High Tea Exhibition

hi lovely readers…dani here. i’ve been busy getting some work together for an exhibition that just opened.

although i started the work ages ago, it was a long process of trial and error- so i was unsure if it would all come together.

IT DID!  major major sigh of relief.

i tried a new technique (for me) of applying decal images to porcelain. it was WAY easier than i anticipated…cut around image, soak it and the piece in warm water, separate image from backing, slide in place, let dry and fire in kiln!  AND you can custom print, so i think decals may feature in my jewellery and other work in the future.
now that i know this, i am surprised how much ceramic jewellery is out there with the same 5 blue japanese prints!  ah well, they are so missing out.  oh, and i almost forgot to mention…for this work, i wanted to match the rose print from my nan’s tea cup.  AMAZINGLY, we found the print and it looks almost identical (colour is a little off but you can’t really tell).

so, when asked to respond to the concept of taking tea- i was a bit worried.  i don’t ‘take tea’ EVER.  i drink tea like its going out of fashion, but the ritual of it is no longer around.  does anyone formally sit down and drink tea with cakes and napkins?

i started to think about madam brussels and the novelty of being proper and formal…because its SO far removed from how we live today.  in the end i decided to create fun and whimsical objects to emphasise that when we do these rituals now, its like we are kids again dressing up and playing pretend.

anyway, here’s the finished work and some ‘in the making’ shots. i guess now i’m an artist too! yay!

high tea on till feb 6 2011 at bundoora homestead

RepRap Build – Part 2

Well, another month has FLOWN by and it seems I’m not nearly as far a long with this printer buildup as I thought I would be… but fear not, there has been some progress.
I think having to wait a month or two for it to arrive took some of the motivation away from me as I kind of forgot about it until it turned up on the doorstep… and now it has become a hot summer buildup, not a wintery this-will-fill-in-a-few-evenings job like I planned.

Anyhoot, on with the pictures! Enough with the words!

When I last posted I had no idea what to do to begin building my Mendel (aka robot, aka printer) so I started on the print head.
That gave me a sense of fulfillment, but being a plastic part it didn’t really give me much insight into how the rest of the assembly would go.

So, I (finally) found the Laser Cut build images on the RepRap wiki and started from the top….

* note : the images on the wiki are kind of handy, as they show the finished product, but they’re in no way “instructions”.
I have been taking shots every 5 mins or so, with the intention of making a “how to” guide that is much more thorough when I’m done building mine.
If you’ve found your way here to learn how to build a Mendel, these images won’t be that helpful, they’re just me showing some eye-candy… check back here in a week or so and I will have uploaded all of my images to a proper Buildup page for you to scroll through and have a look at every bit in detail.


this is the general assembly of each of the bearing sections, using skateboard bearings to run on smooth steel rails.


This one of the the X-Axis (left to right movement) assemblies…


Some of the bolts and nuts on this thing required impossible angles… here’s me doing a level-47 Advanced Engineering double-nut-shifter move (which sounds like a delicious ice cream no?)


The X-Axis family = one evening’s work.

more bearings, this time with a stepper motor nearby… again, I apologise if you are reading this and going “so, what the hell, he isn’t describing a damn thing helpful!”… this is more for curious readers, the full How-To guide should be much more useful.


This is how it all moves, a belt running around gears and bearings in little washer-bound tracks. Nice and easy.


The Frog…aka print bed chassis.

… and before you know it, it’s standing up!
Well, after 2 or 3 more hours tightening and loosening nuts.


Some of these bits aren’t worth explaining out of context, but they make for nice photos…
(and yes, it is December 2010, not 1995 – I don’t have an iPhone, my ol’ Nokia does me just fine.)


Complicated as all #$%^ assembly of the lower part / print bed. This is what I did all day Sunday.


… but here she is!
The nuts are all loose, the wires aren’t connected and there is still a lot to do, but it looks like a Mendel!

So.. that’s where the printer is at as of today (Sunday) … Lets hope it can be up and running before christmas!

I have also been toying around with the David 3D LaserScanner software, and it seems I just need to get my hands on a laser pointer (i’m not that geeky, so I have never owned one) and BAM, I’ll be able to do low-resolution 3D scanning at home too!!!! Scanning + 3D software skills > Printer = replicating whatever I want…..

>>> 3D mesh >>>
[ Click the shoe image to see the detail you can get from a webcam and a laserbeam!]

On a more traditional note, I have also started another pair of shoes.

These will be the prototypes for Lauren’s raffle winning shoes (I know, I know, that was 6 weeks ago… really, I know)

And in my never-ending quest for more tricks of the trade, I hacksawed a shoe in half to get a better idea of thicknesses and where the innersole components start and finish….


Nothing tricky in there… well, there is a a shank and screws in the very middle, but I cut around them to save on 20 mins of sawing through spring steel.

And finally we, well Dani, has also had another major task on the go (there’s always one or two on the go around here) which has used up a few of our evenings.
She has just installed her first, proper, real artworks in the Bundoora Homestead Gallery as part of their High Tea exhibition!
I’ll let her explain it all  in a post this week… but here’s a sneaky preview of one of the pieces.

nice huh?

Listening to : Ragga Twins – Ragga Twins Step Out