On Saturday, we visited Isabelle’s fantastic little space/studio, “L’Observatoire”, near Turf club road. Set in a somewhat bucolic part of town – lush greenery, horse stables, and wide open spaces – Isabelle’s space was full of plants and specimens and some really awesome microscopes for observation. We marveled at strange little wiggly green blobs inside the cells of plants and stained sample specimens from mice and other creatures – the output from a set of optical microscopes, magnified onto a wall with a projector. It seemed a fitting setting for our friend Andreas Siagian of Lifepatch to conduct a little workshop on the process of DIY wine-making, along with other friends from Indonesia who were also visiting Singapore.
We began with a bunch of bananas. This was because bananas were the only fruit we happened to have there, and the store-bought fruit juices in Singapore almost always have strange additions to them. Naturally one could have tried using any manner of juice product as the base, but it seemed nice to start with the pure fruit. Here, Andreas explains to us the process before he begins…
We were using a packet of inoculated yeast (extracted from Soursop) which had been specially prepared by Lifepatch.
Boiled water was allowed to cool slightly and then added to a blender with all of the cut fruit. Some of the boiled water was used to rinse the containers that were to be used later as well.
The fruit mixture was strained and the larger pulp removed.
The packet of yeast was added to water, and then later added to the fruit.
A hole was drilled into the bottle’s cap, and tubing was inserted so it would be virtually airtight.
At this point, a little sugar can be added as well to make it sweeter.
The yeast eats the sugar, and turns it into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This is evidenced by the bubbling that will happen in the cup of water below, issuing forth from the tubing. When the bubbling has stopped, it means the yeast has finished its job. If there is excess sugar left, this makes the wine sweeter, which is why the addition of sugar can help result in a sweeter wine at the end, because there is excess sugar left after the yeast has done its course…
After the fruit-wine-mixture was prepared, what could we do? Well next Isabelle suggested we could dissect some pens. And so we did! We dissected the pens. The pens were empty, because the children use a lot of pens. We dissected them pens good, and squeezed the dried ink sponges to see if there was any more ink in them. We squeezed them until there was nothing else to squeeze.
After the pens were dissected, Isabelle took out a box of old cameras which she had been reserving for a “Tinkering Sundays” class she was conducting on 5 May 2013 for kids.
It was discovered there and then that if you give a bunch of artists/diy builders?/hackers?/programmers? some disposable cameras to take apart, they will be occupied for hours. If not days. Perhaps even weeks. They will be gluing bits of the camera lens to their smartphones permanently. I still have mine partially attached to my phone. You might have to pry them out of the work room with an electrified stick. It is truly that engrossing.
NEED A SUGGESTION FOR HOW TO CREATE HOURS OF ENDLESS FUN FOR THAT SPECIAL GEEK IN YOUR LIFE?
GIVE THEM AN UNWANTED OLD DISPOSABLE CAMERA, A PAIR OF PLIERS, AND WATCH THEM GO AT IT!
HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO TAKE MACRO INSTRAGRAMS OF EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE?
WHY NOW YOU CAN, WITH AN OLD DISPOSABLE CAMERA LENS!
Mushroom which Isabelle picked up – with suspected beetle infestation.
[Note: Yuta’s horrifying mushroom beetle story comes to mind, he told us a story about how he had bought a beautiful ornamental hard bracket mushroom which looked a lot like this. One day it suddenly changed colour, so he suspected something was happening inside the mushroom, so he put it in the microwave, a few small beetles fell out of a small hole in the mushroom. I know, I’m obsessed with this story and you’ve probably all heard it from me too many times, but I still can’t get over it. I can’t decide which is more horrifying – the accidental death of the beetles? yuta’s decision to microwave the mushroom?? the idea that there might be lots of beetles secretly living inside these inert-looking mushrooms??? the secret life of beetles inside fungi, of which i know so little about????]
Dead Bee from my kitchen.
Dead spider from my table.
Dead wooly aphid. Yeah I brought all these insects as a present for Isabelle.
Other people bring gifts of fruits and wine when they visit friends, I bring dead insects.
The surface of some seed pods.
Basically I could go on and on and on…
Thanks to Isabelle (and her family) for hosting us at her wonderful wonderful space and spending the afternoon with us, and thanks to Andreas for conducting the little workshop! It was great to have other friends from Indonesia over (Ade, Coki, Monica) and to see Luis and Anne-marie there as well! Good times…