Tutorial I

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Creative Commons License

Size: 11×15″
Technique: Art mixes media techniques (Combining Analog/Soft circuitry and Digital Techniques)

Digital art is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as an essential part of the creative or presentation process.  In this tutorial we will learn how to make an abstract digital artwork and include a soft circuit to make it interactive. We will use conductive thread and AgIC’s circuit marker that contains silver, which makes the ink conductive, turning the paper into an electric circuit.

Soft circuits are a new alternative way to assemble electronic circuitry using conductive thread and conductive fabrics. This tutorial will be a combination of different techniques and creative process with technology . The goal is to explore new experimental opportunities for digital art education to engage in the soft circuits field.

MATERIALS

Circuit material provided by:  AgIC

Step 1

We will make an abstract digital artwork using an image-editing software. Will be inspired by the father of abstraction, Wassily Kandinsky

kandinsky_wassily_6Composition VII (1913)

Abstract art uses a visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.  What elements would you choose to emphasize? What are the most significant compositional elements in this artwork?

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Step 2

We will include a soft circuit  (color-changing tricolor LEDs and LilyTiny Arduino)  into the abstract digital artwork using conductive paint and thread as artistic material. Before we start,we should make first an analysis of the compositional elements of the artwork and learn how to make a working circuit and some soft circuitry creations using conductive ink or conductive thread.

Keep in mind that when you use these materials electricity becomes a medium of the visual arts. Because it is harder to balance a painting that has lots of elements, you could be use some conductive materials to hide the circuit behind the paper. Please, follow these principles of design to use  all elements  in the artwork (Check it in the glossary)

Balance /Emphasis /Movement /Pattern /Repetition /Proportion /Rhythm /Variety /Unity

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Step 3

Now, make a print of your abstract digital art. Before you start to add light and electronics components to the paper, try to understand the functioning of the circuit.Take your time to understand the systems and remember to take into consideration the concepts about soft circuits.

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Step 4

Keep in mind that the project contain all of elements. However, only a few are emphasized, in order to most effective visual communication.

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Step 5

To include the circuit, draw some areas of the circuit with Agic silver ink. You must press the marker against the ruler so that the ruler can be used to draw a line.

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Step 6

Use a sewing machine to complete the circuit. You will  fill a bobbin with conductive thread and then thread the machine. You might also sew by hand to make a connection between the conductive ink and the thread.

Helpful Tips:

  • Conductive thread tends to unravel easily, so it helps to put a dab of clear nail polish on your knots to make them stay.
  • When you include the electronics componets use a punch craft to make some paper hole punches.
  • Use a sticker to fix a battery holder in the paper

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Step 07

Once everything is put together, That’s it!

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Step 08

Making a soft circuit switch.  By mixing  conductive thread and wool yarn you can make easily a conductive pompom, just like you would make a regular pompom. You will need conductive thread, scissors, ball of yarn, needle, seed beads and  a PomPom Makers ( optional download the template)

  1. Pick up two pieces of the pom pom maker and hold them together
  2. Start wrapping yarn and conductive thread around them
  3. Keep winding back and forth until the semi-circle in the middle of the maker is mostly filled up with yarn and conductive thread
  4. Put the two bundles together so that they form a full circle
  5. Slide a pair of scissors between the two layers of the pom pom maker and snip the yarn
  6. Cut a length of conductive thread, slide it between the layers of cardboard, and wrap it around the “waist” of the pom pom
  7. Pull the conductive thread, and tie it in a knot . Finally, Pick up some seed bead and pass needle and thread down .You are done

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RESOURCES



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