After teaching the Materials of Electronics class at CIID, I returned with Andy and Kitty to Gamboa, Panama, to visit the Digital Naturalism Laboratories for 5 days.
Andy working at the table with a pegboard full of craft supplies just beyond. I’m surprised this is the only photo I took with tool racks visible..
Getting a tour of the lab was so inspiring! The space has everything you need for building, crafting, and hacking. There are pegboards with tools and materials everywhere - meaning that just about anything you need is within reach.
A sloth crocheted by Kitty
Repairs, instead of emphasizing an object’s broken-ness, added character to industrially produced objects.
The place is decorated with DIY projects and objects crafted by friends and family. The vibe was cozy and welcoming, and I felt all sorts of creative juices flowing 🍍
Kitty is about to melt some plastics together to create laser-cuttable sheets. The weights are used to weigh down the panini press while melting, and the tile is also used to weigh down the sheet keep the material flat after it is removed from the press.
Kitty was working on fusing some LDPE (♶) together. The current iteration for fusing involves making multiple thick sheets in the panini press in between teflon baking paper. The sheets are made out of layers of plastic sandwich bags, bottle caps, and other LDPE material.
Nicely color-separated plastics, ground into pellets by Terry la trituradora
The result is a multicolor 2-5mm sheet of material that can be laser cut! This sheet needed a bit more melting at the edges.
These are earrings of Búho de Anteojos (Spectacled Owl), a local of Panama and a common owl found throughout Central America and parts of South America.