MidTerm Evaluation

Motel of Mysteries:

For this first assignment, I chose a TV remote to repurpose. Sticking with the theme of the reading, I wanted to make it into a futuristic treasure map. Took me awhile to figure out how to take apart the remote, but one I had it open things went relatively smooth from there. I cut out each of the buttons from the plastic casing, detached all the wires from the circuit board, and scratched off the words and other existing markings from the face of the remote. I re-glued the circuit board onto the opposite side of the remote and began attaching the remote buttons. I tried to place them in a manner that would resemble a code pad with the numbers and specific directions with the arrow buttons. The colorful shapes and symbols were deliberately placed to indicate what treasure this remote was taking you to. I found some sparkly beads and added those around the center of the console to give it a more futuristic vibe. The most challenging part of this project was keeping the hot glue off my hands (I burned myself twice) and getting the buttons to stick on the circuit board.

3D printing:

I’ve been wanting to try out 3D printing for a few years now so I got really exciting about trying out this assignment. After browsing online sites to get ideas for what I wanted to create, I realized that I wanted something practical and that I would theoretically use every day. Soon enough, I settled on a geometric ring. Shannon helped me look up ring sizes and adjust the design in attempt to fit at least one of my fingers. And it worked! It fits on all my fingers, some a little tighter than others. The ring only took seven minutes to print, which I didn’t expect even with such a small design. I’ve been creating an extensive list of things I’d like to print this semester, so hopefully I get the chance to make something even cooler that I’ll use all the time.

Simple Circuits:

As a group, we tried to create a battery out of paper towels, salt water and pennies. We were quite unsuccessful to say the least. I was much more excited about making a Klakerlaken! Using the round batteries, red LED lights, and duct tape, I created a little gyrating beetle. At first the Klakerlaken was moving just fine with its red eyes remaining lit. The more duct tape I began to add to assure that everything stayed together began to cause issues. The LED lights would blink on and off and eventually wouldn’t light up unless I squeezed the Klakerlaken between my fingers. This was by far the most fun project I’ve completely this semester. I had never made anything move on its own like that before so it really excited me. We also began making circuits with conductor thread and LED lights on a bookmark last week. It took me some time to figure out how to do a running stitch, but once I got the hang of it I started to take it more seriously. I hope by the time I finish all my stitching that my bookmark lights up.

Grade Evaluation:

Looking back on the semester and reviewing all my projects, I do believe that I deserve an A in this class. I’m sure everyone always says this on these self-evaluations, but I have put a lot of effort into learning new things in this course and pushing myself to make things I never thought I could have (like the Klakerlaken)! Not all my final products are the prettiest things, I’ll give you that. But I think what I’ve learned through process is much more important. For the rest of the semester I plan on putting in just as much effort to create more exciting things!

Progress Report #3

I thought it would be fitting to chose an actress as my subject matter for this project since I would be constructing their face out of old VHS tapes. So I went with my favorite, Pulp Fiction’s Mia Wallace. I painted the base layer of my canvas white with black trim on the sides. I finished sketching out Wallace’s face, now I plan on using black paint and sharpies to get the thin lines and details covered. Then I’ll cut up the VHS tapes to use for her hair and dark shadows on the face!

Progress Report #2

I finally found VHS tapes at Good Will and managed to take them apart in class today as well as scratching off the stickers on them. I found red paint in the classroom that I plan on using to paint over the VHS tape. I’ve started sketching out several ideas but can’t decide between my dog, a self portrait or a movie actor. Once I get that figured out I will draw an outline on the canvas and start applying the tape from the VHS.

Progress Report #1

So far I’m in the “collecting materials” phase of my Maker’s Challenge project. I have acquired a canvas and paints, but am still looking for cassette and video tapes to take apart. I’m going to try to go to Good Will sometime this weekend which I think I’ll have luck there. Now I’m starting to draft out my composition!

