Steampunk-ish project update

I love working with Oak and Brass. Both are amazing materials and the aesthetic qualities of the finished product is very appealing to me. Brass is inherently non magnetic, conductive, easy to solder, retains it’s shape, and gets better with age.  Oak is likewise non magnetic, duh.  However, it is non conductive, easy to shape, durable, takes stain nicely, and is hard enough to make intricate shapes with.

I enjoy making 3 D art (I don’t call it sculpture because it is more of an assembly process) however, I like my art to be interactive and move if possible.  Here are two examples:

img_1738  This is a little rocket ship I built a few months ago.  I wanted to show a work in progress, kind of like exploring a house under construction.  Its fun to see how things work and what the construction process looks like.  I don’t have a video of this one, but if you look close at the base there are two tiny holes.  These are on all three sides.  They are infrared range finders.  They are connected to a micro controller that changes the color of an ultra bright LED under the rocket.  This is set up to change the color and brightness according to the distance the range finders are from someones hands.

This little device has no useful purpose what-so-ever.  It uses a PIR detector to detect when a person (Or dog) passes with in a few feet to the left.  Then it runs through a 30 second routine where it stirs the glass rod, spins a little gizmo, and changes lights.  Silly, but kind of fun to watch. Yes, our dog was quite interested for a while.  My wife inspired me to build this after watching a Harry Potter marathon.