Category Archives: Makers

That was one HECK of a show.

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We are overwhelmed with appreciation for the spectacular day on Sunday.  This year, our fourth, we showcased just under 200 makers and hosted 7,000 people on the combined venue of Park Day School and Studio One Art Center.  The weather was spectacular, the depth and variety of content superlative, the community feeling strong.  And we had the first-ever, full-scale crate stacking show very likely in the history of the planet!

Thanks go first to our makers, those creative, generous people.  There is no Maker Faire without you.  You are problem-solvers and you are by and large easy.  You collaborate.  You are curious and happy.  Thank you for sharing your talent and your process and your prowess.

Then there’s our partnersStudio One Art Center, a fantastic arts facility owned and operated by the City of Oakland—and MAKE magazine, the entity behind Maker Faire.  And our sponsors (just look to the right rail), those companies and institutions that understand the value of maker culture and how important it is to foster and encourage.

Finally there’s the community of Park Day School How many of you reading this realize that the East Bay Mini Maker Faire is produced and organized entirely by the parents and staff of this progressive Oakland K-8 school?  It’s a staggering accomplishment, even for a group of professionals, let alone volunteers.  Thank you parents and staff!

Some nice news / posts came out about the fair:

We’ve been collecting images and loading them into a Flickr feed Please please share your images and videos—there were so many unique experiences at the fair that we’re just plain curious to see what you saw! Let us know via comments here, on Facebook or Twitter or G+, or email us at info@ebmakerfaire.com.

So *phew* we’re done for this year.  But before you forget all of this, we’ve got a survey for makers and a survey for attendees that we would so appreciate if you would take a moment to complete.  Your brilliant ideas, constructive critiques, and words of adoration are all very much desired and appreciated, and will help us be bigger, better, stronger, and more fun in 2014.  See you then.

Photos by Stephen Jacobson, Ben Smith, John Orbon, Sabrina Merlo, Karen Marcelo and Jeffrey Braverman/MAKE.  See the full Flickr gallery and attribution info here.

Shop a Little!

On Sunday, you’ll find an great variety of commercial makers in Studio One Plaza and Theater—the Makers’ Marketplace— and also in the Magnolia Circle at Park Day. Here’s a little preview:

paperpunk

Paper Punk

Grace Hawthorne, CEO/Publisher of ReadyMade, founded Paper Punk, an innovative paper-based building toy that provides endless imaginative and creative play for humans of all ages.

Slice of Delight.Halloween

A Slice of Delight in Berkeley
Founded by Hilary Goldman in 2009, after she transitioned out of high tech — where she’d worked for 35 hours — to launch into the new and exciting world of soap crafting. This mother of twins buys her soap base and colorants direct from local suppliers.

Kimonomomo

Kimonomomo in San Francisco

Founded in 2005 by Carol Ziogas, who learned how to sew in 1978 on a  vintage Singer machine back. She loves Japanese textiles “because they are beautiful. Growing up near San Francisco I was exposed to a tremendous amount of Asian art, and my mother was a textile junkie who quilted and collected Japanese fabrics herself. It rubbed off on me.”

DawnKathryn

DawnKathrynStudio an Etsy artist in Oakland

Other Commercials Makers….

  • Nous Savons
  • Parable Puzzles
  • Story Lamps
  • Touching the Ages
  • Animal Store
  • b-spired
  • Bay Area Models
  • Compass Rose
  • FiggyPudding 5A
  • Junkyard Couture
  • Monster Dream
  • New World Mosaic
  • Tiny Splendor  15A
  • Woodblock
  • Lee’s Haven
  • Sima’s
  • Robin MacLean
  • Bird of Virtue
  • Field Day
  • EGChu Handcrafted

The Public Debut of a New Sport: Crate Stacking!

sabrinacrate3Crate stacking is a game.  The objective is to stack as many upside-down plastic milk crates as possible and stand on the top. Stackers rest their feet in the handle holes of the milk crates, and the challenge is to place the next crate and transfer footings without losing balance and blowing the stack.

The set up is like indoor rock climbing or top rope climbing in that players are in a harness and are belayed for safety. Crates are tossed to the stacker when the stack is low, and then ferried by a rope on a pulley when the stack is high. When the stack inevitably blows, the stacker is held aloft as the milk crates scatter asunder. It’s fun. Really fun.

