Fiber and Electronics
Dates: July 15th-26th
Fibers and Electronics is a module that pushes the limits of traditional fiber design and art. In this course, we will build electronics upon a foundation of craft: imagine clothes that can understand and regulate your temperature, or pants that charge your phone as you walk. With everything in our society becoming ‘smart’: phones, TVs, microwaves, cars, etc., why should our fibers and fabrics be any different?
This class will seek out many different fibers and their uses today. Look around you -- a lot of what you see is made from fiber. Humans use fibers in clothing, textiles for the home and workplace, medical care, and industry, for starters. We will research the differences between natural fibers, such as cotton, wool and bamboo, and synthetic fibers to gain a deeper understanding of how fibers help us live comfortable lives. We will learn the basic arts of knitting, sewing, crocheting, weaving, felting and dyeing in the classroom and take day trips to local businesses.
We will also learn the basics of electronics: circuits, switches, sensors and lights, before diving deeper into simple microcontroller programming using the sewable Lilypad Arduino.
Then, as students design and integrate basic circuits into their projects, we will wire it all together with conductive thread to create light-up hats and spinning crochet creatures. We will also do some coding while we play with the Lilypad Arduino, which will allow us to make 'smart', soft projects like light-up quilts, temperature sensing shirts, pong, turn signal jackets, or anything else that you can imagine!
Cheryl is a graduate student at UAF in Structural Geology. When she's not in school, she teaches science and math for the Fairbanks School District or helps Fort Knox find gold. In her free time, she is usually tangled up in some fiber creation. This includes yarn projects in crocheting, knitting, weaving and felting but often also includes sewn clothing and quilts. Most of her inspiration comes from the outdoors or the activities that she enjoys such as hiking, ballet, gardening, yoga and raising sheep and chickens. Cheryl says, "I want to branch out and try something new! A mix between fiber arts, electronics, wearable technology and design allows integration with science and art."