As our semester comes to a close, I want to reflect about certain things about our Artt2372 class and how it has affected me as a future art educator. Going into this course, I wasn’t exactly sure of what I was getting myself into. After all, I wasn’t very confident about my technological skills and what not but I knew that I wasn’t going to get any better if I didn’t tackle this head on. I enjoyed learning and working with a bunch of new materials such as the 3D printer, the copper tape, and LEDs that I wouldn’t have given a second thought before I took this course but now I have a whole new outlook on these materials and I hope that I can put them into my future curriculum(alongside traditional media of course).
I also sincerely enjoyed learning about just trusting the process and to unlearn my previous conceptions of only being worried about the end result which I know know that really isn’t all that important. Such as when Chele and I were working on our toy hack MI and we tried and tried so hard to make our contraption work but in the end, it’s alright that it doesn’t work as long as we got something out of it. And of course, this is something that I would love to teach my students since I think that we all get caught up in trying to make a pretty picture that we just end up forgetting about our journey there and how we managed to accomplish it.
So all in all, it’s been a struggle in this class but it’s a struggle that I needed to go through to understand things outside of my comfort zone so I’m glad that I took this class. (Also I’m planning to a get a 3D printer for my future classroom :))
In this week in our Artt 2373, we have been advancing along in our journey through out doing our impossible projects. For my impossible project, I am doing a 3D jigsaw puzzle with a 3D image on top of it. How I started off was by looking at Thingiverse for some inspiration on how to build my own jigsaw puzzle. I made my pieces (on Tinkercad) into squares with their lengths and widths a number divisible by 3 (in this case 18) and I made the tabs(the circular part that sticks out of the puzzle) 1/3 of the length of the side(which is 6 in this case) and then I 3D printed out some pieces as an example to see if it worked or not. I designed four pieces but I only printed two just to see if they would fit. Unfortunately they did not fit together, so I had to go back to the drawing board and I kept on looking at the pieces that I had printed out previously and I soon figured out that the pieces that I had printed before had slightly smaller tabs than blanks(the blanks are the “holes” part of the jigsaw). I went back and designed the tabs to be a little bit smaller(I cut the size down from 6 to 5.5) and I printed 1 out and it ended fitting with one of the previous pieces so I count that as a success in my book.
This week(and the previous week before that) our Artt2372 class learned about working with interfaces. The interfaces are add-ons to computers with can work with Scratch in order to act as a controller that isn’t the keypad on the computer. What I did was mess around with the device that I picked(which was the Makey-Makey) in order to figure out what exactly it can do. I figured out that a person is somewhat conductive to the point that if you hold onto one end of an alligator clip and attach the other to the EARTH part of the Makey-Makey and if you get another alligator clip and you attach it to a soda can then you can use the can as a controller which I thought was pretty cool and it’s a bit different.
This week, while our professor was out of state for the NAEA conference in Boston,MA, I finished my dream house material inquiry. I must say that I personally really liked doing this MI the most and I honestly might end up using 3D printing for my Impossible Project. So what we did for this MI was, we used a website called Tinkercad in order to create our idealistic versions of a house. So I saw that most people were doing regular rectangle shaped houses so I made mine into a star shape and I also added a privacy fence and a pick up truck to it. I really didn’t find this assignment to be very hard in my personal opinion and I really enjoyed myself making wacky designs in Tinkercad(that remain unused to this day) and I was super excited when I finally 3D printed mine and it turned out as amazing and I had hoped it was going to be.
This week in class, we worked on disassembling toys that we had brought from home and trying to make them do things that weren’t exactly what their original purpose was. What I brought from home was a stuffed rabbit and there wasn’t much to the rabbit besides stuffing so it was a boring toy to start off with, but then one of my classmates gave me the idea to combine it with her toy truck so that it could move on it’s own and make noises too. We took apart her truck, which was much more difficult than what I originally thought it was going to be, some difficulties that we ran into were figuring out how to get the battery pack off of the base of the toy truck without damaging the wires, and another one was how to fix the wires when they would come apart from the base of the toy truck. We eventually attached the wires back by using a small machine that would heat up and heat a piece of wire to make a bead to connect the wire back to the base of the toy, which unfortunately worked only for a short time as when we were putting the rabbit around the base it stopped working all of a sudden but hopefully we can figure out how to make it work again so that it can be a 100% functioning amalgamation of a rabbit and a truck.
I was honestly really excited about getting to put my toy rabbit together with a toy truck of all things due to it’s wacky appearance and while I was just going to originally just try to just put something simple in it like LEDs or a simple motor to try to make it move, I’m glad that I tried putting it together with the truck since it added a level of difficulty that I wasn’t expecting at first. I wasn’t expecting to actually have any difficulty with this but the challenges are what make learning a lot of fun especially trying to get over those rough bumps and seeing an amazing product in the end.
So this was our first week back to school at Texas State and boy can I already feel the pressure piling onto me from all the assignments we have to do and that are due quite quickly as well. However, despite that, I think that it’s going to be a decent semester! So what we did in our Artt2372 classes this week were that we made a tiny sculpture with two copper wires,LED lights, and a small battery. At first, I was somewhat confused as to what tinkering with lights and wire had to do with art(actually even now I still don’t get it) but it occurred to me that it had to do with finding a way to make something work even when you think that it doesn’t work. You see, I could light up the LEDs with the batteries on it’s own but when it came to lighting up the LEDs with the copper wire attached to them that’s when it wasn’t really clicking in my head for some reason.
Then I decided to change which side of the wires touched which side of the battery and that worked! So then I made another figurine with more than two lights, but it didn’t want to light up as the copper wires were touching even whenever I tried to keep them from touching so half of the lights were lighting up and the other half weren’t.
On the second day of class, we did a small activity where we rolled a die and put whatever we got on a separate piece of paper and then we put all of our papers together and shared what we did with the class. What we saw was that everyone had a different way of doing this assignment such as some people did theirs in a somewhat more orderly fashion like a list while others had a chaotic drawing of sorts. What this taught me was that even though people are given the exact same assignment, most people will give it their own creative spin on it. So that’s what we’ve done our first week back and I hope everything goes well this semester!