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.
Since Click Whir Squee involves abusing a piece of hardware that is close to 20 years old, I can’t guarantee it will keep doing what it’s supposed to be doing for the entire run of the show. That’s part of the excitement of kinetic art… and it’s actually integral to the statement this piece makes.
I may try to dig up a few more of these TR-1 Minicartridges to swap in when the one in the machine gets destroyed. That might be enough to keep it running, but would rely on someone involved with the show doing maintenance. (Which I’m fine with.)
If you’ve already seen the video, you can just enjoy the photo of a cat that has been provided above. (It is called Body and Machine, after all.) Otherwise, here’s a video.
So how could I not use the vacuum formed hammer mold I made at a previous MakeShift event to create a concrete hammer?
I’ve been traveling a lot for work, and I knew that concrete takes some time to set and harden, so I was in a rush to mix it up and get it into the mold before I left town. I frantically mixed and scooped the concrete into the mold at about 10pm before rushing off to bed for an early morning flight.
Air bubbles and lumps? I’m sure there’s a few… But the important part was that I got it ready to sit around and dry for a week.
When I got back I took a look at the surface and it looked pretty solid, but I still didn’t trust it was fully set, so I let it sit for another day. Getting it out of the mold proved a bit tricky. I had taped up the cracks in the mold that occurred the last time I made an ice hammer, and that made it a bit more stiff. I did manage to get it out, but I ended up destroying the mold. No more ice (or concrete) hammers!
Even though it’s concrete, I’m pretty sure one good swing would destroy it. For now I’m just going to consider it an art object, and not a fully functional hammering device.
If you’re available Thursday, February 4th, 2016 and want to learn more about working with concrete, plan on attending MakeShift. Tickets are $10 and you can get them online. (I hear there will also be “spiked milkshakes” and other refreshments.)