eTextile Spring Break is a week-long gathering of eTextile and electronic craft practitioners
The idea for this camp emerged out of conversations the organizers had as participants at eTextile Summer Camp in France. Seeking to nurture our own eTextiles community on the other side of the Atlantic, we decided to begin our own camp. Five years later, we have held eTextile Spring Break for 2 years in upstate New York, hosted by the Wassaic Project, and are getting ready to hold the third eTextile Spring Break in Michigan. We are a bunch of fiber nerds, wool punks, and DIY electronics enthusiasts fascinated by the combination of technology and craft, whether material, social, cultural, technological, poetic, or aesthetic.
This year, ESB is hosted in the early fall at Prairie Ronde, a residency and exhibition space in the historic village of Vicksburg, Michigan. Prairie Ronde is committed to local community development through the arts and to creating spaces for emerging artists. ESB is very excited to collaborate with Prairie Ronde on this event.
Community / Skill-sharing / Exploration / Collaboration
These are some words that inspire us and the eTextile Spring Break event. For a week, a community is created that fosters creativity and teaches new skills and perspectives regarding the wide field of eTextiles through skill sharing, discussion, and exploration.
Your time at the residency is one for exploration. There is no expected project to be completed at the end but we do expect engagement with the materials, tools, and the space. We also kindly ask you to dedicate some time to document your process and projects that you embark on during your time at ESB. The website will be accessible to you for posting your work.
Open source principles of sharing and iterative knowledge are encouraged through our website and during the event. The expected benefit from sharing process and work on the website is for visitors to gain inspiration and information. All open source and copyrighted work that is integrated into work inside and outside of the eTextile Spring Break event must be appropriately adhered to under the referenced work’s license guidelines. There are many open source licenses available for use. We recommend getting started with Creative Commons licenses that cover a wide range of usability.
//Materials & Tools//
Many of the materials and tools are brought by the organizers.
There are items that we may have one, two, or a limited supply/variety of. The following list contains items we recommend you bring, especially if you need a specific flavor of it:
- Arduino supported microcontrollers
- USB cables
- Jumper cable/Hookup wire set
- Alligator leads
- Extra power supply (3v, LiPos, 9v, switchable AC/DC adapter if you like)
- Pliers, Nippers, Wire strippers
- Your Electronics component box. We have some components, it’s a good idea to bring your favorite if you want to have it available in case inspiration strikes.
- LilyPad components
- Measuring tape
- Fabric Scissors (be sure to mark if they are fabric only!)
- Sewing needles
- Crochet hook
- Knitting needles
- Whatever textile tools and materials you normally work with that you think will either come in handy or interesting to work with.
- Camera (for documentation)
- Laptop (no community computers available at the space)
The attendance fee and the organizer’s own resources are used to gather and purchase various tools and consumables for the participant’s use. After reviewing the applications we tailor the material list with the intent to acquire a base of tools and materials that will accommodate the participants’ interests and skills.
As an example of what will be onsite for use, check out the list of materials and tools from 2019.
ESB strives to provide the following work spaces for everyone’s use during the residency: sewing, weaving, knitting, electronics, table-top CNC cutting, and screen printing. Irons and ironing boards will be set up and available along with heat activated adhesive film.
If we find something lacking or there is a special unforeseen interest that we can not cover, we may call out to participants to bring extras (soldering irons, knitting needles) or a special tool.
The residency is stocked with various conductive and resistive yarns, fibers, and textiles. Electronic consumables such as solder, capacitors, resistors, LEDs, popular ICs, wire, etc. will be provided. Along with an array of sensors, microcontrollers, ICs, and other fun items either purchased or brought from the organizers’ own stashes.
Based on application responses the organizers will reach out to participants to ask if they want to teach a workshop. Past workshops have included:
The residency’s work space and exhibition will be held at The Mill and other locations within walking distance. The Mill is a raw and spacious renovated paper mill that officially shut down in 2001. Since 2014, the space has been in restoration, transforming into a space made for community learning, inspiration and growth.
In contrast to the wonderfully raw and industrial Mill, there are spaces with a more lived-in feeling. Within these spaces, participants will share work spaces (for sewing, soldering, etc.) that will be stocked with communal tools and equipment. Tables and chairs will be provided as individual work spaces for participants.
Fun fact – between 1905 and 1958, in the height of it’s paper production, the mill turned cotton rags into finely made paper!
The community we create includes engaging people outside of the residency. One way to do that is through an exhibit and social event where we invite visitors to engage with us and our work. For the exhibit, we invite all participants to bring an item to display and/or to put any item or story of the process you worked on during the residency to share with visitors. The exhibit also becomes a way for the participants of ESB to get to know each other’s work.
During the exhibit we look to educate the community on what eTextiles are and may have demo tables where people learn how to needle felt, screen-print with thermochromic inks, etc.
Prairie Ronde provides several buildings for lodging where participants of eTextile camp will share with other participants. Most accommodations are shared rooms and each building has a communal kitchen and shared bathrooms and common rooms.
Visitors and partners will need to find their own accommodation and can not stay on the premise of the residency. There are several local hotels in Vicksburg that we can provide information for.
We provide a communal dinner each evening at a local restaurant. Participants are responsible for all other meals. There is a local grocery store within walking distance from the lodging. Participants are also encouraged to bring their favorite snack to share with others. Confirmed participants will be asked about dietary restrictions.
Communal kitchens are available for your use through the provided lodging. We will do our best to provide snacks, coffee and tea for breaks and socializing.
Spring Break Snapshots
2022 eTextile Spring Break Organization Team
For questions, please email info[at]etextilespringbreak[dot]org.