Category Archives: Makers

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.

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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.

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. 

Matt Heckert and Walk and Peck


Way back in the age of video tape, in the time before the Internet, a machine named Walk and Peck roamed the earth.

One of the stars of the seminal Survival Research Laboratories film “Bitter Message of Hopeless Grief” (1988), Walk and Peck (AKA The Centaur) also had a feature role in the 1985 performance, “Extremely Cruel Practices: Designed to Instruct Those Interested in Policies That Correct or Punish.” 

Walk and Peck’s maker, Matt Heckert, will be bringing the old W&P out for a little walkabout at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire this Sunday.

In the world of art+robots, Survival Research Laboratories (SRL) is considered to be the pioneer of the “spectacle” form of underground robotic art.” (Wikipedia). Remote control machines, often the size of small cars, interact with props and each other, producing mayhem, surprise, and destruction.

Heckert came to machines and engineering pretty early.  Obsessed with cars and Formula One racing, Heckert got his first car when he was 13 years old.  “It was a little Volvo 544 that I was going to make into a racecar. I was done with the lawnmower and the outboard motor; I wanted to have something to work on.”

Matt’s dad had seen this Volvo out in the country for sale, and tracked down the owner.  It turned out that this guy, Paul Krot, was a photographer and a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design (as well as founder of Sprint Systems Photography—still in biz), and had in fact raced the Volvo in some Sports Car Club of America runs.

Krot wouldn’t sell the car.  Instead he said, “I won’t sell it to you but I’ll give it to you if you will race it.”

Krot proceeded to take 13 year old Heckert to the junkyards to look for just the right motor.  “The motor was tired and bell housing was shot. I took my money that I had earned and bought this motor for $220.”

“He showed me how to port the manifold and what cam shaft to get and what grinds to put on the cam shaft.” Heckert was in business.  Re-reading the owner’s manual, Heckert would check in with Krot and follow his advice—but continue the work and progress on his own.

The point all of this is that this guy was that this guy dealt with me as if I had a brain, had the ability, and was an adult.  He never talked down to me. 

 I never forgot about Paul and my Volvo but I never really got a perspective on how important it was for me developmentally until I was reminiscing about it recently. That I had taken the initiative to get the car and then met Paul and his attitude was “you can do this,” without faint praise or hand-holding, and then completing gave me a sense of accomplishment that I carrier forward to future projects.

Heckert made his way from there to an award winning art career with exhibitions around the globe.  He is currently Chief Engineer for TCHO chocolate in San Francisco, having re-engineered their vintage East German chocolate manufacturing equipment into a full-scale production line on Pier 17.

He’s also currently saying goodbye to Walk and Peck, which has just been acquired by a museum. Come and pay a little homage Sunday at the Faire.

P.S. Check this shot below, the original wiring notes from the control box:

Riveropolis: A Watershed Installation for Boat Making and Magic

San Francisco artist Gregory Gavin says that since he was a kid he has “returned to creeks to feed my imagination.  Finally it occurred to me . . . it was the creek itself I wanted to return with from the forest.”

In a presentation at San Francisco’s de Young Museum in 2006, Gavin proposed perhaps the world’s first company specializing in the creation of miniature rivers. Since then, he has been creating rivers all over the Bay Area under the name Riveropolis. This Sunday, you’ll have the chance to experience two amazing undertakings:

First, Gavin will set up a kinetic, quiet large and fast moving play river to build and experiment with boats.

Then, inside the geometry of the Park Day gazebo, Gavin will construct  an idiosyncratic “archipelago” of floating islands “that I discovered this summer while teaching river camp.

Gregory will also participate on the 12PM “Maker Programs in East Bay Schools” panel presentation/discussion session in the Studio One Theater.

Gavin has been commissioned by National Endowment for the Arts, the de Young Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Seattle Public Art Program, the Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize, and the Bay Area Discovery Museum. He teaches intermittently at the California College of the Arts and is a California Arts Council Fellow. He also teaches summer RIVER CAMP sessions at CAMP 510 at Park Day School, and the San Francisco School. We’re really excited to have him at the Faire!

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Mr. and Mrs. Maker: Jon Sarriugarte and Kyrsten Mate

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Did you get that enormous, weighty Restoration Hardware catalog (I mean “magazine”) about a month ago? Heavy as the heaviest September Vogue?  Maybe you noticed in there a giant feature spread on their new lighting designer,  “Oakland Oilpunk,” blacksmith Jon Sarriugarte.

Or maybe you saw The Avengers, Brave, War Horse, The Incredibles, TRON Legacy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Peter Pan, HULK or Lord of the Rings?  Then award-winning Skywalker Sound sound editor/sound designer Kyrsten Mate might ring a bell if you are in the local movie biz or a film credit junkie.

Better yetmaybe you went to Burning Man over the last 5+ years and saw the Serpent Twins, the Golden Mean snail car, or the Electrobite Olenoides?

Kyrsten Mate and Jon Sarriugarte are the dynamic power maker couple behind these extraordinary art cars.  They do these projects with (talented) friends on top of holding demanding day jobs and being parents to their Zolie Mae.

