I'm definitely regressing.  Just give me a battery, some tape and a motor and I'm as happy as Larry...


Not really sure where to start when writing about today's Random String session. Feel like I’ve covered lots of stuff. It’s been part show-and-tell, part art therapy and part tech advice with coffee and some records thrown in too.

Dom’s given me an introduction to Glitch Art: Tinkering with the code of a .bmp image file using text editor and preview, images can be manipulated from original (top) to glitched version (bottom), by simply deleting or changing sections of ‘discrete’ code (the code you don’t see, but is what the digital thing you are looking at or hearing is made out of -as I understand it).

Glitch Art diagonally distorted version of Promotion Brooch by Fliss Quick.
Dom then showed me how it was possible to put the code from the same image into a sound programme (in this case Audacity) and listen to the image, so to speak.

Finally, we then used Audacity to manipulate the code by applying effects to the sound and then transferred this code back into visual form. In this instance we used an echo effect- you can see this visually translated in the images below:

Glitch Art version of Promotion Brooch by Fliss Quick where Audacity has been used to create a slight echo in the image.

Glitch Art version of Promotion Brooch by Fliss Quick where Audacity has been used to create a series of echos in the image.


Not sure where I'm going with this, but there is definitely something rather pleasing about the vibrating wire.


Still feeling a bit wobbly about the tech- like I said, I'm used to sticking stuff together until something makes me laugh.  So today, this is exactly what I did.  I have been playing about with the motor out of a milk froth-er. See film clip below.

Letting go of the self imposed proposal, and in approaching Random String in a similar way to how I would normally work (playing), everything starts to feel easier.

I never normally plan what I'm going to make, it sort of just comes together- eventually.  Its a pretty hit and miss way of making, but I enjoy the process of discovery, rather than a design and build job.  Through the play aspect, I discover (sometimes) some good stuff that I would never have thought of if I were to plan.

Saying this, I'm still longing to get to grips with a bit more tech, and I'm really looking forward to my next session with Ash and Dom at Ludic Rooms for some more pointers to see me on my way.


I've been meaning to try this for sometime now.  And as I'm doing the Random String Residency it felt like a suitable moment to give it a go.  So today's tinker has been to prototype a brooch pin switch.

A glimps at a sketchbook which shows some diagrams of how to make a brooch pin into a switch for an eletrical circuit,

Testing a hacked childs toy for placement of a potential switch.

A hacked childs toy which has been sawn down to remove the unnecessary parts.

A prototype of a brooch pin which acts as a switch for an electrical circuit, here the switch is open, and so there is no light.

A prototype of a brooch pin which acts as a switch for an electrical circuit, here the brooch pin is closed and the light is on.

The front of a prototype circuit brooch, with an illuminated LED.

Prototype circuit brooch being worn.
Images from the top: Page from sketchbook, checking to see whether my theory worked, an edited down version (surplus removed), pin open- light off, pin closed- light on, the front of brooch (bear in mind this is a very rough prototype), trying it on... with oh so flattering blue up-lit effect - i think not.


Had a delivery yesterday courtesy of Ludic Rooms... One for inspiration and another for getting me started.  Have sat and nervously looked at my Arduino Uno for too long!

Two books, the one on the left is entitled 'The Art of Tinkering' and the other book on the right is entitled 'Programming Arduino'.


Spent a great morning goofing about with my stepson with 'Makey Makey'.  Here's a little clip:


Its been a couple of days since meeting with the chaps from Ludic Rooms, and I'm not feeling so tech savvy without them about.  I've spent a large part of today reading up about Arduino and having a look at some projects which use this little computer.  Feeling inspired yet a little bit daunted.

Decided to give myself a refresher of the things I learnt on Friday in an attempt to ease my self into things.  Here are a few clips:


Had my first Random String solo session with Dom and Ash from Ludic Rooms on Friday.  Had some hands on circuit bending induction- learning how to fiddle with the sound from musical toys. Think I may have found my new obsession here... So much fun, and not as hard as I'd thought it might be.  I've been set home with a bag of goodies to play with, so hope to update a few things over the next week.
An anotated diagram of simple circuit bending.


Jaki Coffey email me recently to let me know that I'd been immortalised in the NCAD library.  Feeling slightly giddy about having my name on there. Glad to see someone else's workbench looking quite busy.

Jaki Coffey is showing her work at New Designers this year, so I recommend everyone pops along to see what she's been making.  I particularly love the 'Nit' piece on her blog.  Looking forward to seeing what she's going to make next! 

A book by Jaki Coffey entitled 'Narrative Found Objects and Play in Contemporary Studio Jewellery and Metal Objects with Reference to Fliss Quick'.


Although I'm only at the initial stages of this residency, I'd like to invite you to see what we've all been up to... Plus, there's a fab opportunity to pitch a proposal for a £500 'seed investment'.


I've been up in the Shetlands for a week or so hunting Vikings and for the Up Hely A' Festival.


Delighted to have been selected for the Random String Residency with Ludic Rooms.
Met the team and had a play with some tech a few weeks back and discovered my inner geek.

Here's a pic of some bananas wired up to activate keystrokes... What does this mean?  The potential to write a novel using bananas... its amazing what you can do eh?