Soft Circuit Singing Pig with Wigs – Part 1 Overview

Animated gif with pig in different wigs

I come from a family serious crafters. I’m the only child that didn’t go to art school (though I guess music school isn’t that left field). My sister is currently studying at Savannah College of Art and Design basically learning how to design awesomeness. When she visited me in London this past summer, we came to a rather strange agreement: she would create a mounted deer head art piece for me and in return I would make her a stuffed animal pig with different wigs that sings (she also requested ninja-capabilities, but I had to draw the line somewhere). We agreed this in July and then didn’t really speak of it again, but we both understood that we needed to produce our gifts by Christmas.

This started when she was thumbing through my copy of Knitting Mochi Mochi by Anna Hrachovec and came to the pig with wigs (you can see one of them on the book cover in the upper right corner). We had been playing around with my Sing-a-ma-jigs earlier. I think the Mochi Mochi Land patterns are yearning to be mashed up with some electronics, and when my sister concluded independently of me that the pig should sing (a project I had wanted to do but didn’t have time to devote to at the ITP Camp last summer), I believed I had no other choice than to make it so.

The result is a pig with glowing eyes and the on/off switch as the tail. When the pig is on and there aren’t any wigs on its head, nothing happens beyond the pulsating eyes. When a wig is snapped onto it, the pig sings the song associated with that wig: a black wig sings Bad Romance by Lady Gaga; a beehive sings Tik Tok by Ke$ha; and a mohawk sings Superbass by Nicky Minaj.

And this is what my sister made me (sorry, not a brilliant photo):

Paper mache deer head

As it was a rather large project, I’m breaking up the documentation into multiple blog posts (circuit design, code, and construction).