Breaker Faire – May 25th

Breaker Faire

Breaker Faire poster by Dallyn Rule – www.dallyn.ca

Like to BREAK things? Visit the Vancouver Community Laboratory for your chance to smash a car! For just a few dollars, you can take part in a scrumptious pancake BREAK-fast, WRECK a car, have your mind BLOWN by local art / creations, and PLAY a giant claw game! Wreckage form the car will be used by local artists for materials, and all proceeds benefit the Vancouver CoLab and Vancouver Mini Maker Faire.

All ages. Entrance by donation.

Saturday, May 25, 10 am – 5 pm

1907 Triumph St.

Click here for information & updates via Facebook

Submissions to show your work will be open until one week before the event (May 18th). Please contact ben@makerfaire.ca for more details.







Meet Your Makers: Colin Johnson, The Emperor’s Cabinet

Wooden AT-AT

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If you’ve passed by 6th and Main recently, then you may have noticed the amazing Wooden AT-AT in the window of Hot Art Wet City Gallery & Shop. Woodbutcher Colin Johnson is the artist responsible for this eye-catching piece of wonder, and it’s coming to Maker Faire!

 

May LaForge Be With You: A tribute to Star Wars and Star Trek

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It’s also being featured at an art show called May LaForge Be With You, dubbed “an epic art battle between two sci-fi favourites: Star Wars and Star Trek.” The opening reception is tonight from 7-11 pm (details below).

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I haven’t even gotten to the best part—it’s a fully functional liquor cabinet! Booze and Star Wars: two things that make me the life of the party. I asked Colin a few questions about the liquor cabinet that I would happily sell a kidney to own.

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DY: You must be a huge Star Wars fan. What made you decide to turn it into a liquor cabinet or was that your idea all along?

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CJ: Yes, I am a huge SW fan. I didn’t know it was going to be a wet bar when I started, but I did know I wanted it to contain something. (I was toying with the idea of a diorama of some kind.) I would like to say I had a lofty reason for making it, but I made it for notoriety.

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DY: How long did it take you?

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CJ: It took about 600 hours (give or take 100).

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DY: You describe yourself as a Woodbutcher. Has this always been your preferred medium?

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CJ: I started making things with Lego. When I found Lego to be too limiting I started using paper. Now I mostly work in wood. It is my preferred medium but have dabbled in plastics and some metal.

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DY: When I was at the gallery today, everyone who was waiting for the bus was totally into it. What kind of reactions have you gotten from people?

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CJ: People love it! Some of the reactions have been very animated.

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Colin Johnson will be at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire on June 1 and 2, but catch him tonight at Hot Art Wet City for the opening of May LaForge Be With You.

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Hot Art Wet City, 2206 Main Street, Vancouver
Thursday May 9 – Saturday June 1, 2013
OPENING RECEPTION TONIGHT: Friday, May 10 from 7-11pm

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Meet The Crafters: Heidi Liao, My Secret Cravings

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After searching high and low for the perfect cake topper for her wedding cake and coming up empty, Heidi Liao decided to make her own using the clay molding skills she learned in pottery class. It was such a hit with family and friends that she decided to try her hand at making clay jewelry. Now Heidi specializes in handcrafting tiny food in jewelry form. I contacted her for a Q&A before her very first experience in the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. Here’s what she had to say about her craft.

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SV: First off, why food? Are you a big foodie and wanted to bring that into your crafting?

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HL: I was never a foodie growing up so it’s ironic that I decided to make food-themed jewelry. But I thought food is appealing to everybody, and it can be made to look so delicious! Making non-edible food is almost as good as making real food!

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SV: Where do you get your inspiration?

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HL: I get my inspiration mostly from bakery shops and Pinterest.

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SV:  Once you decide on the treat, how long does it typically take you to make a piece? What’s your process?

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HL: Initially, it takes me around 15-20 minutes to make each item. As I get more familiar with the colour and texture of the piece, it takes less time. I start each piece by mixing the colour of the clay. Then I start molding the clay to the shape I want and continue working at it until I get the proportion right. Once I’m happy with it, I send it to the toaster oven to bake. After baking, I let it cool and then put on toppings, if any, and then let it dry. Lastly, I finish with a glaze to seal the colour and apply any findings (if it’s a pair of earrings). Once that’s done, it’s packaged and then ready to be shipped to the customer.

