Storytelling with Light

Storytelling with Light

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Difficulty: 3  (1 = easy, 5 = hard)

This Make was created by The Maker Jawn Team (as represented by K-Fai Steele, Goda Trakumaite, Sari Widman, and Shanise Redmon) @makerjawn

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Welcome to the fifth Make Cycle in the 2014 Making Learning Connected Collaboration!

This week (or anytime, really), using some sort of light source, and any materials of your choosing, we want you to tell a story.

Some tools we have used in the past for this project include LEDs (we source them through Amazon), coin cell batteries, and various arts and crafts supplies. We like to use recycled, found materials as much as possible, and occasionally our prototyping lab looks like a thrift store exploded.

We like to use recycled materials not only because they’re cheap, but because there’s less at stake for a learner to risk if they ruin an old pizza box, as opposed to an expensive construction kit. Our activities are designed to be not only low-cost, but low-barrier to entry.

Inspired by Squishy Circuits, we’ve often been able to rope participants into engaging immediately with play doh, a 9-volt battery, 10mm LEDs, and alligator clips.

We introduced 70 college-bound students this summer to different kinds of zines, including the 1-page, single-sided zine.

After learning how to fold an 8 page book out of a single sheet of paper this 8 year old girl made a story about her sister as the “light” in her day.

Did you know that Wednesday, July 9th was Hack Your Notebook Day? Learn more about Paper Circuits, mentioned in Make Cycle #4).

copper tape circuits

Check out glowdoodle, designed by Eric Rosenbaum (also creator of MaKey MaKey) at the MIT Media Lab. Another similar resource is long exposure photography, which the Exploratorium covers well in this link.

You could also just design an object and tell a story in an entirely different way!

Whatever you make, we hope you’ll share it with the community by putting in your example below!


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1 Example Completed for this Make

  1. Light painting
       submitted by Karen Fasimpaur

    Descriptions of my ongoing adventures with light painting. Thanks for the inspiration CLMOOC and Maker Jawn. This was fun.

4 Tutorials Created for this Make

  1. Light painting tutorials
       submitted by Karen Fasimpaur

    This is a whole series of short tutorial videos on light painting from a variety of artists. They’re excellent and represent a variety of techniques and effects. Highly recommended.

  2. eTextile how to videos
       submitted by Karen Fasimpaur

    How -To videos series about the basics construction of DIY soft circuits, eTextiles and wearable tech from Instructables

  3. Squishy circuits
       submitted by Maker Jawn

    “Making play-dough creatures is fun, but making them with light-up eyes and moving parts is even more enjoyable. We thought it would be better still if we could make the circuitry out of the dough itself!” from Make

  4. Light painting
       submitted by Karen Fasimpaur

    This post from DIY Photography takes you through the basics of light painting.

Creative Commons License
This work by The Maker Jawn Team (as represented by K-Fai Steele, Goda Trakumaite, Sari Widman, and Shanise Redmon) @makerjawn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.