Metal Head Biker Outfit: Process

Daniel Lasanta

When I was coming up with an idea of what I wanted to do in the studio, I knew right away I wanted to make a jacket during the time we were given to brainstorm on the first day I drew different jacket ideas. Which were a zombie theme like jacket that on the back would have “flesh torn” and a “spine” exposed which would of light up with LEDs along with some fiber optic tubes that would represent veins. One idea consisted of a Dead Space theme jacket which is a videogame that has an engineering suit that is made of pieces of metal and a long light along the person’s spine that in the game was used to determine the person’s health with lights and different colors. The third idea which became the one idea I settled on was a metal head jacket that would have different stencil designs like of a skull, pentagrams, anarchy signs, images that a lot of people would see that relates to the metal music genre. The jacket would also have spikes on the shoulders that would light up and operate like a car blinker so people will know that the biker is turning.

During the course of the first week I decided to create the stencil designs that would go on the jacket I settled on creating a pentagram stencil and anarchy stencil. I created the stencils on Google sketch-up, and then the files were exported to a laser cutter which cut the designs out. During that time my studio learned of reflective fabric that looks normal in regular light but if bright lights such as headlights from a car or a camera flash were to hit it the material would glow very bright. There was also reflective spray paint that works the same way as the fabric. When I was done with the stencils I did some testing with reflective spray paint using one of my stencils. The outcome of the testing was the paint works very well so I decided to have the stencils be painted with the spray paint when I have a jacket to work with. Near the end of the week I was given a partner that was out for a while and was her first day back to Nuvu. Her name is Maddie and she became a big help in terms of helping me accomplishing things that needed to be sew since my skills with sewing are a bit shaky at  times.

The both of us started looking for a jacket which was decided on a denim jacket. We also got feedback on how to improve the design in terms of making it fashionable. Instead of the spikes lighting up the spikes will be made of reflective material stuffed with cotton. As well as adding LEDs to the lower back of the jacket. We spray painted the stencils on patches that would be sewed onto the back and front of the jacket. We cut out pieces of reflective fabric and made shoulder patches that got sewed on and laser cut the fabric into conical shape that can be sewed to look like a spike. Once this was down and the shoulder patches were on the jacket we stuffed the spikes and sewed them on the patches. For the LEDs I already laser cut seven holes for the LEDs to shine through. For powering the LEDs I took a patch of denim and sewed in a arduino lily pad that is designed to be sewn into clothing. I also had a rechargeable battery which will power the arduino. For the programing aspect I programed the lights to be red and can be turn on and off by a switch that is on the arduino. For the issue with connecting the LEDs to the arduino instead of using wires I used conductive thread that works the same as wire which gives the power from the Arduino to the lights. We finally then and there put everything together the design patches were sewed on as well as the spikes. The patch that houses the arduino, battery, and the LEDs were sewed on the inside of the jacket that will be easy to access to switch the lights on and off as well as being able to get the battery so it can be recharged.