Aaron Silvers’ electroluminescent seasonally-inappropriate “cast cozy”.
My first foray into exploring the intersection between craft and technology.
Learning to skateboard at 40 (not having done it as a kid) is a classic example of JFDI.
I thought it should be rewarded.
Thank you Nick and Gill for the electroluminescent wire.
Thanks Aaron for the picture and for loving the present so much.
The classic 3 project constraints – Time, Cost / Resources, Scope.
Overlap ’13 was an opportunity to nudge up against all 3 -with the things I made.
1st example – Aaron’s Cast Cozy
Scope: Create a cast cozy for Aaron that lights up. Preferrably – in a really cool way.
Time: I had been kicking around the idea for some time. Unfortunately, pesky things like work and life got in the way of me making the base and sourcing the materials. I finally got started on Friday evening during Overlap. My deadline for completion was Saturday before nightfall. I figured this gave me 24 hours.
Cost/Resources: I had yarn and a crochet hook. I also had a pattern (basically – make a rectangle and sew it together, leaving room for his thumb). The human resource (me) had this skill set.
Risk: Since I didn’t source any fiber optics, LEDs, or any other materials outside of the yarn – I wasn’t entirely certain I could do the “electroluminescent” part of the project. I figured if I couldn’t find anything amongst the Arduino / craft stuff / techie folks – I would focus on making the cozy just epically ugly and christmassy.
I also wasn’t entirely certain that I had the technical ability to put the electronic part together in a way that would work. I failed at building a circuit board during my ill-fated attempt at electrical engineering. Fortunately, I knew there was help available to help me bridge the skill gap.
Thankfully – Nick and Gill were playing with something shiny. I told them about my project and they donated their electroluminescent wire to my project. And it had an unanticipated “disco light” setting! This is better than my original fiber optic / LED design. It was also all one piece – light AND controller – so I didn’t need to try and build anything.
Result: I managed to keep the scope – since it was pretty small. I made deadline – because I gave myself enough time to finish it. And I got lucky and found resources.
Project = successful.
2nd example – the artisinal spork. (The bottom hunk of iron)
Scope: Create an implement using the provided iron rod that has a spoon on one end. Seems “easy” enough.
Time: I had about 3 hours
Cost / Resources: I had iron rods, a forge, and about 2 hours of experience.
Risk: A potential “resource” problem. ie: the human resource (me). Please see 2 hours of experience….
The first attempt – I didn’t realize I needed to split the iron first (with some help from Dennis, Rico and Meg). So I had a pointy object that took me about an hour to create. 1 out of 3 hours down.
The second attempt – I managed to get the fork part finished. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the lesson I learned from building the leaf-tipped artisinal shiv (the top hunk of iron) and forgot to make the yoke so that I had more metal for the spoon bit.
Project = Partial Fail. Have the fork. Soup would take forever if I tried to use the spoon. I ran out of time.
I should have reduced the scope to focus on the fork.
These are small examples – but I’ve seen many large projects play out the same way.
Whether they liked it or not….