10 DIY Thanksgiving Mason Jar Ideas

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Thanksgiving is coming up quick! If you’re looking for last minute DIY decor ideas, here are some that using mason jars. Mason jars are great for crafting because of all the things you can do with them! You can paint them, stuff them, hang them, and give them as gifts. And since there are lots of fun things involving painting, baking, and making, you can even get the kids involved too!


Ambulance Drones Could Change The Future For Cardiac Arrest Patients

Within the next five years, the chance of survival from cardiac arrest could rise from an 8 percent survival rate to 80 percent due to drones. Graduate student Alec Momont of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands designed an unmanned, autonomously navigating hexacopter that can deliver a defibrillator to a scene in less than half the time it takes an ambulance to arrive.

The drone would track the patients location from their mobile phone signal and use GPS to get to the location. Because most deaths from cardiac arrest occur within the first four to six minutes due to brain death, the time it takes to arrive on scene is crucial. These ambulance drones can get to a patient within an almost five-square-mile zone within one minute. Essentially a “medical toolbox”, the drone is equipped with medical equipment that anyone can use. Via a live stream webcam and audio connection, the drone connects to an emergency operator who can see what is going on at the scene and provide the person there with instructions on how to apply the defibrillator.

For more information on the future of this project, click here.


Eric Huebsch’s Humorous Blinking Rock Sculpture

It’s amazing how a simple thing, like adding a pair of blinking eyes to an otherwise inanimate object, can really personify it. Then set the mood with a powerful love song, like Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time,” and this blinking rock sculpture by artist Eric Huebsch just can’t help but look a little bit sentimental.

I was so amused by Huebsch’s sculpture that I got in touch with him to ask exactly how he made it and how it worked. He kindly informed me that the “rocks” were made from foam that he covered in an epoxy paste before he painted them. The large rock is hollow and contains the Arduino-controlled eye mechanism, which is triggered by a motion detector.

While I was working on the placement of the eyes inside the rock that Cher song came through my iPod shuffle and I started cracking up as the rock was staring and blinking up at me.

There’s just something delightful about seeing a rock look so affected by listening to rock music.

[via Lustik]


Talkin’ Tinkering with the Masters of Automata

Keith Newstead's pieces "In the Garden with Charlie" and "Sing Cats Heads"

Keith Newstead’s pieces “In the Garden with Charlie” and “Sing Cats Heads”

The Exploratorium Tinkering Studio invites all of you to join a Hangout this Friday, November 21st from 9am to 10:30am (Pacific time) to talk about one of their true specialties—Automata!—with some of their favorite masters of this art/technology.

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Joining the Tinkering Studio team will be a star-studded group:

  • artist Keith Newstead (whose pieces are at the top of this post)
  • Gautham and Vanya from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology
  • Monika and Allan from Lawrence Hall of Science
  • Brooke from Oakland’s International High School

While this will be tailored mostly for those who are teaching others to make automata, anyone and everyone is welcome. Karen from the Tinkering Studio writes:

We’re huge fans of automata here in the Tinkering Studio and think we could dedicate several hangouts to this topic alone, since it’s such rich territory for exploration. It’s one of those activities we think holds tremendous potential for making and tinkering, but isn’t the easiest one to facilitate in an open and “tinkerable” way — that’s why we think it’s worth thinking more about.

You’ll hear from an interesting mix of people, who will share their experiences working with automata in different contexts and thinking about the educational implications. We have a rough outline of what we’ll cover below, but it’s likely to change based on where collective interest takes us.

This hangout will be useful to both education and exhibit folks and those with an interest in arts education in general (think STEAM).

On the agenda:

  • Material possibilities / wire, cardboard, trash, flotsam, food
  • The importance of examples – figuring out what the right selection is
  • Automata Workbench: An interactive exhibit prototype
  • Trying to move it away from being step-by-step
  • Mini-revelations related to construction
  • Transition from intensive workshop to doing it on the floor
  • Automata artists
  • Training someone else to facilitate the activity
  • The tradeoffs in terms of creativity
  • Automata as part of arts education
  • Incorporating circuitry and linkages

Participate

This promises to be a visual delight. Join live or if you have to miss it, watch the recorded archive.

To be able to ask questions live, use the Google+ event page. You’ll need a Google+ account to participate.

Or view the hangout via YouTube, but viewers won’t be able to ask questions of the presenters.


Make Your Own Maps: DIY on GIS Day

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A Mapman coloring/comic book is one of many activities and resources on the GIS Day website. (Coloring by yours truly.)

