Author Archives: Erica (Yiyun)

Week 11 – Erica

For the exercise for week 11, I combined the shape memory alloy with the thermochromic ink, and the sensor I used is a pressure sensor. The circuit was turned on when I press the sensor and the alloy started to move. I was trying to mimic the motion of leaves becoming dry in the fall and changes color at the same time.

Week 10 – Erica

For the thermochromic ink exercise, I made two conductive thread embroidery where the shape/characters are sewn underneath the thermochromic ink swatch, and one thermochromic ink swatch with the same color drawing on it.
I found out that mixing the black powder with fabric glue works pretty well because of the glue dried up clear, so I can use a black pen to draw on it.


Week 9 – Erica

I chose to use conductive threads and sewing machine with the 3 swatches and picked a fabric that matches with the metallic conductive threads. Sewing the threads close to each other was harder than I thought, but it was good to get some practice.

Week 6 – Erica

The first one is controlling the circuit with a button, I used the force sensor from the swatch exchange with the Calibration code, so the sensor can turn on/off the lights and control the brightness with the input force.


For the second circuit, I use the force sensor to control the 3 LEDs and they will light up one by one based on the input force value.


For the midterm project, I want to design an origami lamp with colorful organza fabric. The circuit will go inside and underneath the origami and the fabric will be the light defuser. I might incorporate the new Gemma M0 I just got into the lamp but it depends whether if I can figure out how to use it or not.



Week 5 – Erica

Nodes and connectors

The two nodes I created for this week’s assignment are 1- LED textile node and 2 – fabric battery holder. I solder the LEDs on the fabric ribbon then sew it on the base. I used conductive thread and metal snap buttons to link this node to the battery node. The battery node is also on top of a piece of fabric swatch and has conductive threads with metal snaps. Two of the connectors are made with conductive thread + metal snap and the other one is made with the little clips from Liza.

The tool I want but does not exist yet is a sewing machine for conductive threads and conductive materials. The current machines are not always great with conductive threads so having a machine just for that will make my life a lot easier. Maybe the bobbin and needle are made with special material.

Week 3 & 4 – Erica

The switch I created is called ‘Fold-n-Twist.’ The switch will turn on the LED when the user folds and twists it back and forth. The materials I used are fabric, yarn, conductive fabric tape, and threads. I bonded two layers of fabrics together first to make it stronger and thicker. Then I place the conductive fabric tape on both sides of the fabric and they have to be uneven. Lastly, I sewed the yarn on top. The LED will not light up when the user is just folding the swatch because the yarn covered the tape, so the twisting movement is needed.

I tried to create a conductive pom pom at first but it didn’t work well, and the LED is really dim. Maybe the yarn is reducing the conductivity of the conductive thread.

The new craft I learned is creative weaving. I’ve tried basic weaving before and I really want to try making creative swatches where I use many different types of materials. I like how the outcome is spontaneous. So I used all the scrap pieces of yarns and ribbons I have at home and I made two swatches. It was harder than I thought because it is hard to line up materials of different thicknesses. My advice will be plan a little bit before starting even though this is supposed to be creative and spontaneous.

I identify myself as a designer(clothing – not fashion), craftsperson, and a semi-artist (lol). I’ve been using these terms to describe my practice for a while now. Working with my hands comes in natural for me and I am usually pretty OCD about the craftsmanship of my work. My favorite tools are my hand and the sewing machine. I am really glad that my hands are somehow pretty ‘tools-friendly’ and they work really well with the sewing machine. The two can create beautiful things together.

Week 2 – Erica

I was inspired by the quote “Adventure is out there!” from the movie ‘UP’. I really like the how colorful the movie is and the balloon element. So I decided to create the balloon house scene and integrate the LEDs into the balloons. The mediums I chose are fabrics, conductive threads, and embroidery threads.

I started by drawing out how to connect all 6 LEDs together with the battery, then I sewed them on to the fabric.

I dyed a small strip of fabric with watercolor, cut them into balloon shapes and sew them on top of the LEDs for diffusing. Then I added more embroidery threads next to the conductive threads so they look like balloon strings. Lastly, I did a small embroidery House and sewed it to the bottom.