Meet the Makers – Lumen Electronic Jewelry

Robin and Marty

Tell us about yourself.
We’re 4th generation mechanical engineering siblings. We grew up in rural northern Wisconsin with basically our own maker space in the woods. Dad had a machine shop with EVERYTHING that was as big as the house. Making is in our blood.

What are you presenting at Maker Faire Milwaukee?
Lumen Electronic Jewelry re-imagines the humble circuit board into art. Our pieces incorporate twinkling LED lights with tiny solar panels to power them. Hours of blinky, no batteries. We have pre-made jewelry from $15-$200 as well as soldering kits for all levels.

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Why is making important to you?
Robin – I enjoy making something with my hands, I get a joy jolt every time something actually works!
Marty – ‘Cause Making. I can get what I really want, not only what is available.

What was the first thing you remember making?
So hard to remember, we’ve both been makers since pre-natal.
Robin – I loved origami as a kid. I was constantly folding any paper I could get my hands on.
Marty – At 10 I made an all wheel drive all wheel steer remote control LEGO car. It used the old-school power box. I used a bendy straw as the bellows instead of a universal joint.

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What have you made that you are most proud of?
Robin – It was in an aerospace job and top secret, so I’d have to kill you if I told you. HA! But seriously, Lumen is my favorite. I use all my talents every day and I love it: artistic, engineering, teaching, strategic planning.
Marty – Well, everything lol. Currently its the all-wheel drive motorcycle, its the big and flashy one. I works really well. The drive-line layout is on its 2nd generation, suspension on its 4th or 5th generation. It’s taken a lot of voodoo, trial and error. Makes even a novice look good

Given an unlimited budget, what would you make?
Robin – Starship Enterprise. I want to travel to other planets faster than light and have no time dilation!
Marty – Laser heat exchanger rockets. Pretty damn cool.