eTextile Class Recap

48 hours of intense learning, sharing of ideas, products and eTextile love. Sparkfunʼs eTextile maven Lynne Bruning reports on her latest progress of mating textiles with microprocessors.

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On January 15th and 16th, SparkFun and eTextile guru Lynne Bruning hosted an eTextile class at SparkFun HQ. Here is a recap, guest-written by Lynne herself:

The eTextile workshop with visiting instructor Troy Nachtigall was so chock-full of cranial-cavity explosions of awesome that I am still reeling from aftershocks and information overload. When the group gathered in SparkFunʼs Classroom on Saturday morning, I said that the serendipity of organizing this event was so unreal that I was positive we were in for a once-in-a-life-time weekend. And that it was.

Class members busy working on their projects.

SparkFun hosted 17 national artists, programmers and innovators that traveled to Boulder to share and expand their dedicated interests in Arduino programing, sewing and textiles. Troy guided the participants into the depths of LilyPad Arduino programming while I focused on textile techniques, methods and materials. However it was the participants that made the class a unique petri dish of art and technology cultures.

Museum administrator Janet from the Science Museum of Minnesota brought her first LilyPad project, the Velvet Glove.

When Angela Sheehan of Soft Circuit Saturdays decided to fly in all the way from Boston I knew the class would be great. The next day I learned award-winning felter Pam Sager was driving up from Houston, a super sleuth I-canʼt-tell-you-the-name programmer was arriving from an undisclosed location, and Regina Benson - an international award winning textile artist - would also be present. It was then I knew the weekend would be cross-pollination of exceptional talent, knowledge and connections.

Marie Carmel
, weaving instructor from Austin, weaved with LEDs, conductive thread, and straw.

By Sunday night the participants had exchanged contact information and begun planning collaborations for projects, regional classes and a Flickr group to share pics of the weekendʼs progress. SparkFun gained new insight into the possibilities of eTextile design, product development and hardware needs. And I was confident that I would organize another eTextile event with SparkFun very soon. If you want first dibs on my next eTextile workshop watch the Sparkfun homepage or follow my fan page where I post class and lecture announcements.

Super shout out to the SparkFun employees Linds, Lindz, Dia and AnnDrea that made the workshop run smoothly and even opened the shop so the participants could purchase products for their next eTextile project. And to Plug and Wear for sharing the latest in knitted conductive perfboards, conductive ribbons and fabric sensors.

Comments 9 comments

  • BB / about 11 years ago / 1

    Just curious, what was the (estimated) gender ratio at that particular class, and how did it compare to other classes you've hosted?

  • Greek Goddess / about 11 years ago / 1

    After attending a number of eTextile workshops in Amsterdam at Mediamatic, I miss this workshop 70 miles north of me. I blame the build up to Free Day.
    Maybe next time.

    • Lynne / about 11 years ago / 1

      @greekgoddess if you ping me here I'll invite you to the next informal pasta making eTextile dinner in Denver. groovalicious, yes?

  • pyrofx / about 11 years ago / 1

    Wow, weaving with conductive thread and magnet wire. That's eTextile commitment!

    • Lynne / about 11 years ago / 1

      Indeed this was an extremely talented and dedicated group of artists, professors and programmers. An honor to know and work with them.

    • Member #158243 / about 11 years ago / 1

      Yea, 'cept the magnet wire doesn't actually conduct.. just looks cool and confuses people-- marie

      Wow, weaving with conductive thread and magnet wire. That's eTextile commitment!

  • mrtimklein / about 11 years ago / 1

    [Fyi, the links for Flickr group and Plug and Wear are malformed.]
    Very timely! I'm expecting my first LilyPad etc from SparkFun in the mail today! Thanks for posting this and the pictures.

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