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SV: What’s your favourite piece in your collection?

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HL: The mint chocolate ice cream cone stud earrings (below). I love the way the colour really stands out and I think they’re perfect for summer!

ice cream earrings

SV: Of course I have to ask — what’s your favourite secret craving?

 

HL: Even though I’m not a huge foodie, I really do love ice cream. My favourite ice cream flavours are matcha green tea and black sesame. And I also love anything potato, especially sour cream & onion chips and fries, of course!

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Make sure you visit Heidi’s booth June 1-2 to check out all her adorable wares. You can also find her sweet treats on Etsy. Oh and don’t forget to get your tickets for Vancouver Mini Maker Faire!

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*photos courtesy of Heidi Liao






MADE IN VANCOUVER: Meet a Sponsor, Zaber Technologies

Zaber L-R: left to right: Andrew "Bruce" Lau, Rob Steves, and Jesse Schuhlein.

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In 1997, Andrew “Bruce” Lau (left, above) and a group of friends from engineering school dreamed of starting their own business. With diverse interests and knowledge of electro-mechanical systems, programming, and physics, the group formed Zaber Technologies. The company designed and manufactured a variety of products (a rowing machine and a 3D scanner to name a few) before settling on precision robotics.

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In the late nineties, precision linear actuators used DC motors with gearbox and encoders. They required complicated motion control cards, bulky controllers, separate driver amplifiers and special power supplies.

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In short: precision motion control was:
•    expensive
•    difficult to set up
•    and cumbersome to use.

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So the group recognized the need for an inexpensive, integrated solution for motion control. They wanted to make motion control products that were easy to set up and ready to use right out of the box, so they created the world’s first precision linear actuator with a built-in controller. It was based on a stepper motor instead of a DC motor, gearbox, and encoder combination.

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Now with more than 30 employees, Zaber Technologies manufactures motion-control products for a variety of uses, including bio-technology, optics, physics and industrial applications.

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I sat down with Andrew to find out more about Zaber, what makes it an inspiring local company, and why they’re a strong supporter of the Maker community.

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Who uses your products?

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ABL: They’ve been used to find cures for cancer, for space-bound instrumentation, drug discovery, lab automation, a space elevator… even for tracking worms! Basically it’s a tool for people to use, like a very elaborate screwdriver.

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Zaber - row of products on a shelf

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You’re a Vancouver-owned and operated company. Can you tell us what this means and why it’s important to you?

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ABL: We are fully employee owned, which means that all our shareholders are current or former employees, and all our employees get stock options. If you ask me, a business exists to support the people who work there — not the other way around. At Zaber, we treat everybody the same. Though we’re a growing company, we still have that small company feel, and in order to create this you need to care about the culture and the people.

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Also, I think it’s really important to think locally when manufacturing products. Our customers are based all around the world, but the electronics we manufacture are created right here in Vancouver.  We don’t want to outsource overseas just because it’s cheaper. For example, when we work with a local supplier to manufacture circuit boards, we visited their shop to make sure they have high work-place standards. We understand every aspect of our process, and this includes the environmental impact.

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Speaking of the environment, how important is sustainability to Zaber Technologies?

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ABL: Very important. We do our own composting. We recycle everything. We have a secure bike shed. We’ve even won Bike to Work week for the past four years!

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I think as a Maker it’s really important to understand the upstream and downstream of your products. You can’t ignore the fact that after you’re done making something, it will end up somewhere, so this is why all of our parts are replaceable. This means that a customer can return a product that was made 10 years ago and we will repair it and send it back to them. In fact, this just happened the other day.

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Why did Zaber choose to sponsor Maker Faire?

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ABL: The culture at Zaber is rooted in making things from scratch instead of accepting the status quo. Everyone here makes things in their spare time, and we all believe in DIY culture. We think it’s important to understand how things are made.

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Also, at Zaber we think that Makers are really good employees. People who make things with their hands, they fit in well with the culture here. Vancouver Mini Maker Faire is a really good organization benefitting a lot of really smart, motivated and passionate people, so it means a lot to us to give back to this community. And we hope that in turn, Maker Faire will help us grow our community.

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Zaber - Dave working with product
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So visit Zaber’s booth at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire on June 1 and 2 to learn more about the work they do and the company they’re creating. Oh, by the way Zaber is always looking for passionate makers. If you want a job, don’t forget to tell them what you make!







