November 1, 2016: Lantern Luminaries

Taking her inspiration from Halloween, Diwali, and the many other cultural celebrations in which light plays an important role, Ladymaker Lindsay Balfour returned to help mother and daughter teams create sound and breath reactive lanterns.

While many of our return attendees have become familiar with the basics of paper circuitry, this project introduced a new challenge — the integration of a small microprocessor and microphone into the circuit. Lindsay set the expectation that the lanterns might not work the first time, and so encouraged moms and daughters to troubleshoot and iterate their designs as needed. As Lindsay noted, “making” is as much about process as it is about product.

Each participant collected her supplies: conductive copper tape, batteries, microprocessor & microphone, gumdrop LED, wires, circuit template, paper cup, and tissue.

The mother/daughter teams learned that while getting their LED to light was relatively straightforward, making the light responsive to sound coming into the microphone was far more challenging.

The girls persevered, until some were able to light their LEDs with only the sound of a breath!


Once their microphones were adjusted and their wiring was secure, the teams were free to turn their lanterns into art pieces.





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