Steampunk Sewing Machine

I got an old sewing machine at goodwill and steamed it up with brassy bits! The propellers spin when the drive wheel and thread move. See the whole flickr set. This was an assignment in my sculpture/metalworking class. What can I say, I have a totally superfluous understanding of the movement, with little of the patience and attention to detail indicative of steampunk. I did learn how to use a bead blaster, though.

Steampunk Sewing Machine

Steampunk Sewing Machine

Twitchie Scorpion

I made a robotic toy scorpion in 2008. Here’s a video about it! Originally posted on MAKE.

I made this scorpion toy with a Twitchie Robot Kit. I’m really afraid of scorpions where I live in Arizona, so I thought a friendly toy would help me get used to them. I made his plush body from some fabric I had around, aiming to make him look like an Arizona bark scorpion, which are tan/yellowish/translucent.

Music is “At the Crack of Noon” by Shuutobi

Lighthouse show in PHX

My friend Sarah Hatton and I have pieces in a show of entirely self-illuminated artworks, called Lighthouse, opening Saturday evening at the Alwun House in downtown Phoenix.

Lighthouse @ the Alwun House

Saturday, November 8, 7pm

1204 E. Roosevelt St.

Phoenix, Arizona

Plush You! at Double Punch in SF

Squid Softie

arduino pwm glow steaks

I have two plushies in the Plush You! show at Double Punch Gallery in San Fransicso opening this evening!

I sent the above squid and one of my steaks, battery powered.

Plush You SF
November 7 – 30
double punch
1821 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

Open Heart Brooch

At Maker Faire Austin, Jimmie Rogers gave me one of his Open Hearts to work into a portable brooch. I used a LilyPad Arduino board and sandwiched the two back to back, using two layers of fabric to insulate the circuit boards. I used conductive thread to make the connections, and I dangled the board sandwich from the LilyPad power supply, to which I attached a safety pin for making it a brooch. Because of the way I made it, I have access to the programming pins on the Arduino so I can change the animations any time I want.

I made an instructable about how I put it together. You can also view my flickr set. Thanks Jimmie!

Here’s a video of it in action:

New site

I’m using WPFolio now. It’s great!

Body Technology Interfaces at the PDC

Ski Mask for Eating a Sandwich
Ski Mask for Eating a Sandwich

I’m at the Participatory Design Conference in Bloomington, Indiana for a few days, presenting my participatory art project, Body Technology Interfaces. I knitted a bunch of components (sleeves, rectangles, tubes, etc.) and people can come and make their own BTIs to take home. Here’s the description:

“Our interactions with personal electronic devices provoke a broad range of emotions from frustration to confusion to feverish obsession. Increasingly, these devices dominate our everyday work activities, our behavior in public space, and our personal communications. Becky will conduct interviews to help create custom-knitted coverings for participants’ personal electronic devices. The installation aims to bring critical awareness and consideration to the complex relationship between people and technological artifacts. Each BTI will reflect salient interaction behaviors between the participant and their chosen device, as well as provoke thought in observers.

You’re invited to participate in creating your own Body Technology Interface using the knitted components provided in the installation. After working with Becky on a design and sketch, a kit of parts will be assembled for the execution of your design. You may choose to sit and work on your creation at the table workspace, take your kit with you to assemble during other sessions, or leave it with Becky to assemble and pick it up later. Photos and thoughts will be documented on the project website.”

Stay tuned for pictures of new BTIs created at the conference.