Tag Archives: hands-on

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

A HUGE Shout Out to Our Sponsors!

If you’ve visited our website over the past couple of months you might have noticed that the list of sponsor logos on the right side of the page has been growing.

We are deeply thankful for our event Sponsors–they help us cover the costs of producing this hands-on, fun-filled, inspirational juggling act we call the East Bay Mini Maker Faire.

The 2012 lead sponsors to date are:  Make Magazine, Park Day School, Studio One Art Center, City National Bank, Clif Kid, Brushstrokes Studio, Orange Door Properties, Galileo Learning, and CAMP 510. You guys rock!

Please frequent their businesses, buy their products, and stop by their booths at the Faire–Clay Sculpting with Brushstrokes, Seed Bombs with Orange Door Properties, Cob Oven Pretzel Making and Tasting with CAMP 510, Masks and Crown Eco-Crafts with Clif Kid, and A Shake and Quake Test Center with Galileo Learning.

We also are extremely grateful to Project 6, Greener Printer, and Lansharks who donated their time and services to help us with little things like design, printing, and wireless technology.

And our media sponsors did what they do best and got the word out to all of you.  Thanks to East Bay Express, Berkeleyside, Oakland Local, 510Families, and Edible East Bay.

See you all in four days!

The 21st Century Shop Class: Bringing Making Back to School

We are thrilled to announce a fantastic panel discussion at East Bay Mini Maker Faire:  The 21st Century Shop Class:  Developing the Creative and Critical Doers in Today’s Schools.  David Clifford of the East Bay School for Boys will lead the discussion along with a variety of “shop teachers” from around the Bay Area to discuss why learning with one’s hands is critical in today’s complex world.

Shop class?!  Surely you remember shop class:  Bookcase projects? Cutting boards?  You might not know this, but those classes and projects have gone the way of home phone service and the decline in manufacturing jobs in the U.S.  Shop class is pretty much gone.  Lathes, band saws and routers liquidated.

Maybe those bookcase projects were one-dimensional.  But in the vacuum of any hands-on learning opportunities in school, there is rising recognition that shop class might have purpose after all.  There are studies to prove it:  many people show improved comprehension of science and math principles when they get to MAKE something instead of read it in a book.

Spanish class desks 8th graders designed and built at East Bay School for Boys

Clifford knows it from experience. He spent 13 years as a “shop teacher” at Lick Willmerding High School in San Francisco—part of that as the Director of the Technical Arts program (he is now Innovation and Outreach Director for the new East Bay School for Boys—check out the nice set of resources he has on design and building.)

Clifford and Lick’s approach to Technical Arts is interdisciplinary in the best way:  ” Application objectives include cross-disciplinary and collaborative learning, skills for engineering, effective problem solving, creative expression, competency in the language of craft and design, and personal empowerment through self-confidence and self-esteem.”

Clifford will be making a presentation on his findings and curriculum objectives for this kind of class, and then will moderate a panel discussion amongst “shop” teachers from across the Bay Area, including:

  • Eric Temple, Head of School, Lick-Wilmerding High School (San Francisco)
  • Alex Vitturn, woodshop teacher, Aurora School (Oakland)
  • Liisa Pine, welding instructor at Laney College High School Machining and Welding Program (Oakland)
  • Casey Shea, math teacher and Project Make instructor at Analy High School (Sebastopol)

If you are a parent interested in bringing shop back to school, or if you are an educator working towards this, we encourage you to come participate in the discussion.  Bring shop class back to school!


Save the date: October 9, 2011 –No the 16th!

We might be crazy, but we had such a good time, we’ll be doing it again next year. Save the date for the 2nd annual East Bay Mini Maker Faire: October 9, 2011.

If you’d like to get a reminder when we open the Call for Makers & Crafters (early summer) and attendee registration (later in the summer), please give us your email address by clicking on the red button to the right. We won’t send frequent updates, and we won’t share your address with others.

Update: We’ve switched the date to October 16th.  See next post.

The Maker Way of Learning: Gever Tulley

School just started Tuesday at Park Day, and there’s only six weeks to go to the East Bay Mini Maker Faire.  So to get in the mood and generate some juice, we’ve invited author, teacher and tinkerer Gever Tulley to speak to the Park Day School’s Parent Participation Association on “The Maker Way of Learning.” The talk will be this coming Wednesday evening, September 15th, at the Park campus’s new Magnolia Building (old Matilda Brown building).

I first ran into Gever 4 years or so ago when searching for some un-boring content for a parent education series I was programming for my youngest son’s preschool.  Searching the internet, somehow I ran across Gever’s now infamous TED talk, “5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do”.

That 2007 talk has now morphed into a fabulous book, “50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do).” Gever explores simple things that we can do to raise our kids to be creative, confident, and in control of the environment around us. Things like letting our kids play with fire, own a pocket knife, and throw a spear.

Gever is also co-founder of the Tinkering School, a sleep-away camp in San Mateo County where kids do hands-on exploration and experimentation, building and making.

Gever’s spirit and approach might be summed up by his teenage babysitting rule: “If you’re going to play with fire, we have to go outside.” It took him many years to come back to that philosophy and shape it into a life’s mission, but we’re ever so glad he did — and are very happy to welcome him to Park Day School.

Gever’s talk will cover the fundamental principles of Tinkering School and looks at how making can be a powerful alternative to traditional education approaches. (If you’re interested in attending the lecture and are not a family at Park Day School, please write to info@ebmakerfaire.org for more information.)