Author Archives: sannmer

Geocaching 101

Geocaches-01Thanks to Lily Lew for the guest post!
Ever wanted to go on a treasure hunt? Well now you can! There are over one million containers called “geocaches” hidden all over the world. That means the chances are really good that one is close to you right now. All you need are the coordinates and some hints at www.geocaching.com and a GPS device to get to the coordinates (usually a smart phone).

Stop by the Geocaching 101 booth at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire and see how many unofficial geocaches you can find dispersed among the faire. For the Maker in you, inspiration from the faire will give you new ideas for making and stashing your own secret containers that you make for you and your friends. The Geocaching 101 booth aims to provide education, responsibility and creativity for those interested in applying their treasure hunting skills. We explain map information, terrain, safety, environmental concerns and geocaching etiquette.
The ultimate treasure hunt is on!
Creative-Caches

Hands-On Heaven

7928207326_44b121d35f_b (1)The East Bay Mini Maker Faire maybe be “mini” compared to the 125,000 person Maker Faire Bay Area.  But we are MAXI in then number of opportunities visitors will have to try something new, to engage and make.  Take a gander at this list of hands-on making booths and come prepared to get busy!

BUILD IT

  • 2×4′ Jenga and Kapla Blocks – Hopi Breton & friends.  Here is your chance to play and to create wild modular sculptures at once with big Kapla planks.
  • Nerdy Derby – Park Day School – Create your own creative, innovative race car to launch down our undulating 30 foot track, made by students at Park Day School.
  • Riveropoliscreate an island temple, tree, boat or just play with the THE RIVER THAT TIME FORGOT.

METAL

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  • Make a tiny tool box with NIMBY - Our NIMBY volunteers will introduce you to the very basic sheet metal fundamentals. We have kid sizes safety gear to start things of right. We will walk you threw cutting, bending and welding your very own tin tool box.
  • Richmond Art Center: Learn the Art of Fold-Forming  A combination of origami and traditional metalworking, fold-forming creates three-dimensional forms by continuously hammering, folding, forging and annealing a thin sheet of metal.
  • The Crucible – Try your hand at some metal stamping.

DIRT & CLAY

  • Seed Bombs - Orange Door Properties.  Make seed bombs–small, balls of clay, compost and native, drought-resistant seeds that you can make and then launch into abandoned and blighted spaces like freeway medians, empty lots…or even your own yard!
  • Biodegradable Origami Pots  -The Blake Garden. Make origami pots out of biodegradable newsprint. 
  • Bowl Making – Park Day School.  Make a clay bowl by the ring method and donate it to Empty Bowl Project which raises much needed funds for the East Bay Food Bank.
  • Throw ClayStudio One Art Center Ceramics Studio.
  • Mosaic trivets – City of Paris Studios – Mosaics, Tile & Design. Put on the eye protection, hear the sharp shatter as you break tiles with a hammer, Plan and layout origional fesigns onto backer board pre-cut squares, put on rubber gloves and mix cement adhesive to glue, wait a minute for Fast setting cement to dry and then grout the trivet to fill in the spaces in between.

LIFE

  • Butter Booth – Park Day School.  Make butter

FIGHTING & FLYING THINGS

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  • Duct Tape Swords -Pufferfish Swords. Come and make a sword out of foam and duct tape!
  • Rockets!  – Park Day School.  Cut, roll, tape, launch, crane neck, locate.  Repeat.

ELECTRONICS

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  • Electronics Take-Apart and Re-Creation Station - Come take apart your favorite electronics devices to see what makes them tick!  We’ll help you identify DC and stepper motors, LEDs, optical sensors, switches, integrated circuits, transformers, heater coils, and many more.  Then we’ll bring these building clock components back to life outside of their usual life support systems. 
  • etextiles with Crafty Avenger. Work with a variety of textiles and electronic components to create small projects that light up! Project include patches, small plushies and more.
  • Fixit ClinicBring your broken, non-functioning things: electronics, appliances, computers, toys, etc. for assessment, disassembly, and possible repair.
  • Learn to Solder - Park Day School + Lighthouse Community Charter School.  Try your hand at soldering and make a circuit happen!

