Digital Fabrication Residency Part 4

Although technically my tenure in the Digital Fabrication Residency ended in October, nuggets of inspiration from my time as a resident have continued to propel me forward. One of the last workshops was basics on how to use the ShopBot, which is a CNC router (basically the computer reads files and a robotic arm with a spinning endmill cuts the wood to various depths). I had admired the ShopBot from afar since I started at TechShop Pittsburgh. People ShopBot (yes, it’s a verb) lots of amazing things, such as Kerf Case. I was in need of a way to hang my massive Calavera quilt (100″x100″) and thus embarked on my first ever ShopBot project. It was cool to finally make the machine bend to my will.


I  created the vector file in Illustrator, imported it into VCarve (the software that the ShopBot understands) and then set up my 3/4″ birch plywood.

It was pretty choppy partially due to the dull endmill, so I sanded the pieces a lot and after gluing and drilling the interlocking piece together, I shined them up with wood putty.

A galvanized steel pipe spans the gap and you can see the shop bot hangers barely peeking out the side. I was going for subtle.

The Enduring Skull show opened on October 31 and will be up til December 7 at Revision Space in Pittsburgh, PA

And now back to the monkeys!

This rendition of Barrel of Monkeys is for the group show Slime Time that opens Friday November 7th at the Mr. Roboto Project during Unblurred. My goal was to combine ideas generated by the Digital Fabrication Residency about digital embroidery into the project and go crazy. SO…I learned how to maneuver around the Janome Digitizer software in order to create customizable monkey expressions.

I embroidered the varied expressions with the CNC embroiderer at TechShop Pittsburgh. Once I got the hang of the software it was quite fun to manipulate the facial expressions. I created 14 different monkey faces with emotions ranging from anger to rapture.

In addition to the classic red, I also was compelled to play around with this funkalicious fabric.

The installation will interact with the gallery space and feature the monkeys interlocking arms in that oh-so-charming way they do. Check out the opening on Friday at 7 pm! (5106 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh PA)


About mitchcollective

MITCH Collective is a community-driven catalyst promoting creativity in the Ohio Valley. MITCH Collective enriches Martins Ferry, Ohio and nearby towns by: -inviting artists, writers, and musicians to experience the beauty and creative potential of the area while creating new work and interacting with local residents through the residency program. -inspiring a historically economically depressed area by teaching new skills and ideas that will help foster new problem solving approaches for challenges that face the community. -collaborating with nonprofit and municipal organizations in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania to bring innovative, interdisciplinary projects to life. Facilities include printmaking, screen printing, sewing, quilting, and bookbinding. Visit for more information.
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