make:shift and other mashups

I’ve been watching the live streaming of the craft council’s make:shift conference. It’s been really great – I think I can see and hear better that I could if I was there, plus when I get overexcited – as I always do – I just tweet too much, instead of disturbing the conference! Win, as the young folk say.
 
geather clothesLauren Bowker‘s talk about heat- and pollution-sensitive dyes – the feathered coat illustrated changes colour with pollution levels – was a real case study in the cross-over of science and art. I found it very compelling that she’s interested in being able to show pain and distress through non-verbal means, because of her own experience with a broken back. This emotional grounding in usefulness means it’s easier to take the high-fashion trappings, which of course bring great PR and funding for her, too.
 
The-Unseen-Lookbook Prof. Roger Kneebone is a surgeon, who passionately believes in the need for craft skills. He brings cross-disciplinary teams together to improve surgical processes – like lacemakers, tailors, and surgeons to talk about thread and sewing techniques. More importantly, these groups sew together: sharing tacit knowledge – things you know, but can’t tell, as Polyani puts it. Tacit knowledge was the next big thing in business consulting when I left in 2005 – something that needed to be managed as workforces started hot-desking.
 
There’s be more from the conference tomorrow, streaming from around 10am. Make sure you have unlimited broadband…
 
LED Badge programmingThere’s also a programme of open maker’s spaces running Friday and Saturday. I’ve visited the London Fab-lab, when it opened, and I think you are better off going to a place which is running a course (like the Machine Rooms, which are making electrified hand-puppets). Otherwise, you need a really clear idea of what you want to do, like have something laser-cut. It can be quite hard to engage with the machines and electronic components without some project on hand.
 
Art HackThe Guardian article: ‘Is art hacking yesterday’s news’ explains some of the difficulties of enjoying an art hack without being a geek. The picture says it all, really: lots of sitting around a computer. Hacks at the Big Bang show, although designed for kids, at least guided the playing about and culminated in a discrete object.
 
I came across a wonderful soundscape this week. Combine seagulls, waves, and rain, put your earbuds in, and enjoy some ambient noise. Art concealing art!
 
william by Ann KingstoneOver at Ravelry, it’s Indie design ‘gift-a-long’ time. This charming pattern by Ann Kingstone is 25% off there. Thanks to Louise at KnitBritish for the tip. If you ever though the Internet was just geeks and games, then Ravelry will be a revelation. It’s a huge community of knitters, weavers, dyers, and spinners sharing ideas, patterns and projects. It’s not the easiest site to navigate, and you have to creat a login, but for us knitters it’s worth it. You are guaranteed to be able to find someone who has already knitted with the wool you are thinking of buying, however obscure.
 
I’ve finally got my kiln working, with a lot of anxious hovering. I finally fired my first batch of test ‘pods’: now to refine them!

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3 responses to “make:shift and other mashups

  1. So much exciting stuff here. Thanks for mentioning the Make: Shift live streaming – not that I can watch as I’m in giddy goat mode, but good to know it’s there. Had heard about Kneebone (such a wonderful name for a surgeon) and his cross-disciplinary work, but very good to be reminded. Thank you! I do enjoy your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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