tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:/posts the spaces in between 2016-10-27T21:06:53Z Jesse Seay tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/1102829 2016-10-27T21:06:53Z 2016-10-27T21:06:53Z Wear-a-Circuit Workshop

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Circuit Patches are wearable circuit boards made from knitted yarn and wire. I'm doing a workshop Sunday using these. Check it out!

I use a knitting machine to make the patches, and add snap buttons with a snap press. Now the circuits can be attached to anything-- no sewing required.

Rapid prototyping for Wearables!

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I made these circuit patches for my upcoming workshop. Participants will receive a 3" x 5.5" knitted proto-boards in black, pink, or teal. Solder LEDs and a battery on it, and you can add lights to your clothes, just in time for Halloween.

Of course, there's lots of things beyond LEDs you could add, and I'm hoping to do workshops for interactive circuits using knitted protoboards soon.

I've made a number of circuits with this method so far, usually in black. For this workshop, we're adding some fun color: circuit-board-teal and... pink! I  couldn't resist adding 10mm gumdrop LEDs to the pink protoboard pictured above.

We'll have some of those jumbo LEDs for the workshop, but also smaller ones in blue, yellow, red, white. I've even got some color-change and flicker LEDs.

If you'd like to participate, please RSVP. Hope to see you Sunday! (Bring a shirt or a hat or a bag so you can add snaps to mount your circuit on it.)

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My new favorite machine: the snap press applies snap buttons without sewing.

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/1069498 2016-09-05T15:00:00Z 2016-09-25T15:19:00Z Snapshots from Japan

I spent a month in Japan this summer. Here are things I want to remember and places I want to return to.  Read on for contemporary art, textiles, craft, electronics and a makerspace. 

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/1056920 2016-05-29T04:23:57Z 2016-05-29T14:24:05Z Super Simple Sequencers

My students presented their final projects on a street corner this semester: sequencers and voltage controlled oscillators.

Read on for a sequencer project layout guide (and more fun video!)


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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/1029828 2016-04-09T18:21:02Z 2016-04-09T18:21:02Z Simple LED tricks I created these circuits for Chicago Art Department's Crystal Ball Fundraiser Auction. The top two bidders will receive their choice of design as a custom fit cuff bracelet.

Candle flicker LEDs are an easy way to add movement to your lights, without a microcontroller.
Wire the flickering LED in parallel with non-flicker LEDs and they will alternate flickering. Make sure the different LEDs have similar forward voltages, otherwise some might not light up at all.



Slow-Fade RGB LEDs offer another easy trick, cycling through a rainbow of colors. It looks very cool set off by single color LEDs. If you limit the current enough with a high resistor, some of the LEDs will go dim at different points in the cycle.




With the above circuit, I slipped a piece of resistive velostat under the battery contact, as a dimmer. Without it, all 3 LEDs remain on, continuously.






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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/1012908 2016-03-13T15:59:30Z 2016-03-14T19:15:43Z Passap Knitting at Pumping Station: One

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Aushra knits on the Passap

2015 was the year of the Donated Double Bed: two Passap Duomatics and a Superba S48. I had no experience with either brand, so it's taken awhile to get one working and online. There was cleaning and repair (tag-teamed with Dan, Erica, and Will), designing and building a worktable (thank you, Shae!), followed by the scavenger hunt for missing parts (props, Katrin and Richard!).

But I'm pleased to report it's finally happening! At a recent "Knitting Machine Office Hours" at Pumping Station: One, we tested settings that work with the Passap using fingering weight Tamm 3-ply Astracryl yarn. And we figured out how to knit from cones (no cake winding required)! Read on for a complete step-by-step.

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/968877 2016-01-13T21:30:18Z 2016-01-13T21:33:48Z Felting Yarn I first knitted with Yeoman Felting Wool last summer, when Yeoman donated a large box of yarn to the eTextiles Summer Camp. It's easier to hand-felt than other wool yarns I've tried, so I ordered a half dozen colors and started to play. It's fun to make detailed colorful designs, and perfect for holiday gifts. But there are a few pitfalls in creating your design. Read on for info about:
  • holes between colors
  • uneven felting due to pattern and color
  • felting technique
Holes

The designs pictured are "single motif": the pattern does not repeat and the contrast yarn stitches are wider than 5 stitches in a row. This results in long "floats" of yarn on the back side. Normally you'd "wrap" the edge needles while you knit to avoid big gaps caused by the edge stitches "laddering." Instructions for this are often included in machine manuals under "how to knit single motif". 
The edge needles are not wrapped in this piece. This resulted in laddering: large gaps and sagging stitches at the edge of each color. This is particularly visible around the brown in the middle.
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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/899230 2015-08-30T20:27:57Z 2015-09-03T16:24:04Z Knitted circuit: blue rectangle, orange line

I crafted this small circuit from bus wire, solder, SMD LEDs, resistors, transistor, and an ATTiny45 IC.

