NextFab Blog

Digital Embroidery Workshop with Shelley Spector

Posted by admin

Mar 8, 2012 2:50:52 PM

Breadboard resident artist Shelley Spector held another digital embroidery workshop this past weekend at NextFab! Shelley has been here working on our laser cutters and our digital embroidery machine, leading up to her exhibit Dreck Groove, on display now at the Esther Klein Art Gallery. If you haven’t been over to see her work at EKG yet, it will be up until March 30th. It’s not one you want to miss!

The workshop started at the gallery, where Shelley greeted attendees and discussed her work. Afterward, everyone came to NextFab and Shelley dove into the details of the processes she used for her work.

The workshop was split into small groups and they rotated through 4 stations: a tour of NextFab’s machinery and facility, sewing with the digital embroidery machine, laser cutting, and the digital embroidery software.

Everyone in the workshop was able to make and take home their own “Gone” watch, a piece designed by Spector for the workshop.

Thank you to Shelley for holding the workshop and to everyone who came! If you missed it, sign up for our digital embroidery classes and catch up!

Topics: digital-embroidery, philadelphia, workshops, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, breadboard, shelley-spector, laser-cutting, nextfab, textiles, laser-cutter, ekg, resident-artist


Posted by admin

Nov 30, 2011 6:29:00 PM

Check out this great project. Follow their updates on twitter, facebook and tumblr!

The Space Savers Project is a citywide public arts project, inspired by the Philadelphia custom of “saving” on-street parking. Saving public parking spaces, while technically illegal, is widely practiced throughout the city. Items like recycling bins, upturned garbage cans, cinder blocks and broken furniture are traditionally used as space savers. While the objects effectively “save” spaces, they can be visually crude and imply threat/ possession. We called on artists to design and create alternatives to the objects traditionally used to save spaces. This is public art project as well as an environmental and social experiment. We wanted to re-imagine what space saving in the city can look like. We wondered: Can a change in the aesthetics change the message of space saving? Or is the act of space saving immutable? Perhaps by replacing traditional space savers with art, we can transform the practice of saving spaces and begin new community dialogues.

Is saving a parking space with a work of art different than saving one with a cinder block tethered to a street sign? The Space Savers Project may reveal an answer.

The creative goals for The Space Savers Project are:

·      To re-imagine a Philadelphia custom;

·      To transform environments and social customs;

·      To engage viewers outside of traditional gallery spaces.


The Space Savers Project is supported by Breadboard and Temple Gallery. The Project responds to the Vision Plan of the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, which encourages more temporary public art programming in Philadelphia including projects that utilize temporary public art to illuminate or address critical civic issues and promote civic engagement and dialogue.

Topics: public-art, project, philadelphia, Uncategorized, great, breadboard, nextfab, breadboard-philly

Shelley Spector's Digital Embroidery Workshop

Posted by admin

Nov 4, 2011 12:01:00 PM

This past Saturday we held a digital embroidery workshop run by Breadboard resident artist Shelley Spector. Even with the slushy, snowy, winter-in-October weather, we had a brave bunch of souls show up for a more intimate, in-depth, workshop. Attendees learned about the basics of digital embroidery and a bit of laser cutting, and were able to take home what they made with us!

They were first introduced to digital embroidery through a show & tell discussion with pieces Shelley has been working on here. 

Then, Shelley dove into some of the details of the embroidery software we have and how to create digital stitch data using it. 

Shelley prepared a piece for workshop attendees to make and take home she calls “Gone Watch.” 

After looking at samples and learning about how the software works, Shelley continued with how to hoop fabric for embroidery. 

Everyone chose their own colors for fabric, thread, material for the watch faces and then took turns hooping the fabric, embroidering the watch bands, and laser cutting the watch faces!

When the band was cut out around the edges and the face laser cut, they were ready to be put together!

Everyone left with their own personalized “Gone Watch” that they made.

Check out our flickr to see more pictures from the workshop!

Thank you to Shelley Spector for putting this together and to everyone who came! If you missed it, don’t worry; we may have another workshop sometime soon, and our regular digital embroidery classes are being offered frequently. Sign up here!

Topics: philadlephia, sewing, digital-embroidery, fabric, laser-cut, Uncategorized, fabric-watch, breadboard, shelley-spector, nextfab, textiles, embroidery-workshop, embroidery

Digital Embroidery Workshop with Artist Shelley Spector

Posted by admin

Oct 11, 2011 4:54:00 PM

Since May of this year, Philadelphia sculptor, Shelley Spector has been Breadboard’s Artist in Residence at NextFab Studio. Using fabric cut from secondhand clothing and wood cast off from NextFab’s commercial projects, she has developed a colorful new body of work of digitally embroidered images in laser cut frames.

