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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Craft/Work Show and my first Instructables


My work has been accepted to the Craft/Work show, to open at Beauty & Brawn Gallery in April, 2014.  They're interested in my knitted speakers, a project I hope to document here soon. I'm looking forward to working with the Craft/Work artists, and connecting with a community that embraces textiles.  I work in a department of audio engineers and I make a lot of work at the hackerspace Pumping Station: One. They're both great places with strong "engineering" cultures.  They're also both over 80% male. So when I started experimenting with knitting machines in 2012, seeking ways to knit e-textiles, I thought it'd be a great way to connect to a historically female community. However, when I started giving knitting machine workshops at PS:1, I was a little surprised that most of the people who signed up were guys. (In hindsight, it makes sense, given the membership demographics.)