Brattleboro, Vermont (PressExposure) October 14, 2009 -- Jodina Meehan has been creating cymatics devices and making permanent artworks with them for the past 3 years in Southern Vermont. Recently she has created new plans that anyone can follow to build their own cymatics device at home.
If you are not familiar with what a cymatics device is, it is a device for making sound waves visible. Cymatics has been in the news as a little-known but growing field of scientific inquiry, notably on TED, with a talk by Even Grant showcasing cymatics. The cymatics device Meehan was inspired by in creating her device is called a generally called a "tonascope," and has been used to help hearing-impaired people learn how to speak.
Meehan calls her version of the tonascope a "Cymatics Sounder. She says "There are many ways to make a cymatics device, but after several experiments, this is by far the fastest and simplest way to make a cymatics device of any kind that I have come up with."
The first cymatics device in recorded history was created by Ernst Chladni in the 1700's. He used a plate covered with sand and pulled a violin bow across the surface to create patterns with sound waves. He would perform with his device in front of groups of Victorians.
At that time this device and the practice of making sound waves visible was not yet called "cymatics." The word cymatics would not be coined until the 1960's when Hans Jenny wrote his book "Cymatics" about his experiments with sound waves, crystal transducers, and various liquids and powders which he vibrated on many different wurfaces including membranes and metal plates.
Meehan's Cymatics Sounder can be used to make visible patterns using only the human voice. It actually shows what the sound of the human voice looks like. When someone sings into a cymatics device they can alter both the amplitude and tone of their voice, and see different patterns of varying complexity form in front of their eyes.
She says, "You will get simple patterns and effects (like the salt just jumping off the surface) to start with. Then you will learn how to get more detailed and clear designs as you learn to play your Cymatics Sounder just by watching it." You can access her free instructions for making your own Cymatics Sounder at http://www.cymaticsounder.com