PAPER, TEXTILES, LEATHER, FELT

Clothing Swap Astoria #2

  • Screenprinting, sewing & textile hacking in the Swap-O-Rama-Rama Pick some material or some clothes from the used clothing pile and then make a costume, sew a dress, hack a blazer into a murse, silk screen rad designs onto your sweatshirt!
  • PAPER PUNK Use your hands to transform 2D sheets of brightly patterned paper into 3D masterpieces with a few simple folds.
  • Pen Pop Print Shop Print a poster of your own design using fallen leaves and found objects.
  • The Cyclocarder – Felt the Sun. Ride the Cyclocarder, a bicycle-powered wool-brushing machine, and practice making felted balls of wool.
  • GlovetopusCome make a Glovetopus, a stuffed octopus made from a pair of gloves.
  • Make Your Own Yarn With A CD SpindleLearn an age-old art and make your own yarn out of sheep’s wool with a simple CD drop spindle from Spindles & Flyers, one of the Bay Area’s oldest fiber arts organizations.
  • Waller Leather – Sam Waller.  Learn a few tricks of the art of leather craft.
  • Monster Dream Pillow – Sticky Art Lab.  Use scrap fabric and simple sewing to piece together a sweet little creature, add button eyes, and fill with lavender for a good night’s sleep, or place in your drawer for good smelling socks!
  • Oakland Hand Madelearn how to sew and make a prayer flag/wish banner.
  • Paper Bead Making – Carol Tanenbaum Designs. Make paper beads with colorful calendar and magazine pages. Then construct a necklace with the beads you’ve made.
  • Tile Art - Brushstrokes. Come paint a tile!
  • We Dream in Motion – Community Paper Quilt
  • Oakland Museum of California. Create a stop motion animation.
  • Free Utopian Projectsmake art!
  • Mothership Hacker MomsDesign a Día de los Muertos art project.
  • TapigamiCreate creatures and landscapes out of masking tape – and then place your creation inside of the exhibit.







Neighborhood 3D Printing Store Opens in Oakland

Ed note:  This story is a re-post from Makezine.com, MAKE magazine’s blog.

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MakerBot has a retail store in Manhattan.  And UPS is testing in-store 3DPrinting services in five locations. But how many neighborhoods or Main Streets have a small-biz, 3D printing/digital fabrication retail store?  One that not only prints but teaches classes and sells printers?

The answer is… not very many.  According to MAKE contributing editor, Anna Kaziunas France, there is Deezmaker in Pasadena; The Color Company and iMakr in London; =The 3D Printing Store in Denver; and the GetPrinting3D Retail Store in Evanston.  And through this post we found out about iGo3D in Oldenberg, Germany.

As of yesterday, HoneyBee3D in the Montclair district of Oakland, Calif. can be added to this list.  Husband and wife team Liza Wallach and Nick Kloski are offering classes, printing, rapid prototyping, and they are a distributor for TypeA Machines.

Liza actually has had this storefront since 2003, running her successful jewelry line and store, LizaSonia Designs, out of the space.  Nick is an Engilsh major who rolled into the tech industry during the dot-com boom, doing 15+ years between Sun Microsystems and Oracle.

Knowing their background, It makes sense then that the two of them might have aspirations beyond the “Mayberry” of Oakland.  The HoneyBee3D website says that six more retail stores are planned for 2014.

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The store is simple, uncluttered, and calm in feel. There are wood desks and a ceiling-mounted computer screen that can be pivoted out the display window, or inside the store for teaching purposes.  When I arrived Nick was winding down a good conversation with a dad and two post-game soccer boys, and three TypeA Machines were printing away.
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Montclair feels like a 60s throwback main street-as-shopping-village.  It’s up in the Oakland hills. It is full of small businesses and is still supporting two or three bookstores. There is frozen yogurt, coffee, dentistry, sporting goods, shoes, kitchen tools, dry cleaning.  Lots and lots and lots of families, and a good number of seniors. Not “hip” in the least (the foodies and fixies are <em>not</em> in Montclair).  So it’s an interesting and telling choice for a store selling 3D printers.