I programmed the Arduino to create the flicker effect and fade out, and used shellac to isolate the bus wire where necessary.


Lighting and photographing LEDs (esp surface mount!) is a challenge. Some notes for next time:

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/896869 2015-08-30T16:09:33Z 2015-09-03T16:25:22Z Superba Second Yarn Guide

I recently had a lovely visitor from Germany, who came bearing knitting machine gifts. Katrin Kennedy (Ravelry user Rumpletasch) was in Chicago for work, and lucky me! she brought along some hard-to-find Superba parts for me. Here she demonstrates how to use the Superba Second Yarn Guide, a separate plate that hooks onto the carriage to hold a contrast yarn for jacquard. Read more for a step-by-step.

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/890349 2015-08-06T07:28:36Z 2015-08-06T07:28:36Z eTextile Summer Camp 2015

eTextiles summercamp 2015, at Paillard Centre d’Art Contemporain & Résidence d’Artistes.

gallery exhibition during camp


knitted wire pieces: two visitors try out my "heart beat collar"; Claire Williams' "knitted antennas".


late night work sessions


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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/889394 2015-08-03T11:40:45Z 2015-09-03T15:30:28Z Machine Knit With Wire

I've been working on a method to machine knit with copper wire, for creating eTextiles.

the challenge:

  • wire needs to come off the spool with zero drag
  • 30-36 AWG magnet wire is super thin and breaks easily, also tangles
  • magnet wire spools are heavy, which means inertia and momentum if the spool spins, which will snap or tangle the wire.
  • it's got to be cheap

the solution (so far):
  1. place the spool on the floor in front of the machine
  2. mount a wisker disk on the top of the spool
  3. place a guide hoop above the spool for the wire to pass through
  4. attach a light-weight rope thimble to the tension mast, to minimize bending of the wire

things to improve:
a better stand
experiment with larger rope thimbles (maybe 3D print?)


I based this design on industrial coil winding methods. For instance:
 

This research has been a part of my Public Engagement Maker Residency at UIC/Mana Contemporary, working with Professor Sabrina Raaf. Also, props to Ed Bennett, for pointing out the tension mast wire-bending issue.
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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/877550 2015-07-10T19:58:00Z 2016-01-16T06:33:30Z 50 Ways to Love Your Linker

I recently found a Brother KA-8310 linker for $35 on eBay ("working condition"!). I hear these things break more than work, but for the price, I figured, why not? The linker arrived, in clean condition, with original packaging and manual. I knitted up a test swatch, followed the instructions and.... sure enough, it didn't work. Parts moved when I turned the crank, but it did not advance on the bed of my Brother 940.

Then I realized my mistake. I hadn't let Dan tinker with it first.

So, I brought it home, set the box in front of him, and said, "Wanna fix this?" He picked up a screwdriver and I grabbed my camera. (Thus began another romantic evening at home...)

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/879521 2015-07-10T18:26:21Z 2016-08-30T15:40:09Z Yeoman Yarn Samples

Color cards scanned on an Epson flatbed scanner, with a CameraTrax 24 Color Card for reference.

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/875857 2015-07-04T18:17:49Z 2015-07-11T13:14:03Z Superba Knitting Machine

Last month, I became the ecstatic new owner of a Superba S48, donated by Ravelry knitting machine angel fibremaniac.

This is my first Superba, and I’m thrilled to have it. I’d like to try the knitty hack. Before we get there, though, the machine needs repairs and cleaning. Lucky for us, Dan and I love taking machines apart to see how they work, and we're starting to get pretty good at it.

Deep cleaning the needles is much, much faster if you don’t turn the machine over. Just clamp the machine to a table as if to knit, and you can access the screws underneath. The screws won’t fall out once they’re loosened-- very convenient. 

To remove the needles, I used a bar magnet and was able to lift them out, ten at a time. I soaked them in denatured alcohol + balistol oil. Afterwards, I dropped each needle in its channel before putting the retaining spring back on. This is much faster than on the Passap, which requires working each needle in after the spring is in place. 

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/876773 2015-07-03T05:14:00Z 2015-07-11T13:13:03Z Workshop: Light up your work with DIY LEDs

July 2nd workshop at Mana Contemporary, with UIC professor Sabrina Raaf.

