Category Archives: Week 5: Learn a New Craft Project

[Week 5] Reflection

How I identify Myself:

The three classifications I feel most attuned to are coder, learner, hacker.  I definitely used to identify with gamer, but as I’ve gotten older I find myself playing less and less games.  In my younger days though boy was I a voracious consumer of video games, much to my parents chagrin.

I identify as a hacker in that I am great at pulling together things I’ve found that fit a project I am working on and slicing them up and retooling the bits to fit my need.  I definitely don’t see myself as a hacker in the traditional sense of trying to break into computer systems, but rather the hacking I refer to is modifying and changing some basic bit of code of base project, and building off that to save myself the time of starting at ground zero.  I feel this has suited my nicely as it’s allowed me to get more done for my coding projects since I can skip a few preliminary steps!  This has been particularly helpful when coding animations as 99% of the time something similar has been done, so it saves quite a bit of time looking at the structure of those projects and then carving it up to suit my needs.

I classify myself as a learner because I am a voracious learner.  Learning a new skill has always been something that engrosses me.  I absolutely love diving into a new area, especially one that involves making something.  This has served me greatly as I have taken journey that is learning how to code.  With coding there is such a mammoth amount of different things to learn in the subject that I am never bored!  The one downside to my appetite for learning new things is that I don’t always stay on one subject to truly master it, rather I have moved onto the newer and more exciting topic to learn.

Lastly I classify myself as a coder.  It has been a rather long winded journey to get to the point where I consider myself a coder.  My first coding class was in undergrad, and it was about as stale of a class as one could imagine.  This severely turned me off from programming as my teacher made it more dull than doing microsoft excel all day.  Flash forward several years when I was working with microsoft excel all day, hating life, I remember starkly thinking “man I wish I learned how to code.” My boss at the time turned me onto codeacademy, and away I went with igniting my passion for code.  This really came to a head when I met my fiance Alex Samuel, who was plugging away in her first year at DT fresh out of the fashion world.  She was doing really cool projects with both physical computing and software coding, while I was counting the hours in a day at my boring job.  She hammered the fact that she had no coding background before entering the program, into my head and it really gave me the confidence to apply to DT.  Flash forward a year an a half later and I am coding away, enjoying every moment of it.  When I first entered DT I was big into pcomp, but as the year went on I got more and more into coding, especially openFrameworks.  Now most of my projects are strictly code based, and I really enjoy the act of digitally creating art with the simple logic structures that make up software coding languages.

Favorite Tool:

My favorite physical tool is (this may sound weird) a pair of scissors.  With scissors I can shape a whole wide range of objects to suit my needs, from pcomp wires, thin tubing (with strong scissors!), to construction paper and cardboard.  I love the ability to shape things to my exact needs on demand, and scissors are usually the best tool for this.  When I got my newest phone I found that it required a smaller version of a sim card.  Instead of going to the store right away I looked up a DIY way to trim down your old sim card and away I went.  With meticulous and small increment cutting, I slimmed down my old sim card to fit my new phone.  It turned out that the chip itself was not compatible with my new phone so it was all for not, but the act of modifying the old chip to perfectly fit my new phone was an enjoyable one so the time was not wasted.  I thoroughly enjoy being able to mold things on my own and to my needs without having to purchase a specific object, and scissors are an incredibly useful tool for doing this.

Favorite Craft:

I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to needle felt from Sarah.  It seemed like such a silly endeavor at first, and one that I thought couldn’t possible make little objects like in the picture, but I was quite amazed when after many minutes poking away at this ball of cotton fuzz, substantial objects soon formed.  After this I began to find myself with wads of this felt in my bag as I constantly made little goofy items with it.  It definitely was a painful learning process as many a time the needle would enter my finger instead of the felt and boy are those little suckers sharp as all hell.  After quite a bit of trial and error my stabbing became more precise and the amount of blood drawn began to diminish.  If I could do something differently when learning this craft, it would definitely be to have taken it slower.  Rushing these little felt objects is a quick way to finger pain as the material is so loose at first you have to really squeeze it together with your fingers.  This causes the area to stab to be rather small between your fingers so if you are careless you’ll often find yourself needling your fingers.  Now in practice I don’t know how careful I would be if I got to do it over as I am a rather impatient person and one who likes to bull rush his way through new fields, so most likely I would have ended up with the same amount of scabs on my fingers even if I had the forewarning of the pain to come