Want to try it? Crate Stacking will be going down on the front lawn of Studio One all day at East Bay Mini Maker Faire.  Under 18 will need parents present to try.  The highest stackers will be invited to a stack-off at 4 PM.

Here’s Crate Stacking game maker Liam McNamara, landing a record 26 stack:

RObots RoBots RoboTs

IMG_8882What would a Maker Faire be without robots?!  Well, we have a variety of robots and robotics exhibits and talks (see below).  But the larger robots that attendees are going to get to drive (and that will be located in Robot Grotto off the Studio One Building), are at the fair in large part due to the Bay Area student robotics club community.

First, there’s three FIRST Robotics teams.  One is the Scotbots from Piedmont High School.  Two are Terra Nova Robotics from Terra Nova High School in Pacifica.

FIRST is a worldwide robotics competition program. There are 350,000+ FIRST teams around the world, and over 100 in the Bay Area.  It is very organized, with five different levels:

All the Scotbots and Terra Nova teams are FTC or FIRST Tech Challenge robots.  The organizing principle for the FIRST competitions is that every year the FIRST parent entity announces that year’s design challenge.  One year it might be about a robot climbing a structure and flinging frisbees through certain size slots.  Another might be shooting baskets with basketballs. From the FIRST website:

Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete on a 12 X 12’ field in an Alliance format against other teams. Robots are built using a TETRIX® platform that is reusable from year-to-year using a variety of languages. Teams, including Coaches, Mentors, and Volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, an inventor and entrepeneur who designed and built the Segway, those self-balancing two-wheeled people mover machines.

These teams travel globally to compete.  The Terra Nova team is bringing a state champion robot!  And attendees of all ages will be allowed to drive some of these competition bots!

P1180156The other cool student-oriented robot group coming to the fair is UC Berkeley’s PIE (Pioneers in Engineering)PIE is a UCB student club that provides a quality STEM learning experience for students in underserved Bay Area high schools.  They offer a year-long mentorship program called Prep and an annual 8-week robotics competition.  For just $100 per team, they provide a robotics kit that’s fully designed and developed in-house, as well as trained college student mentors for each team.  Super awesome program!  (And speaking of UC Berkeley, thanks to them and their School of Engineering for coming in as lead sponsors of the 2013 East Bay Mini Maker Faire!)

Here’s a video of the Oakland Tech High School winning moment at the 2013 PiE final:

There will be a whole lot of other robotics oriented makers and presentations at the fair, including:

EXHIBITS

  • Arxterra Telerobotic Communities
  • The Tea Engine
  • Pxlbots
  • ButterBot
  • Julia Morgan School for Girls Engineering Programs
  • Aritifist Robotics
  • Mini-Bots

PRESENTATIONS

  • Drones, Planes, and Flying Robots
  • Multirotors 101
  • Getting Started with Arduino (time to be confirmed today)

The Making of seaGrass

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Some artists really don’t want you to think about process. They want to design an experience or impression, and they want you to not think about it—just feel it. Or admire it.

But the truth is, there’s a whole lot of making in most any art project.  Take seaGrass, Mauricio Bustos’ pretty elaborate Burning Man installation for this year.  It’s a grid of 30 – 30 foot towers that glow, bend and animate.  “Imagine wandering around the desert at Burning Man late at night and coming upon a field of huge, gently swaying, beautifully lit blades of grass.”

Not just large in scale, the project required a fair bit of tech. Each tower is fitted with 50 full color LEDs using a Teensy 3.0 board and XBee radio to allow a user to remotely coordinate patterns across the full field of grass blades.  A microphone and accelerometer are also connected to each tower to help capture sound and motion as other ways to make the sculpture interactive.

I loved clicking through the seaGrass Facebook picture set, because there is so much process shown there.  From renderings to prototypes of the electronics to band saws, you can see what it took to get to the bliss.  And do check out the bliss:

Mauricio was trained as mechanical engineer, but these days he’s doing financial modeling for a financial services company.  There’s a little bit of overlap, but it’s a bit far from the world of 3D making and materials.