Welcome HoneyBee3D!  We’re very curious to know how it will go; please keep in touch!

Visit with HoneyBee3D at their store in Montclair, or come meet them at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire on October 20th.

(Re)Making a Skate Park in West Oakland

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Douglas Kittredge is a carpenter, builder, set-builder, and artist.  He’s founder of OakTownHall, an old-West style building meant as a center for community projects, located in the enormous American Steel Studios building in West Oakland. He’s also Anarchitectural, a design/build company that specializes in “building the future with what remains of the past.”

OakTown Hall inside American Steel

OakTown Hall inside American Steel

Last fall & winter, Kittredge was one of the crew that created, built and programmed the magical and temporary Peralta Junction Project—a gorgeous pop-up community events “square” right across from American Steel. It was while working on that project, outside the walls of American Steel, that Kittredge got a deeper bead on what was going down in the adjacent West Oakland neighborhood.

That’s when he discovered Town Park Sk8 Gallery—a skate park with ramps etc— in the nearby DeFremery Park. Town Park Sk8 Gallery is, according to Kittredge, West Oakland’s most used recreational facility in West Oakland.   It’s also one of the most in need of repairs and maintenance.

20130909223350-563183_10151242064182191_1215395884_n_copyKittredge, along with park founder and resident mentor Keith “K-Dub” Williams, has been on a mission ever since to repair and improve the mostly wooden facility.  Kittredge himself has done 24 hour stints, staying all night in the park to get ramps fixed and ready for events.

K-Dub’s plan is to get the City of Oakland to realize that the park needs a more solid park infrastructure that is not so easily degrades as wood ramps with sheet metal (that occasionally gets stolen and sold for scrap).

In the meantime, the two of them persist.  Kittredge has organized a series of work parties—the next of which is this coming Sunday—where skilled and unskilled alike can pitch in to help make West Oakland’s most used rec facility decent.

He’s also recently launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise much-needed repair funds. There are truly amazing benefits from American Steel artists. But the campaign to date has only raised $1800 of the needed $15K—and there are only 15 days left in the campaign.

East Bay Mini Maker Faire is super happy to have Douglas, K-Dub and some of the Town Park Sk8 Gallery skaters exhibit at the fair on October 20.  But October 20th is too late to help the park with the IndieGoGo campaign or recruit helpers for this weekend’s work party.

Needless to say, if you can, please contribute today.  And if you’re a maker, get down to the park on Sunday from noon-6 PM to pitch in and lend a hand.

Meet the 2013 East Bay Mini Maker Faire Makers

EBMMF_GEAR_ROBOT_gsa_004_outlinesSuperstars!  That’s what you are!

It’s our pleasure to introduce a fantastic list of makers for this year’s 2013 East Bay Mini Maker Faire.

We have roboticists, textile hackers, artists, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, students, designers, blacksmiths, glass blowers, programmers, farmers, pranksters and printers.

We are updating the list daily, so be sure to check back here and again.  Our schedule of performers, workshops and presenters will go live next week.  But in the interim>>>>>peruse the list and appreciate!

6 Reasons Why Our 2013 Call for Makers KickOff *Rocked*

This will be year #4 for the East Bay Mini Maker Faire, and for the first time we held a Town Hall to kick off the Call for Makers. Turnout was amazing—over 100 people attended and yes, THE CALL FOR MAKERS IS NOW OPEN. But so much else happened!

1.  The Mayor Spoke.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan came by to give us her well-wishes and to announce that the City of Oakland has been chosen to host the 2nd annual Urban Manufacturing Alliance conference. The UMA is a national association working “to grow manufacturing businesses, create living wage jobs and catalyze sustainable localized economies.” Meaning it’s an organization created to promote maker businesses.  The conference will be in early October, just before the fair.

2. The Makers mingled.

So many connections made last night!  I personally witnessed The Crucible meeting the Lawrence Hall of Science for the first time.  WikiSeat met Claremont Middle School.  Makers with scrap plywood met makers with a need for scrap plywood.  And on and on!