Week 5 comments – Michael Glen

Hello, I’m a maker, designer, artist, learner


Identity can be complex, titles such as craftsperson, coder, educator and engineer seem to imply a professional identity that I wouldn’t identify with. Whereas maker, learner, gamer, storyteller seem more descriptive of activities on would enjoy doing. Thus I’m a maker if I like to make, but not a craftsperson if I like to craft.


My favorite tool is a smoke machine! Remarkably versatile when combined with lights to create all sorts of atmospheres.
I enjoyed the craft learning exercise, I think it reinforced the community aspects of traditional craft learning using shared knowledge. Which is something different and important than the same knowledge conveyed via a youtube video.

Week 5_Self Reflection

At this stage in my life, the words I use to classify myself are constantly changing. However, there are a few titles that are simply a part of who I am no matter what.

Maker – I’ve been a maker my entire life and have the ugly hands to prove it. Also, during my time in the School of Building Arts at SCAD I was able to take my interests further and fell in love with everything from woodworking to digital fabrication.

Designer – I consider myself a designer because the intention of most of my work is to solve a problem, and to create a symbiotic relationship between form and function.

Learner -. I may not have realized it until college, but learning is awesome. Whether it’s from a book, a TED talk, or experience learning is invaluable to me.

Fixer – If it’s broken call me and I’ll fix it!

There are many tools that on any given day I consider my favorite however, I always have a bottle of Loctite Super Glue Gel Control. I have tried almost every kind of glue out there and this one is by far the best. It dries quickly, but you still have a small window to make adjustments. It is completely clear, and doesn’t get cloudy. It’s very strong, and I’ve yet to find a material that it doesn’t work well with. Unlike traditional super glue it’s a gel, not a liquid, therefore it doesn’t run in places you don’t want it to. This combined with the bottle’s side squeeze design make it extremely easy to control.

In a nutshell….it’s amazing.


The new craft project was a great experience. Not only did I enjoy learning how to crochet with Max and Bina, but also from the other group presentations. I particularly liked the repetitive nature of crocheting and how fast it is, especially when compared to knitting. This makes the overall process very soothing and satisfying. Next time, however, I would use wool yarn, as opposed to cotton, because the strands have a tendency to unravel making it hard to pull the hook through. I would also use a crochet hook with a longer shaft because it would be easier to hold and keep proper tension on the yarn.

Though I really did appreciate all of the group presentations, I found sewing the most intriguing. I grew up seeing my mother sew and have a bit of experience myself, but I always get annoyed with the machine and give up. I have never seen a machine like the one used in class, and look forward to trying it out.



  • First of all, I am a Learner, I’m open-minded and ready to learn anything and are not afraid to explore and try out different things. We came into this world knowing nothing, I am who I am because of the things I’ve learned throughout my life.
  • Artist: I’m a artist. I perceive the world through an artistic lens. I started interacting with the world with a brushstrokes when I was 4 and never stopped expressing myself through art ever since.
  • Maker: I like making original stuff. Creating things are fulfilling to me. For example, I like transforming waste materials (trash, cardboard, plastic) into decorative artworks. I make gifts for my friends and family. I’m interested in making visually appealing artworks or everyday use objects to make my daily life more enjoyable.
  • Designer:  Design is innovation. It is stuff created by innovative people to bring changes into the world they live in. It is an output of people’s creativity. The core identity of Design is change and improvement. It is the results of un-satisfaction toward the way things are around you and the urge to be part of that change. I’m just entering this field to become a professional one day. So I’m starting to identify myself as Designer.

