Monday, October 17, 2011

Instructional Videos!

I tried uploading videos using the school's Piece of Shit IMac, and quite frankly, Steve Jobs blows, and his products (software products at least) are shit.

That's what I think.

So, anyway, I tried to give you an artisan's eye view here in the videos (I believe it's also called gonzo, or monkeycam video). Unfortunately, it would not all load properly and so I will offset the video with a textual description as well. But first, here's the setup I threw together in about ten minutes to get that crittercam experience to working:

The E coli bugs, the ones with the spermy tails, were made from a mold I made from some plastic jelly bean candy containers I found in the grocery store a couple years ago around Easter time. You soak the plaster mold in water. You pour molten wax into the mold. Let the wax skin up a bit over the course of a minute or so, pour the excess wax back out into the wax pot. Here's a video of that plaster mold:

Here's a quick video of my wax tools. Some of my wax tools:

Note in particular the carbon encrusted mini spatula like tool made from a piece of welding rod. This is the hot tool I use most often for "welding" pieces of wax together. You heat it up in the flame of an alcohol lamp, and apply it to the wax. I was not able to upload the latter part of the final video, which shows me using this tool to finish up the attachment of one of the tendrils to the jelly bean body, but you get the general idea. The touch and timing component here is key, learned from experience, as to how long you can apply the tool to melt the wax, as well as the interaction between gravity and the surface tension of wax to avoid drips and spills. It is part of the reason it would be very nice for the learner to experience what the artisan is doing. I think the combination of visual and haptic data would cut the learning time down by a considerable amount. The only thing better, of course, would be a download of my 20 years experience. Maybe. But then, if you can do that, what's the point? Right?


Anyway, here's the monkeycam video. It felt really weird manipulating the tools through the camera, but I could get used to it:

A final video, in which I attach a sperm tail to a jelly bean utilizing fire and a hot knife:

(Oh, and by the way, I just heard from Kohler! I was... rejected! 349 proposals for 16 slots. Eh! So what. Try again for next year).

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