Thursday, 22 September 2016

Digital Weekend at the V&A

I am really excited to be part of the digital weekend at the V&A this Saturday and Sunday.  As part of the Crafts Council Parallel Practice, Wheatstone Innovations Lab and Kings College London team we will be demonstrating what we have been up to.  In my case we will be showcasing the embroidered muscle sensors and the embroidered speakers.  We also hope to have a Pfaff digital embroidery machine stitching out pictures of Kinba, the famous KCL robot receptionist.  I will be working alongside Dr Matthew Howard and some of his students as well as the lovely automata maker John Grayson and fabulous glass artist Shelley James
If you are in London please come along and see what we are doing as part of this great event

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

'All the things you are not yet'..... In conversation

Mathew Howard from the Centre for Robotics Research at Kings College London and I were in conversation as part of the ‘In conversation’ wing of the Paths to Utopia Exhibition.  This is the link if you would like to see the conversation

Friday, 15 July 2016

In conversation at Kings College London

Mathew Howard from the Centre for Robotics Research at Kings College London and I are in conversation as part of the Paths to Utopia Exhibition on Thursday 21st July in the Great Hall, Strand Campus, Kings College London at 7pm.  We will be talking about this project and the Parallel Practice project that bought us together.  It’s a great opportunity to hear about how the collaboration has developed along with some of the perils and advantages of linking my practice so closely to technology.  I am hoping to have some working samples at the talk so people can see exactly how the technology is working…..or not!

I hope you’ll pop along if you can make it. The event is free but tickets must be booked.  You can do this here
You can also watch a stream of the conversation if you cant make it.  It will be available for sometime after the 21st.

This project is made possible with the support of The Cultural Institute at King’s College London, premiering as part of Utopia 2016.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

All the things you are not yet...the public showing

The singing quilts that I have been working on for the last year finally have a public showing at Paths to Utopia at the Inigo Rooms at Somerset House London.  The show runs from Friday 1 July – Sunday 2 October 2016
The image above shows one of the speakers embroidered into the piece.  If you touch the quilt you trigger a sound file.  The sound level is very subtle so the piece has a ghost like quality as you can hear the boys featured in the imagery of the quilt singing ‘Twinkle twinkle’.
As you can imagine I am very excited about this opportunity.  There have been some major technical obstacles to overcome in the creation of this piece and if truth be told still to overcome.   I’ll spill the beans on those in future posts but I would like to specially thank Brendan Michael who has been an absolute star as well as Matthew Howard and Bowen Han all from KCL, the team at Pfaff sewing machines and Neil Halford from thread suppliers Benton and Johnson.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

It works!


Well after a lot of sampling and a lot of help from the team at the Centre for Robotics Research at KCL we have embroidered speakers that are triggered when the quilt is touched.  A very big thanks must go to Brendan Michael for all his fantastic help on this.
There is still a lot of behind the scenes stuff to sort but in the meantime you might like to see this film of one of the test samples working.
Just so you know whats going on, I deliberately made the connections long (the circuit is about 2.5m in total) to test off the resistance of the thread.  The spiral and part of the wiggly line has been digitally embroidered on my lovely Pfaff Sensation.  The rest is couched by hand.  At the beginning of the film you will see me trigger the sound file to play by touching a wire to a trigger point on a Lilypad.  The camera then shows the length of the circuit before zooming in on the speaker and showing the back with a powerful magnet.  The sound file is cutey Diogo Mello and his Dad singing as I have yet to get the boys sound file sorted.
The thread has been kindly supplied by UK based Benton and Johnson and I will tell you about that amazing company in a future blog.  In the film it’s their silver super twist.  There are a couple of adaptations that I make to both the thread and my machine to be able to embroider with it but I am afraid that at the moment that’s all top secret!
This is their website

This project is made possible with the support of The Cultural Institute at King’s College London, premiering as part of Utopia 2016.