Twisted Prism Lamps and CRASH THE PLANET

April 2, 2016 was CRASH Space’s first art show, and it went really well. We had tons of exhibits and a lot of people who came out to see it. Needless to say, it will happen again.


For the show, I made a set of twisted prism lamps, which are 3d printed, assembled with dremel friction welding, and contain rgb LEDs and motion sensors hooked up to an Arduino. I dedicated two whole Barb Makes Things videos to the creation of those, because they were rather involved. You can see the videos below or on my YouTube channel, and I also put together a video of a bunch of exhibits at the event (including some footage of my completed lamps), which is also below.


Barb Makes Things: Dashboard Phone Holder

Some gals carry huge purses. I am not one of those gals. I prefer to travel light, so my phone is also my wallet. This is great in many ways, but it also means that my phone doesn’t fit any commercially-available phone holders. Fortunately, I make things. 


Most of the 3d modeling I’ve done in the past has been in 123D Design, or TinkerCAD (which I teach Saturdays at Burbank Makerspace). Recently, Kyle did a class on Onshape, and I decided to model this project in that. 



The video ends with me driving all over Venice with a camera strapped around my neck. Yeehaw!


CRASHspace at Maker Faire

If you’re heading to the Bay Area Maker Faire this weekend, make sure to come by the CRASHspace booth and see all of the amazing things our members have made. There’s Theron’s 8-bit ukulele, Daniel’s retro modules, Steve’s “Jacob’s Splatter” (a combination Jacob’s ladder and levitating fountain… high voltage and water ftw), Nate’s zoetrope, and I’ll have both of my Hexachords there as well.


We’re located at the southwest edge of the Expo Hall, right across from the south wall’s doors. More pictures soon!


IMG 3144

Instructables Makerspace Competition




Recently, instructables held a Makerspace Competition, and we at Crashspace won with my writeup for my Hexachord! We’re very excited. There were a lot of great entries.


Also, Crashspace has a group on instructables. Go see what we’re all up to lately.

New FlipBooKit Instructional Video and Instructable

Heya, folks!


I am writing/filming instructional videos for FlipBooKit, with a bent toward education, and the first one – on basic assembly – is out, with an associated Instructable!



FlipBooKit Kickstarter

Hey folks!  If you recall, a while back I was involved in a flipbook gallery show.  (Here’s a video of my contribution – Ms. Beatrice Howard)  Turns out, the FlipBooKit folks are doing another Kickstarter for a new, more affordable release of their miniature movie machine!  It funded in 17 hours.  Seventeen.  These things are that cool.  It runs until December 2nd, and, as of this writing, there are still some early bird perks available.  Consider this a recommendation.  Go now!

Conductive Poetry

I’ve posted another Instructable, this one for how to make poetry that lights up, using conductive paint and LEDs.


Conductive Poetry


Conductive Poetry



This is a project I came up with last year at the Exploratory to accompany a Bare Conductive paint event.  It’s fun to make ridiculous filler words.  Why, of course, I carry your fish in my shoe!  Why would you question that?

Upcycled Musical Instruments Workshop

Hey, folks!  Join Jen Fox and me for our Upcycled Musical Instruments Workshop this Saturday at 1450 Ocean! We’ll be bringing along some of our own inventions, including geometric string instruments, motorized pan pipes, and a spinning noisemaker. You can bring your own materials, maybe a big box for a string bass, or keys for a chimes mobile, or you can help me build a giant multi-material marimba from a recycled trellis. Whatever your inspiration, we will help you make it a reality.


Make sure to register! 

Upcycled Musical Instruments

Saturday, Sepember 20th, 1:00 – 2:30pm

1450 Ocean Ave. – Camera Obscura Santa Monica

Cost: $10

Register here!  Pre-registration guarantees you a spot and makes the musical muses happy.


String thing Pan pipes

Music, that universal medium! We’re lucky in that there are innumerable ways to create music using diverse, non-traditional materials. Let’s explore sound and basic design principles to build a personalized instrument from recycled materials – come away with a set of wind chimes, a children’s toy, and/or the confidence to teach others how to upcycle! 

Please bring 1-2 items traditionally considered “trash” out of which to build an instrument – we’ll also bring some starter materials. Things to consider when choosing your materials: most instruments need a hollow area to resonate from, chimes require suspension, many wind instruments use reeds, etc. Consider the components and design of existing instruments to help direct your materials search. Suggested materials: packaging, cardboard boxes (intact), glass bottles, jars, metal scraps or other metallic objects, paper/plastic/styrofoam cups and plates, string/yarn/twine/rope, straws, etc. We will facilitate the process, provide supplementary materials and examples of recycled instruments. Let’s tinker! Mostly we’ll be using hot glue guns, drills and other non-intimidating tools, and we’ll help you use anything you’re unfamiliar with.

papercut notebook

One medium that strikes me is the artist’s journal. Whether series of pieces specifically created to match in a bound volume with some common theme, or a rough and personal sketchbook, or even carved pages. (some favorites: Tim Biskup’s Jackson 500, the anonymous Edinburgh library sculptures, and a slew of projects at

With that medium in mind, and with the multi-layered cut art of folks like Jen Stark, I’ve taken on the project of a papercut notebook. The spiral-bound notebook I’m using has 100 pages, so it may take a while to complete (I’m up to 35 now), but here are some in progress shots.

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