Conductive Inks

As a part of the Future Materials series of workshops we experimented with conductive inks on thw body, with paper and even liquified in baby oil!
The conductuve ink itself comes already prepared with a metalic pigment which does the actual conducting. I’m not sure whether the ink can be bought in different cokours but we were working with solely black.
First we tried working with the ink on the body making conductive tattoos. This was a great chance to add some of my zentangle method of drawing skills into the workshop. I created this piece on my arm which I then placed an LED used for stitching onto fabrics on top of the circuit opening. This LED worked much better as a larger surface area was in contact with the ink. Then to complete the circuit I put a battery on to the other end of the circuit.

I have another example of a friends piece on her shoulder.

Then we played with the ink on paper. Infact it is easier to paint on to skin as the ink is quite thick and is hard to control in a delicate pattern but I gave it a go anyway.

Then we moved on to using the ink in a different type of circuit called the tilt switch. This required baby oil in either a rubber tube or in a bottle. A few blobs of ink were added inside the oil and as the ink is think ot retains it’s shape. Adding other elements of the circuit like usual; the battery, the wires and the LEDs then made a full circuit once we tilted the cup/tube and the ink came in contact with the wires! Clever! Although I can’t think right now when I might use this, might stick to the conductive tattoos for now!

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