Their combined aesthetic prowess and extreme craftsmanship—along with the strength of their greater team—result in just plain stunning projects.  Come meet Jon and Kyrsten at 2PM in the Studio One Theater, see more of their work, hear some great stories… and get inspired!

Have You Found What You Love To Do? Workshop Weekend Will Inspire You

Gil and J.D. Zamfirescu say they feel lucky to have discovered “a few of our own passions early on in life.”

Which led both brothers to MIT, where Gil earned his degree in economics and J.D. earned degrees in computer science. Gil went on to found FertilGas, an initiative dedicated to sustainable energy technology in Honduras. And J.D. co-founded Appjet, which was acquired by Google in 2009.

“Our experiences growing up inspired us to create Workshop Weekend,” the Zamfirescu brothers say. “We think everyone, young and old, should have the opportunity to discover [their] passion, and that belief has driven us to put together Workshop Weekend: It’s a way to encourage that exploration of passions.”

Workshop Weekend you ask?  Workshop Weekend is a pop-up maker university.  Take (or teach!) 1-3 hour workshops on science, technology, engineering, art, and more.  The next full-scale Workshop Weekends coming up is:
» November 10-11, 2012 at Tech Liminal and other venues in downtown Oakland

HOWEVER…  We’re excited to announce a “mini” Workshop Weekend at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire! Workshops will run through the day Sunday in their room upstairs in Studio One.  Workshops include:
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Accessorize Your Style: Clay Jewelry Making and Button Making

Patrick Schmidt is the owner of a brand new art gallery in Berkeley. The art of millefiori (pronounced mil-uh-fee-awr-ee) — employed in Patrick’s clay jewelry workshop — was first discovered in Ancient Roman times. The technique was subsequently lost for more than a thousand years until the 19th century, when a couple of crafty folks where able to figure out the process from scratch!

You’ll learn the technique in this workshop, and, as a bonus, you’ll be able to make your very own button.
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Sewing Up a Storm! Machine Sewing, Hand Sewing, and Using a Serger — Halloween Style! (pictured above)

Michelle Adam — a magnificent fashion maestra specializing in scrapcycling, the art of repurposing old or worn-out fabrics into completely new items — is currently working on her master’s degree in fashion design at the Academy of Art University.

“I like to make a game out of it by trying to see how much I can create from irregular pieces of fabric that others would consider useless,” Michelle says.

Michelle will teach you three essential sewing techniques: hand-sewing, machine sewing, and using a serger. You’ll use your skills to sew together a Halloween-themed item which you can take home with you!

“One of the first fashion pieces Michelle ever made was a dress made entirely of Post-It notes,” Gil says. “It was meant to represent women’s ability to multitask, and one of her professors fell so in love with it that she bought it off of her!”
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DIY Extraction: Getting Vanilla Flavor Out of Vanilla Beans!

Oakland-based Andrew Milmoe is a maker and educator extraordinaire. He founded the “Make:SF” community of makers and explorers, and has taught or assisted in over 100 workshops over the past few years.

You’ll take home a bottle of your very own vanilla extract to use in homemade cookies, ice cream — whatever you like!

FIND WORKSHOP WEEKEND UPSTAIRS IN STUDIO ONE.  See the SCHEDULE page for complete lineup and times.

Get yer Swap on Folks!

If you’re coming to the East Bay Mini Maker Faire, you gotta make stuff while you’re here. What better place than our Hands-On-Everything Zone at Studio One?

Tip from the Top: plan ahead for the Swap experience and bring a shirt to screenprint, and some clothes you either want to donate or something you’ve been dying to jazz up.

Swap-O-Rama-Rama is the brainchild of Wendy Tremayne, an inspired artist/maker/yogini/homesteader. Basically, its a clothing swap, a sewing room, a hackerspace, and a series of DIY/DIT (do it together) projects. Bring along some clothes or all that extra fabric you’ve been meaning to use. Grab something and turn it into something else. Make a Halloween costume, a cape, a costume, a monster or a miniskirt. Make a stuffed animal or a tea cozy or a shopping bag, a book cover or a tutu….use your imagination or avail yourself of ours!

This year, our sewing maven CC Clark is back in action with her rotary cutters, sewing machines, notions, trims, fabrics and projects galore. In addition, workshop artists Cedar Casper (young maker extraordinaire) will teach you to make a jeans purse and Jennifer Williams will get you cutting up old t-shirts to make TARN (t-shirt yarn) you can crochet into all kinds of neat stuff. Iggy from the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse will return as well, and make cars out of old floppy disks. Remember those?

Next door to the Swap/Sewing room is the Screenprinting Zone. This is the place to take any t-shirt, hoodie, skirt, totebag or any piece of fabric you can lay your hands on and transform it into something cool. The artists and homies from Oakland’s  Homeygrown collective will bring their original designs and help you create your very own work of art.

Also–thanks to 510 Families for helping promote the Faire and all our crafty efforts!