October 2012 Archives

Quick and easy- a pen case built with the ultrasonic welder

As the title implies, the ultrasonic welder is a super accessible, easy to use machine. With brief planning, a small project like this can be finished in under half an hour. The pen case in this post was made by our new volunteer, Alex Newby, with a special pocket for her pen nibs and space for her ink container.

Blue tarp pen holder.jpg

You can see the darker blue lines where the seam was "melted" into the material.

Blue tarp pen holder closed.jpg

Trimming the edges makes the project look clean. Since the seam is the same throughout the whole width, you could trim some of it away if you want a smaller more discreet seam.

tarp trim scraps.jpg

2 minutes work, and you have the start of an abstract piece:

trim scrap sculpture.jpg

Making large embroideries

By cutting an image into quarters, you can make much larger images. With careful registration, the border between each piece can be seamless. Ashley Kreidler embroidered one of her drawings using this method. She embroidered it onto thin fabric that she had printed with various textures.

Printed fabric for Ashley's project.JPG

Re hooping the fabric and carefully moving the embroidery file on the screen helps you line up each line and area.

Ashley's project, re hooping the fabric.JPG

Diligence pays off! You can only see the border if you know it's there!

Ashley's project, with a seamless border.JPG

The final piece came out great:

Ashley's project finished product.JPG

She remade the file in a smaller size. Halfway through the sewing, she switched colors. Because of how the machine maps the stitches, it is not a simple half and half with a clear line. Check out how it mixed the colors:

embroidery color mixing.JPG

Jurg Lehni- artist using vinyl cutter type technologies

This piece was exhibited at the Graphic Design: Now in Production show at the Walker Art Center. It utilizes a plotter very similar to the vinyl cutter we have in the eStudio. The program he designed for viewers to use was specific to the project, using the "void" area, the negative cutout space of the circles to create words. Viewers were invited to enter their own words, see them cut out on the plotter, and take the newly created artifact with them.


updated drivers and perfect aspect ratio!

All of our computers now look like a million dollars! This affects the digital embroidery computer, the vinyl cutter computer, and the 3d imaging computer.

B'reisheit by Rachel Levine


This was the first project made using metallic thread, and it went great! The text reads "In the beginning, G-d created the Heavens and the Earth." This piece explores the artist's explorations of the relationship between science and spirituality.


She hand- dyed the cloth using tea.

B'reisheit 2.JPG

The full piece features digital print transfers...the negative space repeats the tree again at each end.

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Deconstructed Horse

David Gibson created this embroidery from a picture which he cut apart, rearranged, and scanned. The arrangement creates a feeling of motion and chaos between the elements. He was able to program in some very specific textures at varying angles which added to a feeling of movement within each block of color. Hopefully we will have a picture of the final project soon!

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Hydroponic Curtain

A truly inspired project came out of the interdisciplinary class "Biological Body" taught by Diane Willow last year. The class was geared toward getting art students and students from other disciplines to work together and use their diverse problem solving processes together. Terez Iacovino and Laura Bigger, grad students here in the art dept teamed up with Artemis Ettsen from the architecture department to design and construct a modular, self-sustaining garden to hang in the skyway between the East and West art buildings. A pump system cycled the water from the bottom back up to the top, where it ran down past the net-pots and kept the plants watered. They used the ultrasonic welder here in the eStudio to make water tight seams in some parts of the thick plastic. They used the laser cutter to cut the net pots that held the ceramic balls that kept the roots moist and held the root ball of the plants.

Window Garden prototype 1.JPG

Window Garden Prototype 2.JPG

The final project hung in the skyway for several weeks, keeping plants alive automatically!

Window Garden Front Angled View.jpg


Collaborative Project: experimental paper/fabric making!

Joni Christenson has been making her own squares of fabric, layering materials and melting them together (non-toxic!). This picture shows a square made from Angelina fibers (made to fuse together) layered around some fancy yarn. Embroidery on it by eStudio tech Jennica Kruse.command screen 048.JPG

Vinyl Cutter Demo with the Graphics Revolution Class

Yesterday we had a fun demo on the vinyl cutter with Jenny Schmid's class...everyone was very excited by how easy the process is...from Illustrator to the cutter in seconds! We were able to do a few different test cuts, and this image here shows a sticker that Andrew Hoffman cut in white vinyl and stuck to a classmate's back, shown in front of the computer screen featuring the digital file on the screen.

vinyl demo Oct 2.jpg