Favorite Tool:

Currently, My favorite tool is glue gun. It glues everything and lasts! It can easily add on different materials to my project, which gives my work different textures. It glues cloth, button, wool, feather, wood, plastic, stone, etc. Basically anything. There’s no smell and it is see-through! The only downside is that it can only be used indoor.

Learn a New Craft:

I’m a visual person. I learn better while someone is demonstrating how to do a craft instead of reading about how to do it. I think that is why I like crafts so much, because seeing how things are done with my eyes reflects in my brain better. My brain works faster with graphics. Just like the Economist E. F. Schumancher said “The human being … enjoys nothing more than to be creatively, usefully, productively engaged with both his hands and his brains.”. My hands and brains coordinate better with visual instructions.

I like making stuff. Using my hand to create things is very fulfilling. And each time I look at the things I’ve made, the memory flashes back. I feel happy and content to look at what I’ve accomplished.


Reflection (Week 5)

I’m a designer and engineer. I have an engineering degree in industrial design. I’m also a storyteller. I tell a story in every project. I think the story telling methods are very important in design projects. And I’m always finding new possibilities to tell stories.

My favorite tool is paper. The fastest way to organize my thoughts and ideas is writing them down. I also love doing simple sketches and folding paper, not only for the design process but also for fun.

I really love the way that several people get together and learn something new. It’s a lot of fun to figure things out together. I may never be willing to learn weaving by myself. But in my group I enjoyed the learning process. The demonstrations and hands-on activities in class are really helpful to give a quick taste of each craft. By trying a little bit of everything, I quickly found out I don’t quite like knitting and love needle felting. Showing others what I have learned was very satisfying. The only frustration is that after a few days I started to forget the skill. I believe it takes more repeats to get really familiar with it. Next time I would probably finish a small piece beforehand and show the final result before the hands-on activity.


  • How do you identify / classify yourself? Choose as many as you would like from the following and feel free to add to it. Briefly explain why you chose them.
    • storyteller
    • maker
    • engineer
    • coder
    • designer
    • artist
    • learner
    • hacker
    • research
    • educator
    • gamer
    • craftsperson
    • [other?]
In my practice of designing and creating I find that classifying myself as a few “things” isn’t possible. The reason for this is simply context, the context dictates my name, my purpose, and my cause. I will say this though, I am a creative, whatever that may be. I am a creative individual and I will be able to do that until the day I die.
  •  What is your favorite tool and why? (I’m going to put one restriction on this – you’re not allowed to say computer:)
For me, the tool of choice is something that has lasted the test of time. For as long as I can remember, this old, scratched pair of multi-purposeful wire cutters have been in my life. From my childhood, anytime I would help my father work on a project, those clippers were always close by waiting for the next task. It was the multi-versatile ability for any project that has made the vintage clippers a long lasting favorite tool mine.
  • Reflect on your experience learning a new craft (both independently and from other people in class) and teaching it to other people. Some questions you could address: What did you like about the process? What was frustrating? What insight did you gain? What would you do differently next time?
The process of learning how to knit had quite an impact on both myself and the class. First, it brought me back to my roots. Growing up with a grandmother who was a retired home ec teacher made my life interesting. Who could say most of there winter hats were made by their grandmother? or that they ate a 12 course meal? (this is half true). Second, being able to fully learn one of my grandmother’s craft reminded me of my appeal to traditional methods and crafts. That connection to the physical feels so visceral. Lastly, when teaching to the class, I felt a connection to each individual I was teaching. How I learned the craft was translated to them in a specific context and also through the lens of someone who is left handed. This was both amusing to watch and also a bit frustrating at times. The insight that I gained from this was more from the teaching aspect. Having this be hands was a key component in engaging the audience as well as reinforce my efforts in a positive of negative way. This was a great class in that I was able to not only learn a new craft on my own, but with the whole class as well. Unboxing the traditional crafts is best for use in order to understand our roots and make a real connection with the build and components of our projects.

