Got Craft? brings the creme de la crafty to Vancouver Mini Maker Faire!



It’s a haven for handmade!  A casa for craft!  Got Craft? has gone bite sized for the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire with a specially curated section of the cutest, quirkiest and craftiest handmade goods you ever laid eyes on.


The toast of Vancouver’s indie craft scene, Got Craft? is a twist on your grandmother’s craft fair that aims to bring together a community that fosters handmade and DIY culture. Amongst the techies and tinker-ers at Maker Faire, the mini Got Craft? will feature a collection of 30 artists, crafters and foodies plus a DIY terrarium workshop hosted by Green with Envy (registration required).




Choose favourites?  I could never.  But here’s a sneak peek at just a few of the delights that await your visit…


Make Cheese

Handcrafted cheese kits for making cheese at home (Make Cheese Inc.)

Draw Me a Lion

Hand-drawn colouring activities for kids (Draw me a Lion)

little wren

Charming handmade rings (Little Wren Designs)

Forest and Waves

Hand-drawn city maps (Forest and Waves)

Hand and Sew

Hand-stitched leather wallets (Hand and Sew)


Excited yet?  I sure am.  Be sure to keep your eye on the blog this week as we introduce you to some of the loveliest (and sweetest) Got Craft? vendors from this talented local roster.  (Do you have your tickets yet?)


Roxypop | Firefly Notes | Make Cheese Inc. | Forest and Waves | Cowl & Company | Delish General Store | type B | District Dogs Design | Craftworks Society | Kohana Jewellery | Little Wren Designs | Hand and Sew | Sarah Mulder Art & Jewelry | Abeego | Raven’s Rest Studio | Draw Me a Lion | Element Botanicals | Frankenstrap | Blue Spoons Paper Products | Sassy Contessa | LanaBetty  | Sasha Eillenna Jewelry | Locomotive Clothing | Queen Bee Luxuries | Endure Upcycled Designs | [in the oven] | Urge Chocolates | My Secret Cravings | Green with Envy


About Got Craft?

Got Craft? is Vancouver’s largest indie craft fair, growing strong since 2007 with annual shows in May and December and an average attendance of almost 6000 people.  For more about Got Craft? check out our interview with Andrea, preview upcoming events on their website, follow their Facebook page and meet them at Maker Faire.


Breaker Faire – May 25th

Breaker Faire

Breaker Faire poster by Dallyn Rule –

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 for more details.

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

Wooden AT-AT


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


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).


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.




ATAT 032


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?


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.


DY: How long did it take you?


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




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


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.


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?


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




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.


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




Meet The Crafters: Heidi Liao, My Secret Cravings



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.


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


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!


SV: Where do you get your inspiration?


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


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


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.


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


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!



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!


*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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


Who uses your products?


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.


Zaber - row of products on a shelf


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


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.


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.


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


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!


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.


Why did Zaber choose to sponsor Maker Faire?


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.


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.


Zaber - Dave working with product


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!

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 if you have any question.

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!

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.

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

******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 titled, “I want to help Organize Vancouver Mini Maker Faire!”

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