3. Oakland Makers launched.

A stellar lineup of some of Oakland’s most influential makers (Karen Cusolito/American Steel,  Hiroko Kurihara/25th Street Collective, Leslie Pritchett/AmSteel&Crucible, Steven Young/The Crucible, Margot Prado/City of Oakland Economic Development Dept., Michael Snook/NIMBY makerspace) introduced Oakland Makers, a new organization meant to better position and articulate the value-add of Makers specializing in the industrial arts, applied technology, artisan production, custom manufacturing and education. The have galvanized as a group to:
• increase the visibility of Oakland’s manufacturing and industrial arts,
• sustain the ability of these sectors to operate and thrive,
• grow Oakland’s diverse creative economy.
Sign up on their mailing list to get involved and learn more.

4. The Makers took the mic.

We also had an opportunity for everyone to come up and introduce themselves. Folks lined up and shared their name, their organization, and what they make. So cool to hear the diversity of the makers in the room, the numbers of new people finding a place interested in participating, and the continuing support and presence of the superstars of the East Bay maker scene.

5. American Steel Studios inspired.

It’s hard to express the scale of both the facility and operation of American Steel Studios. It is SIX ACRES in size, and at least a hundred makers call it their home away from home. Founder Karen Cusolito gave two tours of the facility. If you missed it, check this New York Times article—and watch for a profile piece about to come out in Metropolis magazine.

6. Tacos and fine beer were had.

Many thanks to the City of Oakland’s Economic and Workforce Development Department for providing delicious sustenance. And to Line 51 brewing company for flowing some delicious beer. Quality, local food and beverages really do make for quality mingling.

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR COMING OUT!  Thanks especially to Karen and American Steel for hosting. Thanks to the strong showing by Park Day School volunteers (Park Day School is the organizing entity behind the volunteer-run East Bay Mini Maker Faire, if you didn’t know). And to our venue partners, the City of Oakland’s Studio One Art Center.

Don’t forget to get your maker, performer and presenter applications in early—and please share the Call with your extended community.

If last night is any indication, year four is going to be fantastic. 

You’re Invited!

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The 4th annual East Bay Mini Maker Faire is gearing up for Sunday, October 20th, and to celebrate we’ve decided for the first time to put on a Kick-off  and Town Hall at one of the East Bay’s largest makerspaces, American Steel Studios.

  • East Bay Mini Maker Faire 2013 Call for Makers Launch
  • Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
  • 6—9 p.m.
  • American Steel Studios, 1960 Mandela Pkwy (park on 20th)

Please RSVP one of two ways: Facebook (and please share it with your maker community!) OR Eventbrite.

We will launch the 2013 Call for Makers, and share the low-down on fair plans for the October 20, 2013 East Bay Mini Maker Faire. Plus:

  • learn about Oakland Makers, a new local association of industrial arts, technologists, artists, manufacturers, and educators. Steve Young of The Crucible, Hiroko Kurihara of the 25th Street Collective Karen Cusolito of American Steel, and other charter members will share the story and vision behind this new maker initiative.
  • meet the fair organizers; get your questions answered about the event (especially if you have not participated in the past); pitch ideas for your exhibit; learn more about volunteering; contribute curatorial ideas and suggestions!
  • tour West Oakland’s largest maker space with American Steel co-founder Karen Cusolito. First tour starts promptly at 6 PM; last tour at 8 PM.
  • eat and drink :-D

So we can have enough food and drink for all, Please RSVP one of two ways: Facebook (and please share it with your maker community!) OR Eventbrite.

If you have questions or ideas, please get in touch at info@ebmakerfaire.com.

Hope to see you there!

—The East Bay Mini Maker Faire 2013 team

It was Super

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Wow!  What an inspiring day.  Thank you Makers of the East Bay Mini Maker Faire!  Your creativity and curiosity is  profound, fun, and thoroughly entertaining.

