Geri Forkner loves to experiment with weaving and felting techniques, and you may remember her name from a past post about her students incorporating LEDs on silk scarves. Well, she is back and experimenting more with interesting materials. This bracelet has flashing LEDs that were incorporated into the weave using two wires and a resistor, rather than conductive thread. One of the wires was coated to prevent a short circuit in the piece. What I love about this piece is the playful petals of beads that form at the end of the colorful stripes — a mix of Asian and Southwest.
This piece is a real joy — Geri’s version of “Starry Night”, which is a product of her weaving exchange.
I decided to weave a literal version using pictures of starry nights cut from magazine pages. The sample size for the exchange is 6” x 6” and when those were finished, I wove this larger piece using several images. I also wanted to add some electronics to the piece. I’ve been away from electronic textiles for a while, and thought a simple wiring piece would be a good refresher and get me back into Arduino and Lilypad projects. So much more to learn.
Do you notice something different about Geri’s stars? She decided to make a comment about the space we call home.
I live out in the country where the stars are bright and beautiful. Despite feeling safe out in the middle of nowhere, most of my neighbors use multiple streetlights along with porch and other night defying lights. And I have several other stories of what I’ve dubbed “nature defiers”. So, I added tiny street lights in the shape of the Big Dipper, and the glow from the lights does indeed make it difficult to see some of the star detail.
Like many makers, Geri likes to use what she has on hand for her art. So, the street lamps were made of buttons with some aquarium tubing. The LEDs were extended with wire using shrink tubing, and then mounted on a foam core board with the addition of tape. She wanted the challenge of going “solderless” to hold things in place, and she also wanted it to be simple enough for kids to do in her workshops. It appears to be a success. So, next time you don’t think you have what it takes to make a masterpiece at home, think again. I’ve seen some awesome paper flowers done with tissue and some simple LEDs. If you want to go one step larger, why not order up some of our LED sequins and hack your own clothing in the spirit of our Sequined Hat.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.