I made a few Baltic Birch hammers (laser etched and laser cut) as a follow-up to my CRAFT Screwdriver (which was just vinyl cut.)
Here’s the design and mock-up. I use Inkscape for the design process, and occasionally create the mock-up images using Photoshop.
This hammer is not the size of a normal hammer. It’s over 400mm long, which (being nearly 16 inches) is big. Why such a big hammer? Because, reasons…
Actually, this specific hammer was given to Frankie Flood, who has had a huge influence on my work the past few years. Since he’s leaving Milwaukee, I wanted to give him something that would be suitable for hanging on the wall in his new studio.
I mentioned back in February that I’ve been teaching a Physical Computing class at UWM called “Electronics and Sculpture” this semester. So I’ve basically been showing students how to integrate microcontrollers into their artwork. (Arduino is the order of the day, though I’ve got one student exploring ATtiny85 chips.)
Students have been working on their final projects, using techniques they’ve learned all semester, and they’ll have their work on display for the public at Arts+Tech Night happening 6pm-9pm, Wednesday, May 18th, 2016. Come on down and check it out. Most of my students will be on the 4th floor in the center area. (Maybe your friends are already going!)
(There is a web site for ATN but sadly, despite my best efforts, It has not been updated this time around.)
This time I returned to wood, but decided to give it a metal look. The above is a 12″x12″ sheet of wood with 1/8″ laser-cut hammers attached to it.
The artwork came from Kathy who created it for a screen printing demo I did at Milwaukee Makerspace a while back. We made a vinyl cut stencil for the screen and then I showed people how to print it on a shirt.
I’ve used metallic paint before on wood, but I think a few different colors mixed together turned out well. I tried to keep things rough looking and was a bit loose and crazy with the paint.
Splotches were intentional, of course… I may try a few more experiments with metallic spray paint on wood. I think it gives a good look. I’m wondering if I can layer polyurethane or another sealer on top if it as well.
It’s been a lot of fun teaching Electronics and Sculpture, and weird things happen sometimes, so I thought I’d take the time to explain a weird thing, and how it happened. The photo above is a kinetic sculpture titled “Hot Dog on a Spring on a Motor”.
The photo above is a kinetic sculpture titled “Steak Ballet”. It was created by Atticus, one of the students in the class. When you open the box, the steak (not a real stake) spins around. It’s like a music box, without music, and with meat. (But not real meat.)
During critique we started coming up with a few crazy ideas, and someone, I don’t know if it was me, or if it was Mike, came up with idea of a hot dog, on a spring, that spins around. I honestly can’t remember if one person came up with it, or it was collaborative, but it became a running joke during critique… and in a few classes afterwards.
Steak Ballet was the third project of the semester. By the fourth project (the mid-term) the hot dog on a spring thing was sort of a regular joke. The mid-term projects were awesome, and I was really proud of the work my students did, so I decided to reward them by building something and showing it to them… thus “Hot Dog on a Spring on a Motor” was born. And I gave credit to the class on the bottom of the piece.
Now, this also all came together for another weird reason… Joe at BBCM brought a bunch of hot dogs into my office and I asked if I could borrow one. Also, Joe knows Atticus and they used to work together. Weird!
And yes, this does continue some of the ideas I was playing with when I created the Pizza Bagel Bot for a robot battle last year.
Here’s a quick (poor quality) video of the Hot Dog on a Spring on a Motor. (At least it’s not a Vertical Video!)
Mark your calendars! Kenilworth Open Studios is happening Saturday, April 9th, 2016 at UWM’s Kenilworth Square East facility at 1915 East Kenilworth Place in Milwaukee.
Besides being able to check out some of the awesome work done by students and faculty, you can see the Digital Craft Research Lab and you can check out what I call the “Physical Computing Lab”, which is also known as “KSE 516″ or “Room 516 on the 5th floor” which is where I teach Electronics and Sculpture.
I’m hoping some of my students can share projects during the event, and I might even have some things to show. If you’re at all interested in physical computing stuff (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, things that move and light up and make noise) visit 516 and I’ll tell you what I know.