(Jost will provide a free workshop at Maker Faire)
Homebound during last winter's ice storm, Jost started dismantling a baby's electronic alphabet toy she happened to have lying around, crossing wires and changing the circuit board with alligator clips, switches and a soldering iron to create new sounds. She keeps musical toys because she has a small music studio at home and likes to create new sounds.
"When I had the thing apart and wires strewn all over the table, the toy's voicebox said 'play with me,' " she says.
She did, and joined the art form of short-circuiting low-voltage, battery-operated children's toys to create new sounds. She became a circuit bender.
"The goal is not to accept a toy for what it is but to crack it open and change it," she says. "Anyone can do it. You don't need to know a thing about what you're doing."
At Maker Faire, she will have a table of used electronic toys, and a variety of tools to tinker with the circuit boards. "It is playful, creative and on the fly," she said. "These things start at an exploratory stage and evolve to a project. And once you're finished, you decorate it."
She's also bringing a synthesizer that is modulated by a vintage heart monitor and heart defibrillator. She will look for a volunteer to be smeared in EKG conductive gel. The effect? It will change sounds that the keyboard makes.
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Travis County Exposition Center, 7311 Decker Lane
Cost: $25 adults; $15 students 13 to 21 with student ID; $10 ages 4-12; 3 and younger free. (You can buy tickets in advance and for a $5 discount at the Austin Children's Museum through Friday.)