As an organizing group (almost entirely made of parent volunteers of Park Day School), we really feel like we hit our stride this year. Logistics, permits, equipment, volunteer organization…  It all came together to enable us to share this day with 170+ makers and  5000+ attendees.

So many people and organizations make this event happen that it’s hard to single out thanks.  At the risk of making an omission, we pay tribute to:

  • Makers.  You are it.  There wouldn’t be anything to talk about if you didn’t make.
  • Park Day School staff, parents, teachers and community.  This is an entirely volunteer-run event, and hands-down you all worked unbelievably hard to make it happen and run so smoothly.  Thank you for being so game, for spending all of your time and energy, and for sharing Park’s incredible campus as a venue.
  • Studio One Arts Center for joining up with us and for activating their front yard, ceramics, glass and jewlery studios.
  • MAKE Magazine and O’Reilly Media for having the vision to share (and license) Maker Faire to community organizations.  Read MAKE Magazine. Maker Shed for bringing kits and cool stuff to the faire.
  • The MAKE interns and Lighthouse Community Charter School students Javier Gonzalez, Oscar Martinez and
    Juan Carlos Montes for running our Learn to Solder booth.
  • Several Individuals from outside the school community supported the East Bay Mini Maker Faire in a big way.  Katy Bell for stage managing the Music Stage.  Scheffer Ely for helping with set-up.  Tricia McGillis for web design.
  • And thanks again to our sponsors (see right).  Special props to Ranahan Production Services for all the production gear, and Aidells Sausages and ACME bread for making the maker lunch happen.

We’ll be sending out surveys to makers and attendees in the next few days—we’d like to hear your feedback so that 2013 can be even more fabulous.    And we’d love to see your photos and videos (please tag with #ebmakerfaire); post them via Twitter and Facebook.

Phew.  Smile.  See you next year!

The Low Down and Big Up on Studio One Art Center

This year for the first time Studio One Art Center is activating their really great art and craft studios for the East Bay Mini Maker Faire.

If you’re not aware, Studio One is a City of Oakland public arts studio.  They offer classes, after school care, summer camps and all kinds of amazing hands-on arts and making programming throughout the year.

Besides hosting the Maker Shed, BioCurious, MakeSF, Mothership Hackermoms, Ace Monster Toys, Workshop Weekend, the Swap-O-Rama-Rama and more tomorrow, Studio One will be showing off their facility and teachers:

  • Janet Hiebert will be demoing stained glass, glass fusing & glass beads (upstairs)
  • Karen Ehrhardt demoing metal jewelry and Alyssia Cartner on found object assembly (upstairs)
  • Blanca Soltys on wheel throwing demos & hand building demos in the Ceramics Studio (downstairs) + glaze your own bisque ware in the side courtyard

Sounds like there will be drum making and building of terrariums too.  Help Studio make a mosaic for their new garden.  And experience first-hand this City of Oakland cultural hub + resource.

Kirk Lombard: Pursuing the Elusive Monkeyface Eel

Kirk Lombard worked for 7 years as a fisheries observer for the CA Department of Fish and Game.

Onboard rockfish boats off the Farallones I counted rockfish; on the piers I checked herring, jacksmelt, stripers, pile perch; on the beaches I saw how surf and night smelt were captured; in the hidden coves I checked in on goose barnacle poachers, (not because I had to, because I wanted to); in downtown San Francisco I watched homeless, drop-line-wielding grandmothers, pull rockfish after rockfish out of storm drains.

You want to get deep with fishing in an urban environment? Come to Kirk’s workshop on the Homesteader Stage, 12:30PM: “Poke Poling 101.”  Learn to make your own poke pole so you can catch monkeyface eels, rockfish and cabezon on the California coast.   Informal discussion on other “underground” fisheries of SF Bay will continue after the demonstration–time permitting.

Kirk also has 10 years as a (third generation) equity actor in NY, and is the lead singer of local band Rube Waddell—so you can make a good guess that his session will be great theater as well.  Even if touching an eel freaks you out.

And if you miss the session, Kirk now leads field tours on urban fishing regularly through his company Sea Forager, so you can get out in the field with a real expert.