smart textiles - total geek out

So I have this residency in the heart of St. Louis' tech start up corridor.  I am investigating 3d printer use for within my art, but then my brain does what it always does and starts dreaming and scheming.  Have you heard of LED Fairy Lites Thread? Look at these products from


The great part is that the residency comes with a fully loaded Maker Space. I am the proverbial Kid in a Candy Shop.  To read a good review of the many smart textile tech applications, read this article from My initial inspiration came from this post on Instructables.  It is super simple.  I need to try making one and see what else I can do. Instead of a cowl, I am thinking of a hat as that would make me more visible while walking at night with my dogs.

My New Work Motto

After decades of stitching often on works that took months to complete, I decided it was time to Work Smarter, not Harder. I have found that small works are just as satisfying.  I can work on small works and build them up to one large work, so as a collection is shown, it grows and changes from venue to venue which I find rather exciting.

Medicine Man, 2015 and ongoing, beaded prescription bottles, photo Larry Sanders. 

Medicine Man, 2015 and ongoing, beaded prescription bottles, photo Larry Sanders. 

Medicine Man is one of those collections.  Every month I take an assortment of prescriptions. Rather than see this endless stream of plastic bottles end up in a landfill, I decided to save them to make into art. Each bottle takes about 3 days to make, so at a couple of hours a day, around 6-8 hours to complete one which isn't so long by my standards.

Working Smarter, Not Harder means creating obtainable goals and then exploring other mediums.  I am working to better understand the technology behind 3d printing, but ultimately I am a craftsman, so I like to have my hand directly involved.  Not sure where I am going with this. Of course, I am still painting a series of gouaches to push the ideas out, so I think I will soon start quilting or working in glass, a medium I have long loved, but never took the time to master. Time will tell.