Since September 2012 I work part-time for Metzelaar Praktijkgilde, a starting up school where craftsmanship is in the center of the educational concept. Students are coached and taught by a team of professional craftsman and educators. After an introduction period of six weeks students work together with professional craftsmen on paid jobs. While on the job, students find out what they're good at and what they need to learn.
For the six weeks introduction period, the assignment of designing and making of a "Led wall piece" works great because a lot of aspects of different crafts and skills are introduced on a novice level. In the same time, making a logo of your own design (or your favorite soccer team :-)) proves to be very rewarding and stimulating for the students.
For the instruction, I haven't used a powerpoint, worksheet or drawings. I used the real thing, a hands-on example in the form of my self made Boo wall piece. I find this much more efficient way of instruction than the text or picture based instruction.
Since the students made their own designs for the wall piece, a few extra's came along that I had not foreseen, but was very happy to include, such as the use of perspex, typography, using different colored led's, chiseling, etc.
We started with a very heterogeneous group of 11 students, aged from 17 to 31 with different levels of previous education.
General goals for this project are:
- First and foremost: Make students enthusiastic about Making and providing a successful start with their just-started education.
- Introducing different skills and materials to the students.
- Investigating the students' skills in various disciplines.
- Investigating the students' interests in different disciplines of craft.
- Introduction to the crafts woodworking, painting, eletronics, calligraphy
Introduction and training of skills:
- Introduction to the use of some tools: jigsaw, sander, chisel, router, soldering iron
- Dimensioning and technical drawing
- Transferring design on wood
- Use of colors
- Concepts of electrical circuit, current and voltage
- Concepts of electrical resistance, use of resistors to limit a current
Step 1: Tools, materials and costs
- Pencil and paper at least 60x60 cm
- Hand saw
- Router (optional)
- Sanding paper
- Soldering iron
- Lab power supply
Materials for one wall piece:
- MDF, two sheets of 60x60 cm
- Paint: acrylic and primer
- Perspex sheet 4-8mm thick (optional, size depending on the design)
- 10-15 leds. We used low-current 5mm red and green leds.
- 2 meters of 3M copper tape
- Brass rod, 6mm diam. (optional)
- White paint marker (used for calligraphy)