Category Archives: Meet your Makers

Vancouver Maker Foundation connects Educators, Librarians, Makers and Enthusiasts

In line with the Vancouver Maker Foundation‘s mission to build a strong and vibrant community of makers in our city, we hosted a meet-up last Thursday the 9th- to connect families, leaders, educators, mentors and organizations in order to start a dialogue around the impact of integrating more of the Maker Ethos at the level of education and community programming.
 
The event was a great success! We have decided to turn this into a monthly thing. If you are interested in coming to future meet-ups, please sign up to our Meet-up group. A big thanks to Mozilla, who sponsored the evening, and future meet-ups to come!

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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!

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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

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