made by hand

made by hand | cardiff city hall | 2014

fab seeing my work out in public again. and i think the juxtaposition of ceramics and maker pieces really works. our booth is right next to one of the making spaces that will be used for workshops throughout the event so hopefully a high footfall.

ingrid said it was an intriguing object to have at the front of the stand which i’m taking as high praise 🙂

crystal radio at made by hand

getting the piece finished in time for the show was a pretty steep learning curve. we managed to realise about 80% of what i was aiming for, which isn’t bad going at all. the plan was to have motion sensors on each side that would trigger one of 4 different audio tracks to play (each a world band radio recording) and we achieved that, with the nice added detail that we have a short “retuning” track that plays inbetween the “station” changes.

our downfall was power supply issues. jon had warned that this was likely to be the case, and suggested a mains input running through the plinth might be the most effective solution. but i was really keen to make the piece wireless so to this end the arduino, sound card and sensors are driven from a 4xD battery pack, while the speaker/amp is rechargeable. i managed to allow the power to run down overnight, so for th opening morning the piece is plugged in to charge, and those pesky power lines are still causing me consternation 😀

radio insides

what i am happy with is the decision to keep the underlying electronics visible beneath the radio cityscape. in one way they have their own beauty – and this could be refined in future by swapping out components for more aesthetically minimal alternatives. but mainly i love that you can see the messy heart of the piece, in the way that a city has a whole world of cables and sewers and tunnels below that keep it functioning.

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