Flashing LED Garden lights
When Heather was first creating the garden she liked the idea of having coloured LED lights fitted into the features she made from clay and so Natalie provided a circuit of LED's that made porcelain mushrooms flash, pottery stalactites over the ponds were back-lit like show caves, and within the pond itself orange LED's would switch on and off at intervals looking like glowing goldfish in the depths.
Wok Lid Light Show
Heather one day suggested she liked lots of pretty coloured LED lights and would'nt it be fun if we could make a sort of light show with them. Natalie said that this could easily be done and so we took the metal lid from an old cooking Wok and drilled lots of holes all over it. In each hole we positioned a coloured LED and then with Natalie's instructions and a diagram Heather wired them all up. Meanwhile Natalie designed and created a control box making up the circuit boards and soldering on the parts; finally fitting the buttons to select the sequences for the lights. She also programmed a chip with various patterns for the lights to follow. Once the wok was wired Heather found the turntable from an old record player and used that as a backing panel for the lid. Finally the whole thing was mounted on a chemistry stand with a sturdy base.
We get this out as a decoration for evenings in the garden or festive window shows in the winter and it looks super!
Ever got fed up with those cheap battery chargers thet never seem to work? We did, so Natalie designed and made her own which was fitted with an assortment of battery holders for almost every battery you could ever want to charge. It combines several setting powers and times.
Making Computer Mother Boards
During the last few years it was necessary to clone Natalie's own computer because it is a special one that runs it's own software and language which Natalie invented many years ago. We decided that for various other projects around the studio we would need more mother boards. So we sent Natalie's circuit diagrams away to a company to make up because they are multi-layered boards and then when they returned we added the components. Finally they were used in other Dawnmist products such as our pottery kiln controller, Heather's MicroSorex synthesiser brain computer and Heather's Music Digital Recording Studio. The image here shows the boards mounted in a special rack during the component stuffing stage.
Natalie has done teaching in the past and on this occasion a friend with her 5 year old daughter were visiting. Natalie was able to teach (under close supervision) how to solder some small components onto a computer mother board and she did very well at it! Such work requires good coordination, close eyesight work and a lot of patience as well as a steady hand.
Remote Control Helicopters
During the development of Dawnmist Studio RC products Natalie decided to use model helicopters to experiment with. We bought two sizes, one being only about 300mm long and the larger one around a metre long. Several products emerged from the tests on these which can be found in our studio shop.
Large Digital LED Clock
Some time around the year 2000 we had an idea to have a large digital clock mounted on the front of the house with a ceramic cartoon style cat holding it. The project was a success and it ran for several years in baking summer heat and lashing winter storms until finally the wooden frame began to let in water. The clock told the time, date and the temperature and displayed it over the area where perplexed neighbours could be informed of these essential readings at any time of day or night. We used red LED's for the digits which were about 150mm tall and they were very bright. They were so bright in fact that you could see a faint red dot (the clock) from about 2 miles away! Inside the house a small duplicate clock was made incorporating the components to power the larger one outside. Heather made the cat from high fired clay and the tail was arranged in sections which moved when the wind blew.
Yorik - The Robot Halloween Skull
Originally Heather bought a life size plastic human skull on e-bay so that she could understand human anatomy because this is essential when learning how to do sculptures in clay art. Needless to say the temptation during Halloween one year got the better of both of us and Yorik (as we named him) found himself being fitted with a number of extra features.Mechanical controllers inside his head make his eyes look from side to side, open and close his jaw, stick his tonge in and out! He looks quite the part on Halloween and all who see him admire his performance!
Stoneware and Porcelain Glazes for Potters
Following on from Heather's indulgence in ceramic art Natalie decided to spend several years researching and experimenting in the production of a whole range of specialised pottery glazes which include earthenware types as well as stoneware. Also she was particularly taken by some of the hard to create Crystal Glazes and decided to invent her own range which have been very successful and have allowed almost any potter with a good kiln to achieve results that up until then only a few master artists in the world could. We offer these glazes in our shop online.