An idea birthed by the minds of Bre Pettis and Jesse Ferguson, "Sticks and Stones" is a machine made entirely out of natural materials - sticks, stones, twine, trees, dirt, and so on. Built at the sacred Earth Sanctuary ( http://earthsanctuary.org ), Sticks and Stones is composed of about 20 distinct elements, all working in sequence to ring the large, heavy bell at the end, sending a beautiful majestic sound across the forest landscape.
This in turn knocks the first of a series of rectangular rocks down, causing each rock after it to fall in a similar fashion. The last rectangular rock is positioned to hold back a precariously balanced flagstone. It's balanced on its fulcrum so it just barely wants to tilt to the right, and it does so, very slowly.
The final balancing stone releases an upright rock which smashes into the side of the first of these three-stone structures. As one of the sides collapses in, the other two in the structure will fall outward, triggering the next set of stones to fall.
The last of these piles releases an exquisitely constructed fern-fan, which slowly unwinds downward. The fern fronds soon gently brush a delicately balanced rock with a rope tied to it. The rock falls, pulling away the stick which is holding back a series of Y-shaped sticks hanging on wound rope. As they turn slowly, each triggers the next, and eventually a large tree branch lever falls over, releasing a spinning rock.
The rock nudges a branch, causing another delicately balanced rock to fall and swing down toward a stone resting against the tree. The stone is holding down a scissor-like joint clamping the bell hammer in place. As this stone falls, the hammer is released, sounding the bell.
This machine took two full days to build and execute, though we would have liked more time.
See below for 3-d pictures! As always, cross your eyes to see them.