We'll run it again on July 9. RSVP at Eventbrite

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/876318 2015-07-02T04:05:45Z 2015-07-02T04:05:45Z Workshop at Mana Contemporary

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/868545 2015-06-11T21:35:59Z 2015-06-12T03:07:19Z Photographing Yarn Colors

Photographing my yarn samples with a Colortrax color card for reference. My thinking is, if you have a copy of the card, you can adjust your monitor to match, to see accurate yarn colors.  

I shot the pictures by setting a custom white balance with the color card, so the color is consistent.  Next time, I'll have to use manual exposure/shutter speed to insure consistent brightness, as well.

The name of the yarn is under each photo set.

Key West Karibbean Kotton Yarn in DK and Worsted weights.

Jaggerspun Heather

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/864121 2015-06-05T15:01:39Z 2015-06-05T15:01:39Z Artist Residencies and Workshops

Since April, I've been in residence at UIC/Mana Contemporary, as a Public Engagement Maker.

They've provided me with a fantastic studio to work in, access to the Makerspace on UIC's campus, plus the great privilege of working with UIC New Media Professor Sabrina Raaf.

On May 2, UIC featured me at their booth at the Northside Mini Maker Faire at Shurz H.S., where I demonstrated the knitting machine and showed my work (pictured above). And I'm currently working on plans for a special free series of the Women's Electronics Workshop at Mana. 

Additionally, my application for eTextile Summer Camp was accepted, and I'll be flying to France in July for this amazing week-long event, held 250km outside of Paris in the Loir Valley. I'm particularly excited about participating in the Swatch Exchange, and look forward to bringing home a large collection of e-textile samples to share.

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/843812 2015-04-21T01:42:27Z 2015-04-21T13:47:49Z Instructables Prize Winner

My "Knit A Working Speaker" just won second prize in the Instructables DIY Audio Contest!

Huzzah!

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/836322 2015-04-15T17:00:00Z 2015-04-17T03:02:34Z Circuit Knitting at New Orleans Mini Maker Faire Louisiana machine knitter Mark Anderson sent me images for a project he did using the circuit knitting technique I posted on instructables.  He displayed the work at last month's New Orleans Mini Maker Faire. Note the Gemma microcontroller for extra-blinky action. Nice work, Mark!



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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/840150 2015-04-13T17:16:43Z 2015-04-21T01:43:40Z Mechanical Tide

My friend Marta recently captured this photo of University of Chicago grad students playing with my sculpture, Mechanical Tide, in the lobby of the James Franck Institute. It's been on display there for 7 years now. 

The marbles shift in interesting patterns until they don't. So someone has to reset them from time to time to keep the pattern going. Apparently this group of grad students has taken on the role.

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/826185 2015-03-18T01:47:16Z 2015-03-23T18:19:58Z And........ Tenure

Big exhale.

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/824538 2015-03-14T22:39:51Z 2015-03-16T15:21:43Z Extraordinary Effort, Spectacular Failure

Extraordinary Effort, Spectacular Failure opened last Friday, March 6, a group show from the Hatch artist incubator program at Chicago Artists Coalition.

I have a new piece in it, a column of knitted Kevlar and circuits, suspended on an embroidery hoop from the gallery's 14' ceiling. In order to protect the delicate circuitry, I soldered the piece onsite. Ultimately, it turned out better than I could have hoped, and really pops at night.

I feel like this is a sketch for a larger work so I don't quite have a title for it. I'll likely develop the project further as part of my upcoming Public Engagement Maker Residency at UIC/Mana Contemporary.

If we missed you at the opening, join us for the closing event, Thursday March 26.

***New City reviewed and recommended the show here.




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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/814301 2015-02-23T02:12:34Z 2016-06-11T23:08:25Z ATTiny84 & the Tiny Programmer

I like programming my ATTinys with the Tiny Programmer. (How can you not love a tool the size of a stick of gum?) But I couldn't find info for mapping the pin connections for the ATTiny84. So I did a little research. Here are the connections:

ATTiny84  --->   Tiny Programmer

  • 1  ---> +
  • 14 ---> -- (minus sign)
  • 4  ---> (unlabeled)
  • 7  ---> 0
  • 8  ---> 1
  • 9  ---> 2

Works great. 

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/810130 2015-02-14T18:48:47Z 2015-07-11T13:17:03Z Wire and Wool Circuits

Work in progress for the Extraordinary Effort, Spectacular Failure show at Chicago Artists Coalition, March 6.

A 555 timer circuit

Knitted wire, with solder

Felted wool circuit board


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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/802381 2015-01-25T18:51:51Z 2016-05-28T23:10:14Z Passap Knitting Machines: Donation and Deep Clean

Last month, I received a phone call from Mary, one of the clever ladies who runs the InterKnit Machine Knitters Club. Someone was getting rid of some Passap Duomatic knitting machines, and would I like one? Heck, yeah! I replied, and could you also grab one for Pumping Station: One?

