Can walking down the aisle of an Ace Hardware inspire art? If you are a Maker, you bet it can.

Mohit Bhoite, an engineer, was doing just that when he came across brass rods. He had been following the work of others who were making circuit sculptures and he decided to dabble. Since then he has created more than a dozen sculptures, even a robot that paints with light.  

The impressive senior hardware engineer with Particle will be flying in to speak at Maker Faire Miami about techniques, tools and tips for making these circuit sculptures, how a community of these sculpture makers has been growing and how it can be a form of artistic expression for any maker.

Mohit’s favorite sculpture is his Xenyan, a play on Nyan, the cat that shoots rainbows from his butt.

“I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting to make that as a robot? So I made this sculpture with a tail light. But if you take the long exposure picture, he can literally paint with light. You can paint characters or graphics in the air. It can shoot rainbows out of its tail. That was a perfect project for me because I could use my background in robotics, my brass sculpture techniques and then I could draw with light. That was the most fun.”

This one was an Insta-fav.

He’s been making these sculptures actively over the last year or so.  You can see some of them on his blog and his Instagram.

Mohit is a big proponent of Maker Faires.  “It’s almost like going to church but for makers. You feel part of a community with people around you all making things. There wasn’t anything like it before and now it has a massive following.”

He says it is important for kids to see things being made that are not part of a factory or industry. “These are people just making things out of passion. Not everything has to have an occupation. You can be a maker just for the sake of being one.”

Mohit grew up in India and worked for a startup that made robotic kits. He moved to the U.S. in 2009 to get his masters in robotics at UPenn. A highlight of his career has been working at San Francisco-based Particle, which created the only all-in-one IoT platform, for more than 5 ½ years.

“I was the fifth employee and we have grown to 100-plus. It’s an amazing group of people; most of the engineers are remote.  We have an office in Shenzhen, China. It’s the mecca of electronics with skyscrapers full of companies selling parts.”

Sculptures give him an artistic outlet, but it was difficult at first and took some unlearning. “As engineers, you are taught to make things efficient, cost effective – just the right way. Creating art is the polar opposite. You are not doing things because it is the right way; you are doing it for the artistic expression.”

When he is not building sculptures, Mohit is building skills in photography, carpentry, machining metal, 3D printing and 3D design. “I feel like in today’s world it is so easy to access tools and knowledge and explore any field of your liking.”

His advice: Get out there. “Now is the best time to be a maker. You don’t need to be solving a problem. Just take up a project, start building it, fail, learn from it, ask questions, join a local maker space if you can – and just keep building. It is the best way to learn.”

Mohit will also be available all weekend at the Particle booth with an amazing technical team from Particle to answer any of your IoT questions

For inspiration, visit the Miami Maker Faire April 6-7. Buy your tickets here.

By @ndahlberg

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