structure IV: Notre-Dame in Paris Contact: Robert Bork, 150 Art Building West, The University of Iowa, North Riverside Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242-7000. Email: Session #1: Remembering Robert Mark and Andrew Tallon, I: Personal Perspectives (A Roundtable) Continue Reading

Pewter Pilgrim Badge Demo 2018

The plumbing solder melts in the ladle

At the 2017 Kalamazoo we had planned to have Darrell Markowitz from the Wareham Forge give a demonstration of casting of pewter pilgrims’ badges, but due to unforeseen border crossing difficulties, we were unable to have him with us last year. So AVISTA restaged the demonstration this year, showing about 50 people how to cast Continue Reading

Conf. of interest: Building Practices in the Pre-Industrial World

AVISTA fans may wish to know about a conference coming up at Univ. of Pennsylvania next weekend: Against Gravity: Building Practices in the Pre-Industrial World 20-22 March 2015, The Penn Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA Flyer attached here (click for full size) or see their website for more information.  (A number of AVISTonians also participated Continue Reading

Kzoo 2015 Sessions Finalized

It is with great pleasure that AVISTA announces its sessions for the ICMS at Kalamazoo, 2015: Art and Technology in the Cloister and Castle I Organizer and Presider Name: Steven A. Walton, Michigan Technological University “Castles, Cloisters and Churches: Examining the Larger Context of Medieval Architecture,” William W. Clark, Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY “Activating Architecture: New Continue Reading

CFP Kzoo 2015: Art and Technology in the Cloister and Castle

For 2015, AVISTA has been allotted 3 sessions on “Art and Technology in the Cloister and Castle” at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 14–17, 2015, in Kalamazoo, MI [USA]. We invite proposals on aspects of Lordly/lordly spaces that explore how medieval arts and technologies functioned to create and sustain these spaces as centers of Continue Reading

An Introduction to the Mechanical Arts in the Middle Ages

©1991; REVISED, 1993; WEB VERSION 2003; REFORMATTED AND LIGHTLY EDITED 2014. Originally presented at the International Congress for Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, in 1993. This introduction is meant to be neither ground-breaking nor earth shattering; rather I plan to present the mechanical arts as they stood in medieval intellectual thought. The following papers in this Continue Reading