Tag Archives: art

An inspiring tale of lifelong learning

Unlike many who shared stories of childhood inspirations, Mr Davy Young tells us a different tale, one that can inspire lifelong learning.

IMG_0277smallMr Young is a ceramic artist in his late 60s and he picked up pottery as a hobby when he was in his mid-50s in preparation for his retirement, attending basic courses in ceramic arts at a Community Centre. As Mr Young is a nature lover (having spent his childhood in the countryside), his ceramic art tends to incorporate texture formed by tree-bark and tropical leaves. In 2003, Mr Young was inspired by beautiful ceramic leaves made by British artist Ms Judy Brown, whose artwork was featured in a magazine. Mr Young corresponded with Ms Brown who shared some basic steps on leaf-making. From then on, Mr Young devoted much of his spare time exploring techniques to perfect his skills in leaf-making, developing his own artwork style in the process. He proudly shared that each leaf is unique because they were made using impressions of a freshly-plucked leaf, and they were both ornamental and functional.

Sometime after Mr Young retired from the workforce in 2010, he was encouraged by his potter friends to consider selling his artwork on the market. Encouraged by his friends’ support, he began to take part in art markets and approach some retail shops to carry this artwork. His artwork has since been carried by the gift shop at The Botanic Gardens and a shop at Haji Lane under the label “Leaves with Memories”.

Mr Young’s story is a good reminder to us that it is never too late to learn. We hope this story inspires you and that you will share this admirable spirit with those you know.

Come by Senja-Cashew CC this weekend to check out Mr Young’s work pieces at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire! He will also be giving a “one-session only” demo on ceramic leaf-making on 27 July, Sunday from 2.45 – 3.15pm.  See you there.

Crochet. Knitting. Yarnbombing

crochet

Crocheting a 3D butterfly

Crocheting has always been close to my heart, something which I learnt from my Godmother and from my Primary School’s Art Club. I always find it therapeutic. However, I do not have much friends who share the same hobby and I also crochet less as I started picking up other hobbies later on in life.

Hence, imagine my excitement when I got to know makers [through the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF)] who also crochet and knit. For example, we have Ling Ling (SMMF12 & SMMF13 Maker), Huey Ling (SMMF13 Maker) and Agatha (SMMF13 Maker) who crochet different kind of things using different kind of materials.

Last year, Ling Ling even took it a step further and ran an “Intro to Crochet for Beginners” workshop during our Singapore Mini Maker Faire!

How the SMMF yarnbombing project was started

Pittsburgh Andy Warhol bridge

Pittsburgh Andy Warhol bridge which was yarnbombed (http://knitthebridge.wordpress.com/) (Photo credit: Christina Saucedo)

I first heard of yarnbombing last year, around the time when we held our second Singapore Mini Maker Faire. The vibrant colourful yarnbombed trees and giant structures online caught my attention. The shared yarnbombing projects also captured a bit of attention on our Singapore Mini Maker Faire Facebook Page.

But it was earlier this year when yarnbombing was brought up again. Agatha was inspired by a yarnbombing project in Hong Kong and re-ignited the discussion again. A few of us were enthused enough to start moving into action and before you know it, the first yarnbombing project under the Singapore Mini Maker Faire was initiated.

The yarnbombing project would not have been possible without the strong ground-up initiative and support. Agatha shared how she has got to know Mona and a few other ladies from the sewing community, and how there was a good response to the suggestion of yarnbombing.

Mona, currently an active quilter, works closely with Agatha to spearhead this yarnbombing initiative. She shared that she had volunteered to arrange for a craft meetup for the followers of “The Sewing Network”, a Facebook group for those who are interested in sewing and needle crafts.  During the discussion about the exact crafts that could be brought to the meetup, the yarnbombing idea popped up and grew.

It is always nice to know how ideas fall into place nicely like that. :P

The yarnbombing begins…

With Agatha and Mona helming this project, a date for the first yarnbombing session was fixed very quickly for 1 May, Labour Day public holiday at Science Centre Singapore.

Yarnbombing (1 May)

Yarnbombing (1 May)

The initiative moved in an organic fashion. When we first met, there were only 14 of us, including two young children of Kiruthika, the lead organiser of this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire.

Most of us did not know each other, and we spent some time introducing ourselves while we crochet or knit. It was a cosy and fun session.

The group decided that we will use one of the railings at the turnstile area to be our pilot yarnbombing spot.

We crowded around the choice location and quickly set to work, choosing the pieces to combine around the railing. Before we know it, the job is done, and we had an impromptu yarnbombed railing at the front of the Science Centre!

Yarnbombing 1 May II

A project under the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (Photo Credit: Kiruthika)

Then the group asked “What’s next?”. One suggestion was to yarnbomb the animatronic dinosaur in front of the Centre. We went to take a look, and once again very quickly made plans for a giant scarf. Everyone were excited to meet again for the next session and we set the next date on the spot, 24 May. The next few weeks saw furious knitting and crocheting by the many enthusiasts and there were a lot of sharing of progress online.