Reflection (Week_05)

I am a designer who loves sketching, drawing, making things, and conceptual thinking. My background is in graphic design, but I’ve always wanted to be an artist, and called myself an artist until I was an undergraduate. I know there is no strict boundary between art and design, but I think I became a designer because I had more opportunities to do practical designs in the aspect of business rather than expressing my feelings, emotions, and philosophy in design. I think I found that I enjoy doing practical designs to solve some problems or to create useful services, packaging, and products for people’s better life. I like helping people with creative designs. I believe that creative designs make people happy and help make their life better. That is why I love design and I identify as a designer.

My favorite tool is scissors because I can create anything that I didn’t expect, and it gives me a feeling of freedom and pressure at the same time. The reason I feel this way is because scissors are a very simple tool but it is never a easy tool because it is dangerous sometimes. The most interesting thing about scissors is that if I cut something with scissors, then I cannot go back to the beginning. It is a simple tool but should be used carefully. It makes me think twice about everything before doing something.

I really enjoyed learning a different craft last week. I think sharing skills by demonstrating and active hands-on was a very effective way to learn various new crafts quickly. I never knew there was a variety of fun hands-on crafting if I were not taking this class. It was fun and I also enjoyed taking orientation for wood working with my group. I wanted to try wood working before but I haven’t had the chance to do this because I mostly work with my laptop, even though I love making things, but thanks to this class I made it. Teaching what I’ve experienced was satisfying, but It was a shame that I couldn’t push more to do this for others because wood working was really fun. I liked active hands-on craft processes but the only thing I was frustrated about was that I couldn’t follow crocheting… I need more time practicing to get familiar with it.

Isabella_Reflection_(Week 5)

I always find it hard when someone asks me to classify myself in a career field. I constantly see myself in several and often all these overlap each other. So I try to not pay too much attention on what category I am or to judge my work but always keep doing and let the viewer classify the work I do however they want to. I believe classifying the work is easier and more specific, instead of classifying the person. The person is so complex that whatever he or she is, there is always more to it. At this moment I would say that I identify myself as an artist. An artist who is a designer, maker, storyteller, researcher, who is learning how to code and to become an educator. I choose an artist as my main category due that to my past experience classifying myself like this has given me the more freedom to express myself and to let my work be whatever it wants to be.

My favorite tool at the moment is my burgundy mechanical pencil. I enjoy so much how precise and graceful it is. It gives me the sense that all my thoughts can come out easier through this pencil. Also, its strong point helps me open, bend and manipulate different materials whenever I don’t have any other tools!

Sometimes I am very impatient and whenever this is the case, learning a craft becomes very stressful. It doesn’t matter if I’m by myself or with other people. Somehow I get the idea that I “should” be able to learn a craft very easily and therefore when I’m not I do not enjoy the process. The times that I have been able to slow myself down and notice the details of the craft and my hands working with it, are the times that I’m not even paying attention about the final look of the product but at the process of it and it is when I enjoy my time and I learn so much more than I expected about the craft and about my abilities. I think teaching a craft to someone else takes time, patient, the ability to listen and understand the other person. It is very much like having a clear open communication with another person and it is not always easy. In order to teach a craft one does not have to assume anything about the person but come at it with an intent to pass information and enjoy the time together.

Learn a New Craft: Sewing with Jane + Cathy (Week 5)

This week, Cathy and I learned how to use the sewing machine that’s kept on D12 above Sven’s locker (to the left of the bathrooms – also, not sure if this is it’s permanent place, but that’s where it is now). The machine that we have is a Brother CS6000i….and it’s great. It’s computerized, meaning it comes programmed with a bunch of different stitches/patterns, and has a ton of features that make it super easy to use.


Brother CS6000i

There are three main things that you should know in order to start sewing:

  1. The parts of the sewing machine
  2. Winding/Inserting a bobbin
  3. Threading the sewing machine

(and then, of course, actually sewing) :)



These are the basic parts of any sewing machine:

  • Spool/Spool Pin
  • Bobbin Winder
  • Thread guide
  • Needle Threader
  • Needle Plate
  • Presser Foot

And this is a diagram of the specific sewing machine that we’ll be using:




In order to start sewing, you’re going to need a bobbin that has been wound with thread.