Visiting Vancouver Hack Space: 3D Printer Night

People gathered around 3D printers at Vancouver Hack Space

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Have you ever been to Vancouver Hack Space? VHS is a self-organized, inclusive collective of makers, AND a space to collaborate on projects, that will be coming to Maker Faire again this year! I visited VHS for the first time this past Wednesday, May 1st, and it was a really cool time to be there, because it was their second monthly 3D printer night!

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A 3D printer at work

A 3D printer at work

 

Close-up of a 3D print being made

Close-up of a 3D print being made

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While I signed a simple safety waiver to be in the workshop space, people were setting up 3D printers they brought from home. Armed with long spools of ABS plastic to print things out of, they were ready for some requests!

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After an hour or so, the crowd had settled down, smaller conversations had broken out, and it was a lot more social while people helped each other out with technical challenges.

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It was exciting and overstimulating for me, and the space was pretty tight for the crowd of almost 30 people. However, our host for the evening, Dan Royer, made a special announcement: VHS is officially moving to a new space!

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Dan Royer hosts 3D printer night

Dan Royer hosts 3D printer night

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VHS is presently stationed at 45 W Hastings St, with an entrance that opens from the ground floor in a low-lit back alley leading up a set of rickety stairs. It can be a bit of a scary experience for some people.

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The inside is well-lit, but tight, and densely packed with maker tools and supplies, shown below.

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VHS at the end of the night

VHS at the end of the night

 

Machine tools at VHS

Machine tools at VHS

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In the new space at 270 East 1st Avenue, VHS will have an extra 2000 square feet to fill, which they plan on dividing into two areas, with one room designated for CNC machines and power tools and other equipment, and another room for collaborative learning and other quieter projects.

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Below is a photosphere I shot of the new VHS space on Friday March 3. You can click and drag around in to see the space, and use your mouse’s scrollwheel to zoom.

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(View full screen photosphere of the new location for Vancouver Hack Space in a new tab)

 

VHS aims to complete the move in 30 days, just in time to invite everyone who sees them at Maker Faire to visit them in their new home.

 

Learn more about VHS’s move and find out how to help.

 

Donatio(n) at VHS







Maker Faire Calls for Street Team Volunteers

Spring is here! As the weather gets nicer, we know the more you want to be outside basking under the sun and enjoying good conversations with people. So why not be a street team volunteer for the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire this year and support your local community of awesome makers while doing so? All it takes is some comfy shoes, lovely smile (which you already got) and a little bit of your time.

If you’re unfamiliar with Maker Faire, it is one event where art intersects with science and craft intersects with utility in the most interesting ways. This year’s event features more than 100 innovative makers and talented performers with a myriad of skills and passions, from puppetry, to 3D printing, to quilting, to machinery and music making. And you, yes you (and maybe the person behind you), can help us spread the word out to get more people to come for this fun event!

 

Here’s the skinny:

  • Apply to be a Street Team volunteer (the coolest kind out there!)
  • We’ll email you back with an email detailing when and where you can pick up the posters and post cards (location will most likely be around Main St. and 8th)
  • You distribute about 100 posters and 500 post cards to cool shops in your chosen neighbourhood (don’t worry – they’ll go fast!)
  • You get a high five and a free ticket to attend Maker Faire!

 

See, it’s that easy! We’d love to poster every store of every corner by the beginning of May so don’t delay, sign up now!

 

Shoot me an email to stephawie@gmail.com if you have any question.







Maker Education Meet-up on Thursday, May 9th

“Maker Faire exemplifies the best coming together of creativity and science. As a teacher I feel it is not only important to convey theories, laws, and equations to my students, but also give them a sense of what can be achieved by the power of these scientific ideas that they can relate to in their day-to-day lives.” —Thanh-Lam N., high school science teacher, San Jose, Calif.

 
The Maker Education Initiative is going strong in the US where the mission is to create more opportunities for young people to make, and, by making, build confidence, foster creativity and spark interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts – and learning as a whole.
 
In line with our mission to build a strong and vibrant community of makers in our city, Maker Foundation will be hosting a meet-up on Thursday, May 9th from 7-9pm at Mozilla (163 W Hastings St, 2nd Floor) to connect families, leaders, educators, mentors and organizations in order to start a dialogue around young makers in our communities – in a meet-up style format. Interested in coming out? Please RSVP ASAP!
 
