Alice Roche: Architectural Jewelry Design


Image from San Francisco Chronicle


Alice Roche was an apprentice and educator at the Museum.

Her work was recently profiled  on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website.

Image from San Francisco Chronicle

Image from San Francisco Chronicle

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Totally Natural


Image Courtesy of Susan Clinard

A recent interview with Susan Clinard, the Museum’s resident Artist in  lc (Lucky Compiler), an online anthology of arts journalism.

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Eli Whitney Museum Kayaks and Kudzu Craft


The Museum’s 12 ft skin-on frame kayak class was featured yesterday on the Kudzu Craft website.  The class used Kudzu plans, artificial sinew and skin for these kayaks.  One of the highlight’s of the summer.

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Aeromodelers Flying at Quinnipiac University

The Aeromodelers from the EWM Summer Program flying their planes at one of the intramural athletic fields at Quinnipiac University. They had a blast.

Thank you QU!

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Hacking Neil Downie

Comments from the Hacking Neil Downie Workshop at the Eli Whitney Museum July 16-20, 2012.

Based on chapters from The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science Neil A. Downie, Princeton University Press (c) May 2012.  Page numbers are references to this book.


Nathan: We need big carrots.

Sally: Why?

Neil Downie’s Carrot Cannon (page 3.)

Sally: Yeah, well when you hit someone in the eye, don’t bring them to me.

Nathan: Hey, I thought carrots were good for eyes!

Motor Brushes (page 112.)

We made a classic mistake.  We created a propeller unit to put on top of “Doogals” we have made for three years.  It worked beautifully. The ones we made today, not so much.

Parker turned off the propeller on our demonstration model to demonstrate that it was already a superior “vibrobot”: well balanced and turned. It was important to make the Motor Brush work well first, then add the propeller. English propellers may be more efficient than the inexpensive American ones we use.


Josh B missed Monday and dragged himself in Tuesday still with a terrible cough.

Josh said: It’s just not a week I would ever miss. Cough. Cough.

To which everyone responded: Hacking Neil Downie.

Hacking: (American) to make innovative adjustments or applications, of established ideas or technology, understanding something that works by taking it apart and putting it back together.

Smooth-Wheeled Steamer (p 117)

Terrific fun.  And a reminder that most of us need more practice at balancing boats.

Telestrings (p 182)

A brilliant version of a device heretofore manageable only by very clever mechanics.  Thomas Jefferson designed a similar device to reproduce his signature. We will recommend the ultimate version to our friends at Monticello.


Projects that seem simple often present big challenges.  Projects that seem outrageous sometimes turn out to be simple. We changed the subtitle of An Eiffel Brick Tower (page 90) to Monster Eiffel.  Owen’s very first tower passed the limit of our ladders at 14′ 8″.  Friday we have retooled for a 16′ attempt.

The Popup Piston (page 9) is another delightfully simple pleasure. We like the trick of putting a small hole all the way through the block so that “experts” can pop the piston hat.  Those who do not know the secret, cannot.

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Theatre of Illusions: A Week Insight

Clockwise from top left…
  • “Jack’s Optical Illusions” – a book filled with printed optical illusions, like Duchamp’s spinners.
  • Praxinoscope:  An “animator”,  or a series of pictures lined up with mirrors to create a moving image.
  • Thaumatrope (on Jack’s dragon) – two pictures attached to opposite sides of a block of wood. When spun quickly, a similar effect to the animator is created.
  • Eames’ Room – a small, disproportionate room constructed of cardboard. When looking through a small hole in the side of the room, the room looks normal (until a clothespin person is added to each side). One person appears much larger than the other.
  • 3D cube – cut and painted pieces of wood used to create a seemingly 3D cube.
  • 3D hand drawing – a combination of straight and curved lines which create a 3D effect.

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A Study in Greek Classical Hairstyles


Ariel Mayer sits for a study in Greek Classical hairstyles. Julia Morrow attended a lecture on Fairfield University’s Caryatid Project and here puts the art into practice preparing for the Greek Merchant Empire Workshop July 9-13th.

This will be the first of our classes to include experiments in coiffure.


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Sunfish Nests at EWM

If you come to the Museum and look down from the path into the water as you cross the covered bridge, you’ll see about 10 sunfish patrolling
their nests, swimming back and forth, keeping the nests free from debris and predators.

Here’s some info:

All sunfish are nest builders, and their saucer-shaped nests can be frequently observed along the shoreline of ponds, lakes and streams in late spring. These nests usually consist of a circular depression in silt, sand or gravel that is lighter in color than the surrounding substrate because an adult male has consistently scraped silt, algae or other organic material from accumulating within the nest area. An active, nest-guarding male can often be observed swimming within the nest vicinity, guarding both eggs and newly-hatched young. A few days after hatching, the young emerge from the nest, at which time the guarding parent leaves them to care for themselves.

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A Summer full of Play… without any “iStuff”

Check out the article on the Wall Street Journal Site… David Gelernter’s challenge to make it “a Summer Without iStuff” and instead a summer full of creativity and play.

Sound familiar? Ei Whitney Museum’s Summer Programs 2012

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Kindred Spirits

More tools and inspiration come to New Haven.  Click here for the article in the New Haven Independent.

266 State St
New Haven, CT 06511

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