Final Reflection


There were a lot of different techniques and tools that we were introduced to in this course. The two that stood out to me the most, since I had not done anything of the likes before, were 3D printing and soldering. I had always heard and seen 3D printed projects and tutorials but was unable to see one in action until this semester. Soldering was not something I had ever been interested in learning, mainly because I never had the need for it. I still would have to say that I do not have a need for it, but getting familiarized with all the equipment and actually getting to solder pieces of metal together was a great learning experience.

The project that I enjoyed the most throughout this whole semester would have to be my final project. In this project, I deconstructed VHS tapes and repurposed them to create a composition of Pulp Fiction’s Mia Wallace. In the beginning of this semester I expressed my desire to combine the 2D and 3D worlds of creation, and this project allowed me to do just that. I painted the background of the canvas and most of Wallace’s face, while using the VHS tapes to create texture in her hair.

After this course, I want to continue to explore repurposing old technology into other creations. Not limiting myself to just art, but things that I can use in everyday life such as laptop remotes, 3D printed speakers and so on. I like blurring the boundaries between 2D and 3D objects so that is another path that I would like to continue to follow. (I’d also love to put my new soldering skills to use!)

New Skills

In this class I would love to take some time to explore electronics and coding. I have little to no experience with electronics, but think it would be useful for what I’m leaning towards doing for my final project. I have worked with several coding platforms in my Applied Digital Studies class, such as Python, but would like to use my knowledge to actually create something. Time permitting, I think it would also be neat to learn how to embroider.

3D Wish List

In this class I want to utilize the 3D printer to make practical objects that I can use everyday. Kitchen utensils seem to be my focus at the moment, but jewelry, speakers, photographs and things of that nature will hopefully be in my future of creation.

Measuring Cube: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2676324

Shotglass: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:74829

‘A’ Cookie Cutter: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:602465


What excites you most about working in the ThinkLab?  What do you want to try to make?

I’m most excited about combining 2D art skillset with 3D work and various technologies. I’ve never worked with a 3D printer before and would love to incorporate it into some of my projects this semester. A few ideas that I’d like to make would have to be repurposing a remote to control the volume on my laptop, 3D printed photography or perhaps connecting LED lights to music inside of old video cassettes.

Motel of Mysteries

We’ve been excavating this dry earth for quite some time now. Days, weeks, has it been more than a month? Thankfully progress has been made and just this morning we discovered a burial chamber from the ancient civilization of Usa. Being of small stature, my excavation leader instructed me to go check it out first. The walls are very hard, almost concrete like, and covered in strange patterns that are peeling off towards me. Most of the room is still unaccessible from the layers of dirt, but in one corner something catches my eye. It looks like a chair made of pillows, very large pillows. It must be for many people or one very large person because I’ve never seen a chair that long before. I mean it is pretty comfortable… I need to rest my legs for a bit anyways and would much rather be in here than under that blazing sun. I readjust my position to get settled in, but I feel something hard under the pillow. I reach my hand under all of the pillow seats and, to my surprise, pull out a solid black object. Holding it out in front of me I couldn’t even begin to describe it’s irregular shape to you. I had never seen anything like it! It’s covered in soft buttons that come in a multitude of colors. Some have numbers and letters and others have very odd symbols on them. I’m baffled so I look in the pillow seat for more clues as to what this could be! Reaching back under the seats, I find another object. This one is more familiar to me. It’s like a pamphlet, yellowed and torn at the edges, with similar inscriptions on the paper as the one as the foreign black object with lots of soft buttons. Hmm… what have I discovered? You know what… I think this I a secret map and code that the ancient Usans used to hide their treasure! This was definitely hidden in this pillow seat purposefully so we wouldn’t be able to find it! The arrows on the object must show the directions in which the treasures are hidden. The numbers must be for passwords to get into the treasure chests or maybe other tombs where it’s hidden! The colorful buttons look like gems, maybe the object is showing what is hidden in the treasure chests! I have to go show this to my supervisor we’ve struck gold!!!