Here are some ideas that are gaining headway:

  • Maker Media has put together a really great playbook on how to start makerspaces in schools.
  • Planning a Young Makers Program to start in September. This would mean pairing up youth with Maker mentors to build projects for next year’s Maker Faire.
  • The Maker Mobile is a mobile workshop space that will be at Maker Faire this year. They are looking for volunteers to help out and for funding.
  • If you’re interested in getting involved or starting a community initiative for young makers, maker education or maker spaces in the city, please bring your ideas forward.

 
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What we hope to Achieve:

  • To connect and inspire a new community of individuals in Vancouver interested in jumpstarting this initiative.
  • To kickstart the Maker Education Initiative in Vancouver so that Vancouver can be a hub for maker-oriented curriculum and maker spaces in the city
  • Eat pizza and have fun!
  • So, bring your thinking cap and a stack of business cards and let’s start the conversation.

 
Hosted By:
 
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Early Bird Tickets Available This Month Only

VMMF 2012 01 - low res

 

Vancouver’s biggest show and tell is happening June 1-2, and early-bird tickets are on sale through the end of April!

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Vancouver Mini Maker Faire will feature more than 100 makers who will demonstrate skills such as puppetry, electronics, computer hacking, music-making, quilting, farming and virtual reality. It’s where art meets science, craft meets utility, and farmer’s market meets backyard forum.

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If you’re in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island or the Fraser Valley, we encourage you to plan to spend at least one entire day, if not the whole weekend, at this event showcasing the ingenuity and creativity of people and groups from all over the area.

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Weekend passes are $20 for adults, $14 for students and $10 for children. So grab one for you and your family to take part in the city’s biggest skill swap!

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And, if you want to help make the event happen, volunteer signup is open too.

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“There’s something for everybody at a Maker Faire,” says VMMF Creative Director Emily Smith (pictured above). “It brings together all of the local community groups to share what they are doing, while immersed in a spectacle of fun and excitement.”

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See you all at the Faire!







We’re looking for Coordinators!

Are you a people person? Are you passionate about grassroots movements, Maker Culture and DIY? Do you have any experience organizing and co-ordinating large groups of people? (Anywhere from 20-100)? If so, we want to hear from you!

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Vancouver Mini Maker Faire is gearing up for 2013 and we are looking for a Promotions Coordinator and Performance Coordinator. These are all volunteer roles, but aside from the immense gratitude we’ll send your way, we’re planning some great “Thank You” perks.

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If you are interested in any of these roles, please submit a resume and cover letter to info@makerfaire.ca titled, “I want to help Organize Vancouver Mini Maker Faire!”

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******Applications Due: Wednesday, April 17th at midnight.*****

Promotions Coordinator

This job entails overseeing the public outreach and promotion of Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. Working with the Volunteer Coordinator, you’ll organize the Street Team volunteers who will be getting our postcards and posters out into the city. You’ll work with our Maker Coordinator to organize volunteers and Makers who will staff our booth at Got Craft? on April 27 & 28, as well as at Playland the weekend before our event.

The Promotions Co-ordinator should be fairly versed in the Maker movement and love talking to people about it. Good organizational skills and experience directing others are strongly desired. You will be expected to submit a final report.

Performer Coordinator

This role is for someone who loves music, performers, and has some tech know-how/stage crew experience. You’ll organize and schedule the Makers who are Performers, search out some more to fill available slots, act as their point of contact during the weekend, and with your volunteer team make sure the music flows and the smiles shine. You will be expected to submit a final report.







Vancouver Mini Maker Faire is Looking for Organizers!

Are you a people person? Are you passionate about grassroots movements, Maker Culture and DIY? Do you have any experience organizing and co-ordinating large groups of people? (Anywhere from 30-200)? If so, we want to hear from you!

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire is gearing up for 2013 and we are looking for a Volunteer Co-ordinator, Programming Co-ordinator and Performer Co-ordinator. If you are interested in any of these roles, please submit a resume and coverletter to info@makerfaire.ca titled, “I want to help Organize Vancouver Mini Maker Faire!”

******Applications Due: Wednesday, March 20th at midnight.***** Read the rest of this entry »