To wind your bobbin, put the bobbin spool on the bobbin winder pin on the top of the machine next to your main spool of thread. Next, follow the diagram at the top of the machine,  weaving the thread from the thread spool around the guide and back to the bobbin. Finally, turn the bobbin winder, turning it off when the bobbin is full.

CompCraft-Sewing-2 CompCraft-Sewing-3


Once you have your bobbin wound, follow the diagrams on the base of the machine to properly insert the bobbin. Every machine is different, but ours makes it really simple by providing a clear guide.

CompCraft-Sewing-5 CompCraft-Sewing-6


CompCraft-Sewing-7 CompCraft-Sewing-8 CompCraft-Sewing-9


Just like the previous steps, you’ll follow the visual diagrams printed on the machine in order to thread the needle. First, you’ll move the thread through the guides down to the needle. Next, you’ll use the machine’s built-in automatic needle threader (!!!) to actually thread the needle. Here’s a video that shows an up close view of this awesome feature in action.

Once you have your bobbin and needle ready, you can start sewing! This machine has button controls to control the speed and direction of the stitch. You can also change the type of stitch using the LCD display and inputs at the front of the machine.

This is just a brief overview of what we’ll be showing you tonight, but hopefully you feel a little less intimidated about sewing! Bonus: here’s a picture of the inside of the machine since we love hacking electronics



Reflection (Week 5)

How do you identify / classify yourself? Choose as many as you would like from the following and feel free to add to it. Briefly explain why you chose them.

  • maker
  • student/researcher
  • designer

I think this is a really interesting/important question to pose to us as students in this program. This was a question I had to ask myself when considering graduate school – when I wasn’t totally sure how to put into words what I enjoyed doing, how to categorize my work, or what I wanted to do when I “grew up”. That’s why I’ve always loved the word “maker” as a title: it’s vague enough to include multiple disciplines, but descriptive enough to emphasize the act of “making”, of creating new things that are tangible or material. I also consider myself both a student and teacher. I always try to learn new ways to make things or express ideas, and try to share my methods and ideas with others. Finally, I would also call myself a designer. I studied Visual Art and Art History in college, and always felt really dissatisfied with my studio art practice. I felt that I was creating things that were briefly shown in a gallery, possibly/passively experienced, and then archived, never to be seen or used again in the real, physical world. Because of this, I chose to study design – where my work would be not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and purposeful.


What is your favorite tool and why? 

My favorite tool is tape. More specifically, I love two different types of tape: electrical tape and gaffer’s tape.


Electrical Tape

Electrical tape is great as a quick, easy insulator for conductive materials. I always have some around whether I’m using wire or conductive thread. It also helps to hold things in place temporarily while I’m testing circuits or making sure I don’t have any issues with short circuits.


Gaffer’s Tape (i.e. the best tape)

Gaffer’s tape has been my favorite “tool” since I discovered it in my high school photography class. It’s usually used for stage lighting or to secure cords to the floor, a task that it’s great for as it’s similar to duct tape in that it’s super strong, but it can be easily removed from materials without leaving sticky residue. It has a matte fabric backing, making it awesome to use when labeling things or when you want to use tape that looks a little more “classy”. The fabric backing also makes it really easy to rip with your hands (like duct tape). Basically, it feels like it should be this heavy duty, super temperamental / permanent tape, but it’s really forgiving: it doesn’t stick to itself, sticks to (and comes off of!) all sorts of materials, and is durable while also being aesthetically pleasing. I’ve literally used this tape in 20+ different ways and find new ways to use it everyday. 10/10 would recommend this tape to anyone who has never heard of it. It’s great. Go buy it.

Also, Wikipedia does a great job explaining everything that makes Gaffer’s tape the best:

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