Monday, August 16, 2010

programmable EL wire dress

Yesterday was my 32nd birthday. It was also the deadline for entry into the Instructables EL Wire contest. My friend Ben Zaitlen and I made this programmable EL wire dress as our entry, so if you think it's cool I hope you'll please vote for it and help us win some free stuff!!

I have to confess I did very little on this. Ben is the brains behind these projects; I understand only the very basics of the electronics. My job is to make stuff look nice (though I am learning!) That said, I am not super happy with the way the EL wire looks on this piece.

After working with the stuff my appreciation for Diana Eng has grown exponentially. EL wire is slippery and has no memory, so to get it to do what you want with fabric can be difficult and frustrating. I would definitely recommend using a much stiffer fabric, like denim, than the flimsy material we used.

However, Ben did a great job and I'm super impressed he figured out this way to control what the EL wire is doing using the Lilypad. Working with him has been a really incredible learning experience and I'm looking forward to doing more of it!

Next up is a new, fancier version of Ben's POV wristband and after that, a ridiculous performance art project involving a hoop skirt and a medieval allegory. That's all I can tell you for now! I'm also trying to figure out how to open a not-for-profit art gallery, getting ready to go back to school and re-reading Brave New World. I'm in the mood for alternate history, so if you have any book recommendations I'd love to hear them!

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