Burningman has been an outlet for Mauricio’s maker self.  2013, the year of seaGrass, was his 13th year going out and making things for the playa.  He also teaches an afterschool maker class at his kids’ school where he introduces kids to graphics and processing and servos and motors—all in an effort to take the mystery out of software and hardware.

What’s nice is that Mauricio is bringing seaGrass to East Bay Mini Maker Faire in this same spirit.  Given that the fair is in the day, seaGrass isn’t going to really be in its full glory.  But Mauricio is hauling five or six of these 30′ tall reeds and is installing them on the front plaza of Studio One.  He’ll be there, as an artist and as a maker, to show the back end, to share the process, and what he learned getting to showtime.

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

If You’re Looking for a Makerspace that Fits You

the-crucible-100050674-largeWe’re very happy to share a new resource at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire site… A new RESOURCES page. To start the page off, we’re sharing an East Bay Makerspace directory that one of the East Bay Mini Maker Faire team members, Sagit Betser, pulled together.

Many of these makerspaces will be in residence on Sunday, October 20th at the fair.  Ace Monster Toys, Hacker Scouts, NIMBY, Rock Paper Scissors, American Steel, The Crucible, Counterculture Labs, and Mothership HackerMoms will all be at tables or doing demos throughout the fair.  But if you miss them, you can return to this list and find out when the next open house or workshop is—or to find others that for one reason or the other won’t have a booth.

The East Bay has a wealth of these spaces offering workshop space, shared sets of tools, and ongoing opportunities for making.  But it took Sagit’s research on the Maker Movement to get a page to finally manifest.

When Sagit Betser moved from Israel to the United States five years ago, it didn’t take her long to discover the Maker community. And feel awed.  A chemist and mechanical engineer — as well as the mother of a 10-year-old son and six-year-old daughter — Sagit became a science teacher at a private school in New Jersey, as well as its Director of Design and Innovation. This is what led her to attend the Maker Faire New York.

One year ago, Sagit and her family moved to the East Bay. “I went to the East Bay Mini Maker Faire and loved it,” she says. “Even more than the big New York one. It has more community feeling and artistic expression.”

Today, Sagit is working on her PhD at UC Davis in education, and one of her main interests is the Maker movement. She has taken both of her kids to Oakland’s Sudo Room. She also loved attending the Mothership HackerMoms‘ Open House in Berkeley.

HackerMoms

HackerMoms hanging out at HackerMoms makerspace

If you have more information to add to the page—or her research!—find Sagit next Sunday at the Riveropolis installation  (in the Magnolia Circle). What other resources should be listed? Leave comments on the page, or tell Sagit directly at the fair!

Bronze Pour at the Mini Maker Faire!

Metalsmith Dan Romo at workOn October 20th attendees at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire will get the chance to be metalsmiths for a day! Watch master metalsmiths Dan Romo and Hopi Breton (and her Diablo Valley College students) pour a bronze cast, then make your own work of art to take home.

Maker Faire attendees will be able to mold their own sand form, with numbers, letters, and other objects provided by Romo and Breton, or create your own. Guidance and assistance with making the sand forms will be provided by Breton’s students from DVC. Attendees will then watch as their ideas become their own original bronze sculpture!

Pouring bronze into a formIf you want to learn about this amazing art form, the first demonstration will start at around 11:00. Create a sand form while you learn the process of turning molten metal into art. Then, at noon, your sand form will be used as a mold for your very own bronze art piece you can take home. The cost to create your own bronze sculpture will be about $45 (enough to cover materials), but the experience will be one you will never forget!

The demonstration will repeat at 1:00, with another chance to make your own piece at 2:00.

Dan and Hopi think they will be able to pour about 20 pieces total for faire attendees, so register now and purchase in advance to reserve your materials and pour:  http://ebmakerfaire2013.eventbrite.com

If you love this, you won’t want to miss Breton’s upcoming Iron Pour at DVC on November 7th (make your mold) and 9th (pour)! Details can be found here: http://dvcart.blogspot.com/2013/09/iron-pour-coming-soon.html

Neighborhood 3D Printing Store Opens in Oakland

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

IMG_6406

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.

IMG_6407

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.
IMG_6404
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.

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.