Master Of Animation, Games & Interactivity
Master Of Animation, Games & Interactivity

Braiding the ropes sensor as a test to see how the hanging threads will work with my Heartree installation.

As the Heartree installation is based in the Weaving section of A Maker's Trail, I wanted to weave/braid the touch sensors that will be in Heartree to align with the theme.

Therefore, I decided to braid the lights into the rope itself, and add a bit of colour using the coloured twine I had left over from the tree trunk sensor.

My first time braiding anything with 5 strands - followed this tutorial to learn how to do it.

Some reflections:

  • It was interesting to go back to a craft way of working and using my hands to make something physical (and not on a computer screen). 
  • Texture and the weight of materials suddenly become a lot more important when dealing with physical components of a project. I was testing various materials, braiding them, only to find the texture didn't feel right when I held the rope in my hand. Likewise, I had to plan how to end the rope so that there was extra weight at the bottom to make the rope hang straight.
  • The act of braiding can be incredibly meditative, as you repeat the same action over and over again, but also you gotta make sure you don't lose track of which strand you just braided... (practice makes perfect, I suppose! Only realised how badly I was braiding when I started my second rope...)
  • I was planning to have the rope sensor 1.5 m long, but forgot to factor in the decrease in length as I braided (due to the materials braiding around each other). A lesson learnt for me.
  • I made a mistake with the string lights where I cut the wires too close to the lights; I was able to learn from that test, and not make the same mistake here.
  • Working on something physical can be quite rewarding, as you have a tangible product at the end of the process.