These new works, which will be featured in an upcoming solo exhibition at the Esther Klein Gallery beginning February 2012, are the inspiration for a public workshop, which will take place on Saturday, October 29th from 1-4PM at NextFab Studio, 3711 Market Street, Philadelphia.

Workshop participants will get to work side by side with Spector to create a piece using the digital sewing machine, (affectionately named Gwen) and the laser cutter (also known as Speedy). Each participant will get a take away piece of art designed by Spector that they will fabricate under the supervision of the artist and NextFab’s tech experts.

This free workshop includes a preview of Spector’s newest work and a tour of NextFab’s state of the art facilities. It is open to all on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is necessary - space is limited.

Spector is an artist, curator, editor and teacher. She has been working for more than 20 years, creating works of various media that most recently explore themes of money, relationships, tools of measurement and the environment. Her work has been exhibited at Philadelphia Museum of Art, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, Gallery Joe, Fleisher Art Memorial Challenge Exhibition and The Print Center in Philadelphia, PA, and Delaware Center For Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, DE. She is represented by the Bridgette Mayer Gallery, where she has an upcoming show in January 2013.

Topics: workshop, project, sewing, philadelphia, laser, Uncategorized, breadboard, nextfab, art, laser-cutter, embroidery, fabrication, tech

NextFab People: Dan Schimmel

Posted by admin

Nov 20, 2009 3:16:00 PM

Philadelphia resident Dan Schimmel is an artist, father, and the Director of the Esther Klein Gallery (EKG) at the University City Science Center. He is leading the gallery’s transformation into Breadboard, NextFab Studio’s non-profit partner. We caught up with him this week over e-mail…

What is Breadboard in a nutshell?

In conjunction with EKG exhibitions Breadboard aims to give people an opportunity to develop creative ideas and make things using NextFab resources. Breadboard will maintain a 700 square foot community space on the ground floor of 3711 Market Street, adjacent to NextFab Studio. Breadboard user groups and our extended community can schedule use of this space for staging activities relevant to Breadboard initiatives. We want to lower the barrier of access to creative tools and introduce the public to some amazing new technology.

Can you give us a sneak preview into any of Breadboard’s future programs?

Breadboard evolved out of EKG programming and partnerships. So you could say that community partnership is encoded into Breadboard’s program objectives.  The aim is to develop cross-disciplinary projects with both arts and non-arts organizations and communities.

We are working to develop an afterschool workshop for Philadelphia students with the aim to engage youth with creative tools and technologies. We are also exploring ideas for an artist residency program that would give visiting artists full access to NextFab Studio facilities combined with an exhibition opportunity at Breadboard’s EKG space located across the street at 3600 Market Street. Several local colleges and universities have also expressed interest in collaborating on Breadboard programming.

Concurrent with program development we are working to cultivate sponsorships and funding support from the Philadelphia business community and local and national granting foundations. This will be key to any program initiatives we launch in the future.

Are there examples of organizations similar to Breadboard in other
 cities?, based in New York City, is an art and technology organization that has an international following and a great online resource for people interested in art and technology. NYC Resistor is a hacker collective that maintains shared space in Brooklyn and generates community through group activities, generally focused on using tools and technology to make things. We have not only contacted these organizations we have partnered with them in past EKG exhibits and programs.

What makes Breadboard unique?

Breadboard is a unique partnership between a for-profit company, NextFab Studio, and a non-profit program, Breadboard. We promote and explore creative applications of technology through our blog and website but also have an exhibition space (EKG) and a new, 700 square foot community space. Not to mention unique access to NextFab, a rapid prototyping workshop that most hacker spaces would surrender their twitter accounts and soldering irons to gain regular access.

I think Breadboard is a new model for arts programming at a time when there is a lot of cross pollination between the arts, design, science, and technology communities.

What kind of impact will Breadboard have on the programming of the 
Esther Klein Gallery?

Breadboard allows us to invite artists to create new work on site, at NextFab and exhibit it at EKG. This makes for an exciting opportunity. Not only to exhibit innovative artists’ work but to exhibit, so to speak, the artists at work.
One thing is for sure, EKG installations will be a lot more fun having NextFab across the street. We’ll be able to fabricate display systems, laser cut gallery signage, custom design and cut vinyl text and banners, and most importantly, 3D print cheese whiz and peanut butter on crackers for opening night hors d’oeuvres.

I understand you’re an artist as well - do you have plans to work on
any of your own custom fabrication projects at Breadboard?

Yeah, all the parts to a super funky playground set for my 2-year old, Eve and her sister Ally. I’ll be sure to post some photos when I finish!

Topics: philadelphia, Uncategorized, breadboard, nextfab


About this blog

Welcome to the NextFab Blog, where we discuss the ideas changing the world as we know it. Step inside the revolutionary world of 3D Printing technology, traditional and Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) machinery, innovation and imagination.



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