Lady Icarus

I’ll start off this post and all posts with the song I’m feeling at the moment.

Below is my piece from last semester. There is this awesome class at UF called META (Media Experiments in Technology and Art) and it is a class where artists and engineering collaborate on a project in a group setting to make a final piece that incorporates both skills. In my group we had two artists and an electrical engineer and a materials engineer.

Our piece follows the ideas of interacting with art is in turn destroying it. Thus we created a bust that resembles a classical bust one may see in a typical gallery or museum, however it was made of wax. We had a heat source coming from the ceiling much like a spot light and whenever someone came to interact with the piece a sensor would be triggered and the heat source would be turned on. Our heat source was a hair dryer that we hooked up to the proximity sensor via Arduino, so the effect of the hot hair on the wax was beautiful.

The process was a difficult one. The electrical components were going smoothly but making a full size bust out of wax was a real challenge. I had a ceramics major help me make a plaster 3-part mold for the mannequin head we used and added to. After having a few leak instances and hot wax on bare feet, I found out that play-doh fixes everything and we were able to fill in the holes. Unfortunately to get the bust out we had to break the mold, but it was well worth the final result.

The project is titles “Lady Icarus” in reference to the Greek myth and even had wings when the light hit her form.

Lady Icarus


Since our project could only be done once, we were very pleased with the end result and how quickly the wax dried to make these forms. Though we hit many rough patches the final piece was everything we could’ve hoped for.


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