24 May morning was a busy morning. Twenty volunteers turned out to assemble the granny squares into a scarf which ended up to be 6.2metre by 0.4 metre long! We were all truly amazed by the efforts both by those who contributed their granny squares and those who turned up to help with the assembly. It was heartening to also see some volunteers who came to learn and contribute too, one male volunteer included!

yarnbombed dinosaur

We were also glad that the yarnbombing project received media attention and subsequently reported in Straits Times Life! and Zao Bao after the event. Besides giving attention to the yarnbombing project, it was great that they also highlighted the Singapore Mini Maker Faire. Hopefully with the media attention, we can garner more interest both in the Phase 2 of the yarnbombing project (we are moving on to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire venue!) and the Faire itself!

Interested in yarnbombing or to learn knitting or crocheting? We welcome you to join us at the Senja-Cashew Community Club on 22 June, 10am – 12pm where the next phase will be embarked. If you are able to join us or wish to contribute 4 x 4 inch granny squares, do contact Agatha and Mona through the Yarnbombing Singapore Facebook Page or email to yarnbombingsg@yahoo.com.sg.

Want some take-away from “Science-Art Fusion”?

When I first heard of the title “Science-Art Fusion!”, I thought that was both telling and not telling. The title suggested some interesting showcase of both science and art, yet I remained clueless on what it is all about. Hence, I attempted to find out more from Jolyon Caplin, our returning maker who showcased the Jolyonophone at last year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire!

According to Jolyon, “Science-Art Fusion!” is meant to be a slightly mind-boggling theme for his booth, but he also heartily acknowledged that it is the sort of things he does all the time!  He highlighted the general acknowledgement by the public on the increasing integration of the sciences and the arts, where the boundaries are becoming indistinct. He noted that art has used – if not embraced – engineering for many years, and that engineering (particularly in the commercial sector) has employed art more and more.  Hence, his interest lies at showing people how a simple home hobby can satisfy both the technical and artistic interests at the same time.

He hoped that many people will be attracted to the combined sound, light and movement that he is preparing for his booth.  Generally, you can expect to see unlikely things (like bulldozers and F1 cars) dance to music, with a light-show to compliment the whole thing.  There will be radio control and microprocessor examples – but everything will be easy to understand – and quite inexpensive to follow (No Arduinos, contrary to current trends!)

Hence, Jolyon visualised his showcase to appeal to both the young and old.  He aimed to make it exciting to watch and yet inspiring enough for people to want to make these simple things for themselves!

Jolyon acknowledged that he had practically no time to prepare for this year’s Faire but he is nonetheless still looking forward to it. This was especially since he had a great experience from last year, where he picked up 3D printing with home-made designs, where his 6 and 8 year-old girls became very good with Trimble Sketch Up and now want him to print everything in plastic. Isn’t it great that we all have some take-away from the Faire, even though you already have your fair share of hobby indulgence?

If you would like to take-away some inspiration from Jolyon, drop by his booth at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire at SCAPE Warehouse this weekend! Keen to check out what he showcased last year? Check it out here.

So, see you at SCAPE this weekend!

About Adrian Koh and “Art and Kits”

Adrian Koh

Our next Maker, Adrian Koh, is an engineer in the factory automation sector who recently discovered the joy of incorporating art into his electronic toys, despite his disdain for art during his school days.

At his Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012 booth “Art and Kits”, Adrian will showcase interesting artistic projects made with electronic stuffs and off-the-shelf DIY kits.  

How his passion grew

Adrian shared that he has always been fascinated by visual display using lights.

Through our interview, Adrian revealed that the growth of his passion for electronics could be traced to an electronic kit making class that he attended at the Science Centre Singapore in 1986. He was only in Primary 6.

Adrian’s workspace

Since then, electronics became both his hobby and his study discipline. During his Polytechnic Final Year Project, he created a 96 by 96 LED matrix board to display graphics via a self developed PC software.

Three years ago, his hobby moved to the next level when his cousin in the advertising line invited him to use his electronics knowledge to create some visual displays for his client.

PIC micro-controller that can create light animation effects

The PIC micro-controller art piece shown in the picture above is Adrian’s pride. He shared that the PIC was used popularly by hobbyists before Arduino came along. The LED bars can be lighted up speedily column by column and the intensity can make it appear like a full screen displaying an animation. Adrian had plotted the animation graphics on an excel sheet which was subsequently converted to meaningful data for the PIC micro-controller, an activity which he strongly advocated for the training of both the left and right brain. To Adrian, there is a great sense of satisfaction doing this despite it being mind-boggling as well!

While he pursues this passion largely on his own, he has a friend who shared the same interest. That is the same friend who introduced Adrian to take part in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, so that they can promote the learning of electronics via DIY kits.

Fun with Arduino

Besides the PIC micro-controller, Adrian also plays with the Arduino. His first project was a 1-minute count-down device to allow his niece and nephew to monitor the time when playing games! Isn’t that cool?

1-minute count-down device

It turns out that Adrian also try to cultivate the interest of his niece and nephew in electronics by getting their help with simple tasks such as placing of components and even simple soldering of some of the DIY kits he puts together. Adrian’s niece and nephew must be the envy of many. Not many Singaporean children have the chance to have customised toys, not to mention having the chance to make them!

 Adrian’s belief

 According to Adrian, relearning art gave him a new perspective to things. Contrary to his early belief, he now feels that it is equally important to develop the left and right brain, to allow creative thinking to dream and create ideas and to develop logical thinking to plan and execute those ideas. With this, Adrian began to put together hobby kits to help people develop themselves in these two aspects.

Check out Adrian’s booth if you would like to find out more about his projects and his hobby kits.