Today’s the 15th annual GIS Day, “the annual salute to geospatial technology and its power to transform and better our lives” with over 700 events around the world. For example, in Indiana, drone-heads will collect GIS data with UAVs.

WTH is GIS, you ask? GIS stands for Geographic Information System, or sometimes people call it geospatial information studies. It’s your data-door to make the map of your dreams and analyze what’s happening in the world around you.

OpenStreetMap "is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world."

OpenStreetMap “is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world.”

The helpful open-source GIS site OpenStreetMap came in useful yesterday when I needed a simple vector map of the town where I live, for an activity I led with my son’s first-grade classroom. I know we’re all very used to using a certain ubiquitous mapping service to figure things out, but do give OSM a try and you’ll be happy you did. It’s a community-driven, open database collecting local geographic knowledge. My friend Jamie met OSM founder Steve Coast years ago, and remembers that Coast claimed to first get the idea after looking at GPS traces from London cabbies that somehow he got from a friend. He could make out the main roads (traveled many times a day by many cabs) as well as see where the mosques were. Check out this amazing visualization of how OSM grew in 2008, and notice the way entire nations, like the U.S. and India, would blink into existence on the OSM. (The visualization starts after 06:53.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpVf0SHgew0#t=653

Then, head over to OSM’s wiki to see how the community incorporates data captured by UAVs (drones) into the map database. Again with the drones! Well, long-time Makers know we’ve been excited for the possibilities of aerial mapping back to the days of Cris Benton’s Kite Aerial Photography in Make:01, our inaugural issue, and shared again below in this clip on Make:TV.

To continue your celebration of maps, check out Geography Awareness Week, which this week focuses on where our food comes from. Here’s one way to contribute: add some urban foraging sites in Edible Cities’ collaboratively built global map, which is expanding bush by bush and tree by tree.

Edible Cities tracks fruitful trees and bushes from New Zealand to Scandinavia. Clearly, there are a lot of trees and bushes to add!

Edible Cities tracks fruitful trees and bushes from New Zealand to Scandinavia. Clearly, there are a lot of trees and bushes to add!


How-To: Paper Embossing with Your Pasta Machine

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Upon a recent trip to my local art supply store, I discovered a new art material to play with–embossing foil. I was hoping to employ the use of my CNC paper cutting machine to help me create some precision impressions using vector designs. Unfortunately, swapping out the cutting blade for an embossing tool in my Silhouette cutter did not yield great results. The machine simply cannot apply enough force to actually emboss the metal I was using (36 gauge aluminum).

So I hopped on the internet to see how people do this without a CNC machine, and turns out stencils are a very effective way to achieve crisp and professional looking shapes. I was able to cut a cardstock stencil of my logo (backwards), placed the metal on top, and rubbed it with a stick of rolled up paper to get a gently embossed design. To crisp up the edges, still using the same stencil underneath as a guide, I traced the edges by hand using a metal stylus. The results are not too shabby.

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So after this mini victory, it got me to thinking about my stacks of scrap booking paper. I was curious about methods of embossing paper which I have seen before but never tried myself. This led to researching all types of combination die cut/embossing machines from companies like Cricut, Sizzix and Tim Holtz. Of course the frugal maker I am knew there had to be a way to make or find a simpler, less proprietary version of these machines.

The answer was no further than my kitchen! I just so happen to own a Kitchenaid machine with the pasta roller attachments. Apparently I am not the only one to think this could work. A quick internet search came up with this how-to from Jordan Hansen’s blog.

Her results are fantastic. I can’t wait to give this a try, and maybe make some pasta while I’m at it! I will probably buy some of the embossing folders to get me started since they seem to be reasonably priced, but of course I will come up with a way to make some custom embossing templates in the future, so stay tuned!

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Star Wars Fan Creates Insanely Detailed Cardboard Millennium Falcon

This was a fantastic experience! I made Millennium Falcons when I was a kid, but its been 30 years since I last made one. After working professionally now as an animation artist for many years (and reaching my mid-life crisis), I thought if I made another one, I'd go all out. So, mission accomplished! Cleaned out most of those boxes in the basement and have a five foot Falcon to show for it! My wife is thrilled! :-)

This was a fantastic experience! I made Millennium Falcons when I was a kid, but its been 30 years since I last made one. After working professionally now as an animation artist for many years (and reaching my mid-life crisis), I thought if I made another one, I’d go all out. So, mission accomplished! Cleaned out most of those boxes in the basement and have a five foot Falcon to show for it! My wife is thrilled! :-)

Thomas Richner may need to consider a career change. His hobby of recycling cardboard into interesting items, like an R2-D2 and a Millennium Falcon show enough promise that, well, someone should hire him to keep it up!

