Put Down New Roots From Home With A Free-Form Tree Of Life

Mandalas are meditative objects that mean many things to myriad religions. Psychologist Carl Jung equated them with the concept of the Self as a whole, and put forth the notion that an urge to create mandalas signifies a period of intense personal growth.

[Sander van de Bor] took up the mandala challenge at the beginning of 2020 and decided to create several of them in free-form electronic style. If you’re looking for a healthy new way to deal, [Sander] has step-by-step instructions for making your own light-up tree of life by wrangling a wad of wires into a trunk and branches. Big bonus if you already find soldering to be soothing.

[Sander] starts by forming a circle from brass rod. This is the base for the rest of the build and will tie all the LED grounds together. The tree is twisted from a cluster of enameled copper wires that are eventually soldered together to distribute power from a coin cell out to the six SMT LEDs.

You could argue that the tree should be ground because it’s rooted to Earth, but you could also argue that the circle should be ground because the circle of life is a grounding force. Something to think about while you design and build your own, eh?

If electronic sculpture becomes your new thing, explore all the angles with the master manipulator, [Mohit Bhoite].

6 thoughts on “Put Down New Roots From Home With A Free-Form Tree Of Life

  1. mandalas are nice; I used to make them when I had an office job.

    I’d take a stack of post-it notes, and whenever I got bored waiting for tests or something, I’d color in the top one’s quadrants with different sharpie colors. Then I’d stick it on the wall such that each corner’s color matched the post-its around it.

    By the time our team was inevitably asked to move to a new space, I’d have a little wall of colorful rectangles. And when we moved, I’d dump them all in the recycling bin and start over at my new desk.

    It helped me to reflect on the impermanence of existence, as a mandala should, and sometimes I wonder if that helped me find the courage to eventually leave.

  2. This reminded me of a non-electric project of mine, just to come up with a use for what was left of a giant sapphire I had had cut into a 75ct cabochon. The original rock was >3500ct, and it didn’t star, so it didn’t end up being worth anything, but it is “So. Damn. Heavy.” and has these glints of light that flash as you turn it. It just reminded me of the top of some rocky mountain, and that made me want to try to wire wrap it with a little bonzai tree…


    1. Oh, I forgot to mention that it’s made with copper wire, gold plated “wire wrap” wire, and solder. I was trying to get a 3-color look, but now, years later, the corrosion has kinda dulled the differences between the metals. :(

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