So, two days later Mary drops off two very heavy knitting machines, and several very heavy boxes of carriages, accessories, tension rods, and books. The machines are ancient, crusted with yellowed oil and blackened lint. Luckily, one of the books is "Be Your Own Passap Paramedic", which gave us a starting point to deep cleaning these machines.

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/799445 2015-01-21T18:58:16Z 2015-01-21T20:08:48Z Women's Electronics Workshop: Circuit Soldering Learning to solder at the latest Women's Electronics Workshop at Pumping Station: One. I was thrilled to see we had so much interest-- I had to turn several people away last minute. So we'll definitely do this again soon! If you'd like to participate in a future workshop, check out our Meet Up page

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/795482 2015-01-15T20:52:36Z 2015-01-15T20:52:36Z Technologic Opening


Catching up on my blogging. Images of my works Electronic Damask and Knitted VU Meter at Chicago Art Department in October. We pulled Electronic Damask off of its frame for this show. I think people appreciated being able to see both sides, and it cast an interesting shadow.

These great images were taken by Leo Selvaggio, show curator Chuck Przybyl, and Mike Nourse. The full album is available on Flickr.






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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/781571 2014-12-10T22:52:49Z 2015-04-16T04:25:34Z Blog to Academia

New issue of Leonardo Music Journal is out and I'm on page 77, "Engaging the Audience: A Primer for Sound Art in Public Spaces."

The article started out as the inaugural post of this very blog, one year ago.

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/771977 2014-11-26T05:36:33Z 2014-11-26T06:25:03Z Knitted VU Meter I knitted this from Kevlar and wire. Scroll down for the video.


In the video, it's reacting to music played off my cell phone.

Knitted VU Meter 141120a.mov from Jesse Seay on Vimeo.

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Jesse Seay
tag:blog.jesseseay.com,2013:Post/769724 2014-11-14T15:01:00Z 2014-11-14T15:01:00Z Close One Show, Open Another

My knitted-circuit artwork, Electronic Damask, was in a gallery show, NoFi, at Chicago Artists Coalition, October 24 - Nov 13. The piece was a collaborative effort, put together through the volunteer efforts of close to two dozen PS1 members. PS1 really represented at the Oct 24 opening, and I managed to drag most of us in front of the camera for a group photo with the artwork. (Thanks to Everett for the photo!)

Before NoFi closed, Electronic Damask was tapped for another show, Technologic, opening tonight in Pilsen, from 6 - 10pm. So last night we drove the piece straight from one gallery to the next.

Technologic "celebrates making art through technology". It features some amazing stuff made with 3D printers, LCD screens, CNC watercolor painting, and of course a certain knitted e-textile. The gallery, Chicago Art Department, is located at 1932 W Halsted in East Pilsen's Chicago Art District (#8 Halsted bus runs right by it). Tonight's opening coincides with the district's 2nd Fridays gallery night, so there will be other openings all over the neighborhood. You can find preview photos of the show on the facebook page. Full info is below. The show runs until December 6.

TECHNOLOGIC curated by Chuck Przybyl Friday, Nov 14, 6-10pm

An exhibition that celebrates making art through technology. Work featured will include robotic drawing, 3D printing, laser cutting, textile circuitry, algorithmic art, image slicing, circuit bending, and prosthetics. Although often unsung – artists having access to new technologies has historically pushed and propelled creative endeavors. The exciting new technologies of today have been pushing the overall culture of DIY and propelling the Maker Movement. This is a participatory culture that embraces tools and empowers masses of people to innovate and create. Technologic explores and showcases not only how art is currently being produced with new tools, but how fringe technologies can be used in progressive and cutting edge ways.

Viewers also have an opportunity to “go deeper” to gain further insight through series of discussions and workshops as well information on the processes at the exhibit. Technologic is curated by Chuck Przybyl for Chicago Art Department.

Artists: Tom Burtonwood, Christopher Furman, Harvey Moon, Luftwerk, Jesse Seay, Nathan Davis, Christopher Breedlove, Christian Oiticica, Leo Selvaggio, Antoine Kattar, and Russell Prather


Opening Reception Nov. 14 – 6-10 PM 3D Printing Workshop with Tom Burtonwood Saturday Nov – 15 – 2-5 PM Panel Discussion Saturday Nov – 22 – 2-5 PM Chicago Art Department – 1932 S. Halsted St. Suite 100 Chicago IL 60622 USA
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Jesse Seay