Be still, my Cretaceous heart

After months of planning and consultation with several helpful nerds, I’m pleased to present my latest art work! I made this piece specifically for the Dinovember art show at the Toronto Etsy Street Team Gallery in Toronto. If you’re in the area, you can check it out until November 14th.

Here’s the video of the installed piece. You’ll want to be in a quiet space and crank the volume up – the music is subtle even in situ, and my phone didn’t pick it up as well as I’d have liked.

 

I had to learn a few new tricks for this project. The sound (an original composition by Brian Engh, used with permission) is controlled by an Arduino Uno with an Adafruit Music Maker shield. I used copper wire for the veins on the exterior of the heart, and these are attached to the stack to act as antennae for the capacitive sensor. When you approach the heart, the sound is triggered.

Here are some making-of photos :)

 

The heart itself is earthenware clay, and based on a chicken heart. The magnolias I sculpted from Fimo. The cycad and ferns are synthetic, but the moss and lichen are real, and the blue morpho butterfly is one I pinned myself at a workshop a couple of months back :)

I learnt to solder (thanks to Ele Willoughby, who also talked me through the whole process and dealt with my panic and terror with infinite patience and grace), connect speaker wires, and splice a USB cable to a power connector. I read a lot about resistors and capacitance and absorbed only barely enough of it to get this working, albeit with room for improvement.

And now I’m thinking about my next Arduino project ;)

 

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#sciart find of the day

I just realized “of the day” makes it sound like I do this daily. Yeah, right. I barely manage to …uh nevermind *cough*

So, today’s very cool science art comes from California, where some dude named Mark makes crazy stuff out of metal. He makes some very pretty garden art of a more standard sort, but what caught my eye is this brilliant Stegosaurus:

il_fullxfull.718653765_ofbo

I’m also mad about his Ammonite sculpture:

il_fullxfull.581478465_s16x

Go on and check out his other cool stuff in his Etsy shop, MANmadeMetal.

#sciart find of the day for 2015-04-16

Today’s (first ever!) #sciart find is from Etsy (naturally) shop CottonCrustacean. The artist, Aaron John Gregory, is a San Francisco-based illustrator and cartoonist who specializes in wildlife and palaeontology illustration. His Etsy shop is chock-full of beautiful prints and screen printed shirts featuring his incredibly detailed and scientifically accurate works.

Trilobita

toxoceras

argonaut

 

 

 

 

Click the images to go to the listings, or check out the CottonCrustacean shop here.