Art Quilt: Radio Silence

In this project, the title came first. Many families have topics that cannot be spoken about, or that will not be listened to. Continuing with my preoccupation with listening and hearing, I thought of those moments of "radio silence," when there is nothing to say, or when no one is listening. After asking the amateur radio operator of the house for a diagram of a radio and how to make it silent, he pointed to an arrow and where to adjust the radio so the volume is all the way down. No sound.

To organize the background, I found a television test pattern online, symbolizing no program signal, and modeled the piecing on it, taking artistic license. Underneath the diagram is a sine wave, embroidered in gray, that also ends at zero, nothing left. Silence.

Radio Silence
35.5"w x 35"h (90 cm x 89 cm)
Hand-dyed cotton and velvet; Japanese cotton; hand embroidery; free-motion quilting

I still have to wrap my head around the diagram, but I will try to explain. The diagonal arrow represents the tuning control. This is in the top half, upper left.

Also in the top half, the (what I call) rake, sawtooth, and arrow on the blue background, facing left, is the volume control, which is shown here set to zero. 

The top half of the diagram selects and amplifies the radio signal and converts it to an audio signal, which is amplified in the bottom half. (A search for what is the difference between radio and audio explains this a bit.) This is part of the bottom half.

In the bottom half, this end point is the speaker.

In this case, no one can hear this speaker.

In case you were wondering
what I see: what they are

little circle: terminal
scallops: part of the transformer
large parallel lines: part of the transformer
three-pronged rakes: symbol for ground
diagonal arrow across parallel lines: variable capacitor
sawtooth: resistor
sawtooth with arrow and rake: potentiometer [the volume control]
small parallel lines: capacitor
big circle with arrow and thing in it: FET (field effect transistor)
medium circle: terminal
solid circles: connectors
triangle: op amp
triangle/rectangle: speaker

Some explanations are here.