This project is meant to give mothers and newborns calmness through sound. The sculpture provides calming sounds that resemble natural binaries. It is very much inspired by white noise machines, but those do not show the important significance of how beautiful sound and binary waves work together in nature. More inspiration for the project came from Timo Arnall's Immaterials project making WiFi visible to show the different intensities and ranges in urban spaces. And lastly, the Waves were also inspired by the Chicama Waves in Northern Peru, with each eave having a total distance of 2.5 miles.
Please follow the next steps on how to make this sculpture with an easy circuit for the speakers and please consider making some changes to the copper sheets.
- 6 sheets of copper - 28 ga (12inx12in)
- 1 Roll of double sided conductive tape.
- Conductive thread.
- Masking tape or painters tape.
- 1 Roll of heat tape (insulation).
- Soldering iron and 1 roll of solder wire.
- 1 or 2 - 9 volt batteries.
- Monoamplifier chipboard (adafruit or any arduino friendly store)
- A handful of wires or alligator clip wires.
- 3 tubes of metal epoxy.
- Cloth and multi-purpose cleaner.
Step 1: Sketch, Build, Test
First, I drew a few different ways I wanted my sculpture to look like and what component and how many it needed. At the same time, I started creating a monotone speaker with conductive fabric and masking tape. I have also tested other type of monotone speakers with conductive thread and paper, which seems to work a lot better, but for the purpose of this project with very particular sound the tape speakers seemed appropriate, you are welcome to play around with any of them.
Step 2: Very Small Scale Prototype
I decided to test if the copper was a good enough material to let the sound from the paper speaker be amplified loudly. I tested a monotone speaker made with conductive thread sewn into paper playing The Beatles.
Step 3: Epoxy Curing and Strip Cutting
I purchased 6 sheets of copper (12x12in) because I could not find two separate sheets of 12x36 or 12x24 or larger than that so had to make my sculpture a bit smaller than originally planned. With very little time to organize the metal shop and letting me weld copper, I went for metal epoxy. After cleaning the sheets very well multiple times with a cloth and tons of multi-purpose cleaner and water, I put 4 sheets together and separately put two sheets together. I let both sets cure over about 12 hours (minimum of 8 is good enough). The morning after, I used some metal clippers and cut the strips for my sculpture. The idea behind cutting strips was that I wanted light to go through each strip and drop shadow the silhouette of the waves while playing sounds of waves crashing.
Step 4: Bending Sheets of Copper
I then proceeded to bend my new sheets of copper to create a small and large wave.
Step 5: More Curing Time
Once I built each wave I put both of them together. The small wave was meant to go inside the large one on opposite direction so I did that. I used more epoxy and pressed the sheets to let them cure for another 12 hours. I noticed that the previous epoxy procedure did not stick fully, or maybe the pressure of bending the metal sheets let it break up, so I tried to make sure I used more this last time.
Step 6: Speaker Circuit
I then painted my 4 monotone paper speakers with copper spray paint and set up a circuit. First, I had to insulate the area were I wanted to set it up because the way I was using conductive metal made me doubt that it would all work with so much potential to get a short circuit. I then laid out double sided conductive copper tape over the insulation and made sure I soldered each corner and in some cases full strips to make sure there was enough flow. I soon after put in the magnets of the monotone speakers also covered with insulation and got to place each speaker carefully without it touching any metal. I also soldered each lead of each speaker I set up.