This incredibly intricate Millenium Falcon has actual retractable landing gear and details that are, well, out of this world! You can follow along while he builds it over 140 hours in the pictures below taken from Thomas’ imgur gallery.

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When he was done building, he took it to the Columbus College of Art and Design to do a photo shoot in front of the green screen. He brought along his paper mache R2-D2 for good measure.

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He couldn’t resist putting that green screen to work either!

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Ceramics Made From Controlled Explosions

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Traditional handmade ceramics can be quite time consuming to shape. Luckily, artist Adam Železný has innovated a new production technique for homemade ceramics that significantly speeds up the process. By embedding explosives in lumps of clay and detonating them inside molds, Železný shapes clay into forms almost instantly in a fantastic series of ceramic pieces he calls “The Blast.”

The Blast is a set of ceramics vessels that are shaped by a shockwave induced by controlled detonation. I am using a sophisticated system of explosive charges which – on basis of measurements and tests – determine the final shape of the bowls. As a result, I am presenting a set of different sized bowls which stand on the edge of fine and applied arts. The important point is the act of creation of the bowl. The blast, event, which itself lasts no longer than the actual detonation. A shockwave shaping the bowl is spreading at a supersonic speed and partially imprints itself into the ceramic mass. It is kind of a punk analogy to an industrial porcelain production, isostatic shaping, which is also based on the use of pressure. However with much lower costs and much different result classified as free ceramics.

Of course, the clean up time may be significantly increased by this spectacular process, but at the very least these ceramic pieces put on a great show!

[via Beautiful/Decay]


Sculpture Turns Coca-Cola Back Into Clean Drinking Water

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Artist Helmut Smits makes shockingly clever work from surprisingly ordinary materials. In fact, his recent sculpture simply turns one common substance into another by distilling Coca-Cola back into clean drinking water in a work called “The Real Thing.”

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Smits originally made a version of the work back in 2006, which consisted of an installation where Coca-Cola could be manually filter back into clean drinking water. This time, he developed a distillation process with University of Amsterdam masters student Martien Würdemann that simply collects the water vapors from a heated Coca-Cola bottle in a separate container, and then has minerals added to it to make it potable.

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Although there are a lot of interesting conclusions that could be drawn from the content of this work, when asked what his intentions were when he decided to make the sculpture, Smits explained, “I just want people to laugh and then hopefully think about the sh*t that they consume.”

“The Real Thing” is on display as part of Dutch Design Week 2014 and can be seen in an exhibition called “Sense Nonsense” at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, which runs until November 9th.

[via Beautiful/Decay]


Laser Show Lights Up Gothic Church In Paris

Filipe Vilas-Boas' laser display changes using text message commands sent from a smartphone.

Filipe Vilas-Boas’ laser display changes using text message commands sent from a smartphone.

 

If you’ve ever looked up at the night sky and wondered, “Can I ever make my own constellation?” Now you can. Filipe Vilas-Boas, a French Interactive Art Designer, designed a way for you to create your very own constellation, with the help of some lasers and a mobile phone.

Spectators are encouraged to send texts to a PC that changes the laser parameters.

Spectators are encouraged to send texts to a PC that changes the laser parameters.

 

Vilas-Boas’ installation is established as a series of colorful laser beams, controlled by a computer, which responds to wishes of a standard text message. Spectators (and arguably, ‘artists’) can command the computer to display streams of lasers by sending it a text message containing a number that corresponds to a specific area within the space. When laser beams intersect in a specific way, it forms a gothic-like cross, in all its multi-colored glory.

The interactive laser display is being featured at the Saint-Eustache Church in Paris.

The interactive laser display is being featured at the Saint-Eustache Church in Paris.

 

The interactive art installation is currently at home at the gothic Saint-Eustache Church in Paris, France. The project is called “Shooting Thoughts,” as the designer believes the view is, at any time, a representation of the collective thoughts of the people experiencing the beautiful “night sky.” Vilas-Boas believes that stars are representative of the human experience, since both individuals and stars create their own “trajectories,” at their own speeds.

If you’re in Paris, you’ll definitely want to check out the light show. If not, scroll down to see the gothic church in all its glory. And you thought colorful lasers were just for raves.

To see more of Filipe Vilas-Boas work head over to his tumblr page.