I have created a ceramic that interacts with the powerful visual display provided by Jameco's LED Color organ, creating an interesting visual experience for the viewer that connects their mp3 player.
Tools and Materials Required:
-Green-ware Ceramic Clay
-Ceramic Building tool kit
-Access to a Kilm
-1 Jameco's Easy LED Color Organ kit (http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_2155541_-1)
-Soldering Tool kit
-Lots of extra wire
-20-30 AWG wire snipper
-1 wooden box
-Tool to cut holes in the wooden box
-1 can of Chrome spray paint
-Hot glue gun and glue sticks
-1 Auxiliary cord that connects to color organ and speakers at the same time
-12 volt power source to connect to color organ and the wall (or a portable if you'd prefer
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Step 1: Step 1, Concept and Building the Ceramic
I came up with a concept of a hand, and on top of the palm of the hand was a speaker, and below the hand was a stand that provided all the power source and energy. Below is an illustration of what i pictured. Using this concept, I began to build the ceramic. I started with the hand, paying close attention to the size of the box and the holes for wires to go through. Since the color organ kit comes with a total of 12 lights, I decided that each separate piece would have 4 lights, each with four of the same color. I made the four holes in each section, as well as a very large hole at the base where I would eventually put the wires through to then inert these wires through the holes and solder the LED's. Once all the pieces are done, let them get bone dry, and then fire them in the kilm at 345 degrees one time just to get them hard so that they are not fragile and easy to work with.
Step 2: Step 2, Building the Color Organ
The Jameco Color organ kit in this link (http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_2155541_-1) is pretty self explanatory, just follow the steps and use your Soldering kit to Solder all the pieces into place. Hold off on the LED's for now, as you will need to put those into the ceramic once it has been fired, spray painted, and glued into place. For now, using your ceramic design, you should have taken a measure of the distance between the holes of each connecting ceramic to the box, make sure to cut wires to the lengths of those measurements. *Remember*, LED's require both a positive and negative connection, so you will need to cut equal length-ed wires for each LED, and make sure to label the positive and the negative if you start to get confused.
Step 3: Step 3, Chrome Painting!
Now that your ceramic is fired, go outside to a well ventilated area, put on a mask and start spraying all the ceramics as well as the box. The can tells you that you should be able to work with the pieces after 2 hours, however to get that full chrome finish, I added about 3-4 coats of paint to get that full reflective quality I was looking for. It will take about 12 hours to dry completely.
Step 4: Step 4, Keep Calm and Put It Together, Slowly
Developing a strategy to put this together was quite difficult. Make holes using your wood cutter in the box and place them where you will need to run the wire, and big enough for all the wires to pass through. Be aware that since the spray paint is chrome, it may alter the connection of the LEDs and wires, so be careful to cover them with something that will protect the connection. Begin with the stand of the ceramic, I decided to put yellow lights there from the color organ, so that was where I ran the wires first. *Caution* pay close attention to the negatives and positive connections of the wires, run the first set through the first piece of the ceramic. Guide each of the wires through each opening for the LED's, and using you Solder, solder the led's to the protected wires. Once you have the first layer in, get the second piece of the ceramic, run the wires through the holes and solder and repeat this process for the third piece. Plug in you organ to the wall and check to see that all LED's work as you solder them into place, because once you set the pieces together with the hot glue gun, they are set.
Step 5: Step 5, Glue It In! Organize Wires and Spray in Final Chrome Coats!
As the title says, glue that sucker together with the hot glue gun into place, if all connections work the way they need to. Tune the organ so that it is as efficient as it can be. After this is all done, cover the LED's and exposed wire (if any), I used clear tape, and spray the whole ceramic with another 1-2 layers of chrome coating. This will give the wires and ceramic, as well as the glue a unified look, and everything will look as if it is made of chrome. Let the piece dry as long as it needs to.