My mentor is Philip from Juneau Projects. I’m really pleased about this as Philip and Ben create interactive art that requires the audience to interact with the artwork. I think Philip will really be able to hep me understand my Arduino and will be able to help me get the best out of it. Philip and Ben have been really kind and have let me bring Chester along too, Chester is very pleased. 

For the first half of the first session we had a long chat about what I’m wanting to achieve and how I’m hoping to do this. Chester spent the time investing the massive studio and hiding his chew. 

The second half is what really surprised me. As we popped out to fetch lunch* I spotted a piece of an arch at the bottom of the stairs. I’ve been wondering about arches and how to make them, I know how Gaudi made his but this seemed a bit unachievable in my studio. I chatted to Philip about it; I want my installation to be more solid than they are, I want them to have structure and not just be textiles. I love spaces that you can go into, I have made these but they are also hanging which creates problems as they take a long time to install and when outside the wind is a big problem. I also like the idea that my installation can be modular, they can come apart and go back together quickly. I’ve been thinking about pool noodles and how they can be used as an interactive element for children. We spoke about all this and when we got back we used Inkscape to draw the arch I’d been imagining then cut it using the laser cutter. It is brilliant, I’m so pleased with it!

When I become a fellow I didn’t think the laser cutter would be something I’d interested in, I’d used it university but maybe also saw it as a flat thing. Now I see it as something that can help me prototype modular installations. I’m over the moon with the discovery, 

When I got home I added pipe cleaners through the holes for the pool noodles and it looks great. It’s now time to scale it up! I’m going to draw it bigger in Inkscape and visit Pihilip next week to get it cut ready to take it to Mini Engineers at Coventry Transport Museum to try out. 

*lunch came from Kanteen at the Custard Factory and it was amazing, if you are in the area it is a must.