Where do you get your parts?

Melissa Glick, Hacker Creations

This is the most common question I am asked at craft shows.  Here are some of the more interesting origins.

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I once received a box of working clock inserts in the mail. The return address was from Malden but I did not recognize/remember who it was from. They have roman numerals but take an unusual battery. Thank you to my donor!

My childhood friend was clearing out her house to be sold and bequeathed upon me her family’s first PC. It was an IBM from 1987. I remember watching Karen annihilate aliens on a tiny 5″x7″ monitor.

At a crowded Flea market a gentleman told me he had some printed circuit boards. We met at a cafe and he gave me 2 boxes of green, shiny as new boards of all sizes. These are samples he said. Let me know if you want more.

 

July 6/17 I saw a black box on the side of the street the other day…. I thought about picking it up but I walked by. Then next day, it was still there, so I took a closer look. It was a 5 disc CD player. So I grabbed it and put it in the back of my car.  I opened it up and found a piece resembling a huge black plastic throwing star. I’ve  opened one of these before, but it did not have this design. I was most interested in the black plastic pieces, I photographed against a green background.

I started off making Joseph Cornell-like boxes using the things my father had saved in the dungeon of my childhood home. The house I grew up in was being emptied out to be sold.  Examples of my oldest work.

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Fellow Artisan’s Asylum members offer me their cruft, (left over parts of unfinished projects, surplus materials.)  Generally happy to see them being put into some kind of use, even if it isn’t electronic.

Once after doing a workshop at an after school in Southie, I was “paid” with a tower of PC’s they were upgrading from. Stacked, they were as talk as me.

My 100 sq foot studio is packed with components that need to be taken apart. At Open Studios a visitor said, entering my studio “is like entering another world, there is so much going on.”

Sometimes when I am offered parts, I take them, even if they are nothing special because I am grateful they think of me and for their act of generosity. I am also grateful for the time the other members give to me when they answer my questions. Although they often go into more detail that I need.

 

Melissa Glick has been an inmate at the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, MA since 2012. She grew up in a home where recycling and saving cool looking things was the norm. She studied Art History at SUNY Purchase and got a masters in art education at Mass College of Art.

 

 

 

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A Celebration of Electronics

When I first learned about the phone box project in Somerville, Ma, I immediately saw a vortex of motherboards, closing in from four

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sides….reminding me of the force and speed of technical advancement that has relegated the old telephone to a thing of the past…… Six months later I see this and I love love love it! For a split second there was a feeling like someone had stolen my idea, my thunder…. but when I read the description I saw how much….. knows about engineering and said things I didnt know how to say!

So I searched him out, and friended him AND he wrote me back!We have a tentative date to meet up to swap ideas! How great is that! I love Somerville and the Artisan’s Asylum.  I hope something can be done to insure they continue to exist! Somerville must plan ahead if they want to preserve the kind of community that supports and nurtures creative collaboration. Planning Board Link goes here.

Tyler Hutchison: A Celebration of Electronics

In our digital world, I feel it is important to remember and celebrate our analog electronics. While digital electronics offer convenient, neatly packaged chunks of information, our world is analog. Information arrives to our senses continuo

usly. Since our eyes and ears are imperfect sensors, digital electronics can model and mimic continuous information, but if our eyes were better, we could see the pixels or the 60 Hz refresh rate on a computer monitor. If our ears were better, we could hear the individual bits of an mp3. Analog electronics are necessary to interface with the world; they are in power chargers, cell phone antennas, satellites, defibrillators, pressure sensitive touch screens, microwaves, life support systems, cars, smoke alarms, heaters, stereos, somewhere within nearly every electronic we use daily. Analog electronics still deserve, and will continue to deserve, celebration.

In A Celebration of Electronics, the audience consists of transistors which are standing or using op amp and capacitor furniture to take in the show. Vacuum tubes take the center stage and play instruments for their adoring transistor fans. Capacitors and diodes make up the guitar, an ultrasonic transducers drum set keeps the beat, and the lead singer belts melodies into a resistor microphone. Six discrete LEDs above the stage provide concert lighting and the three headphone speakers make up the ‘large’ speaker box stage right. To unite all the components, several printed circuit boards (PCBs) serve as floor, stage, and backdrop.