Friday, 6 June 2014

Montreal Mini Maker Faire

On June 7th and 8th I had the immense pleasure of running an exhibit at the Montreal Mini Maker Faire. For those of you who have never heard of a maker faire, it is a yearly event spearheaded in cities around the world by proponents of the Maker Movement. In a society where we spend so much of our lives simply buying and consuming, makers argue that creating things with your own two hands is both valuable and necessary. 

Growing up, I was lucky that I had parents who were both makers themselves long before "maker" was ever a term. My mom was always sewing, quilting, embroidering, painting, cooking, and baking - while my dad was an amazing amateur wordworker, metal worker, and all around handyman (he is now an accomplished model railroader). Nonetheless, growing up in the 80s and 90s there was a definite sense that skills needed in the home were the purview of grandparents, and that people my age didn't need them. 

I am glad that is changing now, that people are coming to a new understanding of what it means to make and create. I was at the faire with the creators of a life-sized R2D2 unit, a pancake-making Lego robot, and local steampunk artisans. Seeing what all the different exhibitors were doing was so exciting, and it was a pleasure to see how people reacted to my own work. 

Richard Burman over at the Working Hands Project put together a short documentary about myself and the other makers who were at the Faire for the first time. I'd like to thank all of the organizers and volunteers who worked so hard to make this event happen, as it was an incredible experience. I'm excited to go back for Maker Faire 2015!

Creating Cards with the Silhouette Cameo

Though I'm a maker by night, by day I'm a school librarian. My boss and I are both extremely interested in makerspaces and want to create one in the library for our students. The first thing that we've purchased for our makerspace is a Silhouette Cameo. 

Now, if you have not seen the awesomeness that is the Silhouette Cameo, you need to get yourself over here and watch the video! It is amazing! My mind has already been turning over and over the flower designs that I could develop with this wonderful tool.

When the Cameo arrived, my boss put me in charge of figuring out how this works. She also gave me an assignment - make thank you cards for all of the parents who have volunteered in the library over the past year. So I got down to work using the sketch pens and the cutting feature to create these cards. I'm really happy with how they turned out!

(I am also ridiculously happy that I am allowed to take this little machine home for the summer...though I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll get so addicted that I'll be buying my own when September rolls around.)

In other news, I just got back from a little evening soirĂ©e at Centre Greene here in Montreal, where we were all setting up for the Montreal Mini Maker Faire! It starts tomorrow. My bouquets are all set up and I'll be teaching origami workshops throughout the day. If you're in the area, stop on by! Tickets are $6 for adults, and kids twelve and under get in free!