Wearable Circuit – Jovana Ivanovic

For the 12 hour circuit project I decided to work on a certain accessory, in particular some form of jewelry. The original prototype involved knitting a hat that would light up in the absence of light using a photo resistor. However I grew frustrated it and decided to attempt something else. I ended up utilizing elements from a previous prototype of mine that used vegetable paper and an LED. The main concept behind this jewelry piece was to have it simplistic in design, while at the same time looking elegant, along with being able to wear it on a daily basis. A necklace composed of a thin wooden frame, vegetable paper, and the LED was the best design due to the size of the jewelry. My inspiration for the particular design was from fireflies, whom utilize their bio-luminescence to attract mates. The beauty of this piece is that it can be worn lower down and be taken to parties such as a rave dance or a simple club.

 

It was simple to fulfil the criteria of hiding the light source, as the LED was to be placed within the necklace and concealed by the vegetable paper. In the process of making the vegetable paper I ended up ruining my blender, but it turned out nicely. The LED circuit uses a 3volt battery as an energy source, and it has a 150 ohm resistor soldered onto it. The circuit isn’t mounted, however it is fully stable in a way that it’s possible to make it light up when you want to. It is somewhat flimsy when a person moves, and it flickers because the connection isn’t mounted, however I decided to keep it like this as the flickering attracts more attention than just lighting up. I didn’t introduce the blink sketch because all the micro controllers that I own were too big, so I made a more simplified version of it. If I had used a micro controller I would be able to control the pattern of the lights and make it similar to a fireflies mating call.

I had to make sure the wires that are connecting the battery to the LED not touch anything and burn up. Having a necklace that lights up is very cool, but not when it’s on fire. I solved this issue however by putting something non conductive between the wires and the metal dowel in the middle. The second difficulty while making the frame was attaching each individual part that had to be sanded delicately due to how thin they were. There were multiple instances where the frame actually snapped due to pressure, so I had to increase the thickness of some parts of it, or by simply gluing it back together. It was not possible to use a hot glue gun when attaching the frame together as when the glue cools down it creates a gap between the wood, which would then either break apart or simply look unappealing. I was attempting to go for a more rustic feel with the necklace, so I had to change a few things with the necklace to make it better. At first I used thin leather strips, however the leather cut into the back of my neck and over time it started hurting. I ending up replacing it with twine as it reduced the friction since it wasn’t as smooth as the leather.

 

It was enjoyable to wear the necklace, and I received much praise and comments about the jewelry. Often times people would ask where I had bought it, perhaps online, only to be amazed when I revealed to them that it was hand made. I had to be careful of not letting the LED inside the frame bounce around too much from movement, or else it may disconnect. However when simply walking and standing it posed no problems and was extremely light. At first I thought the size of the necklace would be too large, so I had to decrease the original size of it, and I felt it was a good move as it made it easier to wear while still being noticeable. It was especially fun to wear this during the darker hours of the day, however it doesn’t serve as an effective piece of lightning.

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