TurtleArt - From Digital to Physical

A workshop led by Hope Chafiian, Erik Nauman,  Josh Burker, Artemis Papert and Brian Silverman

For decades, turtle geometry designs have been viewed on computer displays, printed on paper, or drawn by a robot Turtle. In recent years new technologies have allowed a wider range of artistic expressions of turtle designs. These include 3D printed and laser cut objects, laser etched designs on wood, embroidered patterns, vinyl cutouts, and ceramic tiles crafted from turtle graphics images.

This workshop will be devoted to exploring these new possibilities in Turtle Art. We’ll demonstrate the process and look at the technical requirements for each methodology and discuss what types of designs are most appropriate for each technology. We will present projects that have been done with students and example workflows for students to engage in digital to physical processes. We’ll work primarily with TurtleArt to create designs. We’ll also use Turtle Stitch for embroidery, and Beetle Blocks to generate truly three-dimensional turtle geometry designs that may be turned into physical objects.

Recognizing that you may not have access to the equipment for realizing these projects at home or in school, we’ll offer pointers to resources that you can tap to bring your designs into the physical world. This includes Skill Mill NYC, a makerspace in New York City where you can use equipment with staff guidance. Or, you can send them a file with which they will produce your object and send it to you. You can arrange to watch the process via Zoom as they do it. IDEAStudio, at Houston Community College’s West Houston Institute, will be available for people in the Houston area. They can fabricate your part for you and arrange for pick-up.


Saturday, January 23, 2021, 10:00 am to noon EST


Everywhere via Zoom


$15 per person
Free for people who participated in the 2020 Virtual Logo Summer Institute

About the workshop leaders:

  • Artemis Papert is an artist creating art in both traditional, mainly acrylic and pastel, and digital media, using code as the medium. After a first career as a research biologist she retrained in the healing art of shiatsu. With an interest in dream and fairy tale interpretation and as a lifelong learner, she is currently training to become a Jungian psychoanalyst. Artemis has led TurtleArt workshops for a wide variety of groups in many countries.

  • Since the late 1970s, Brian Silverman has been involved in the invention of learning environments for children. His work includes dozens of LOGO versions, LogoWriter and MicroWorlds among them, Scratch, LEGO® robotics, TurtleArt, the PicoCricket, and the Phantom Fish Tank. Brian has been a Visiting Scientist at the MIT Media Lab, enjoys recreational math, and is a computer scientist and master tinkerer. He once even built a tic-tac-toe playing computer out of TinkerToys.
  • Josh Burker is the Middle Division Educational Technologist at The School at Columbia University. He has taught in both public and private schools, and workshops for teachers, for the past 19 years, working with Logo programming, robotics, fabrication, electronics, and art. He writes books and consults on educational projects that he finds inclusive and disruptive. He is the author of The Invent to Learn Guide to Fun, which inspires makers of all ages to explore the intersection of crafting and technology through whimsical, creative projects.
  • Hope Chafiian is a Middle and Upper School Computer Science Teacher at the Spence School. She has worked with numerous versions of Logo, teaching game programming, robotics, physical computing and wearable technology to students and adults. She collaborates with a great group of teachers at the Logo Summer Institute and Robo-Expo to provide rich hands-on learning experiences for participants. 
  • Erik Nauman has worked at The Hewitt School in New York City for 16 years as middle and upper school Educational Technologist, Robotics Coach, Art Teacher, and middle school advisor. He has taught creative robotics and programming on several platforms, from blocks based Scratch, TurtleArt and MakeCode to text based languages like Logo, Python, Processing, and P5. He teaches in a makerspace classroom, facilitating middle and high school students' design and making experiences with hand tools and digital fabrication. Erik has been a facilitator with the Logo Summer Institute for Teachers and co-organizer of the annual Robo Expo event for many years.