Author Archives: kami

Tinkering: Open Shop!

By Oren Connell, Tinkering Coordinator

Prepare to check another awesome box for the Austin Mini Maker Faire! I’m very pumped to be heading up a Tinkering:Open Shop at this year’s Mini Maker Faire. In collaboration with Austin Tinkering School (a Kami Wilt jam) and a few kind members of the the tinkering and disposal community we’re planning to open up 200 square/feet of tinkering madness for Austin Mini Maker Faire adventurers to enjoy. 

tinkerpost 1The Tinkering OpenShop will be an area where you’ll enjoy the freedom to wander through a world of “Sure! We can totally do that!” as opposed to “Gee, I don’t know that sounds impossible…” You’ll get some real tools, real materials, and a helping hand to make sure your adventure is safe and fun. I promise y’all (all ages welcome) will love ripping some old stuff to shreds and then re-using it to make something for yourself! 

tinker post 3On hand we’ll have a wide variety of raw materials. These will include bits of wood, cardboard, plastic, and a standard supply of goodies that any Tinkerer could need. We also have a large pile of “dead” electronics to tear into! We hope to pirate dials, switches, motors, circuit boards, fans, wire and a whole bunch of other excellent gems from these “raw” materials. Then you’re free to build whatever strikes your fancy. 

Come visit us under the West Canopy and we’ll be happy to help you build your dream WHATEVER! tinkerpost2

Making It Sustainable

by Teri Sperry

One of the most exciting new features of this year’s Austin Mini Maker Faire, and one I’m especially proud to be involved in, is the Sustainable Village.  Sponsored by the visionary and award-winning Texas Disposal Systems, this group of Eco-Makers takes the DIY mindset to another level, showing us clever, fun, and responsible ways to build and grow, recycle and upcycle, generate and regenerate.

eastside garden cart

You’ll find the Sustainable Village under the huge west canopy of the Palmer Events Center.  Beyond the ingeniously engineered electric cars, you’ll encounter wearable solar generators, a solar tracker made from a boy’s BMX bike, “practical and impractical” bikes made from scrap frames and recycled parts, innovative compost solutions, and a neighborhood’s own mobile gardening toolshed.   You’re invited to roll up your sleeves and learn to build and plaster an adobe-like wall of Compressed Earth Blocks.  And be sure to catch the presentation on Austin’s first food forest (inside on the speaker’s stage at 11:20).

microbial earth

Kids of all ages will have a chance to  model geodesic domes, build miniature windmills, and more.  You’ll also find out about local after-school and summer camp programs that teach kids about green technology, permaculture, and sustainable farming.

Just what do we mean by “sustainable”?  While there’s no universally agreed-upon definition, a common theme is interconnectedness. My favorite summary goes like this: “Sustainable communities foster commitment to place, promote vitality, build resilience to stress, act as stewards, and forge connections beyond the community.”

That’s exactly what we aim to do at the Austin Mini Maker Faire on May 5— and far into the future.  As event producer Kami Wilt explains,  ”We envision the Faire as an opportunity for great minds and Makers to cross-pollinate, injecting sustainable thinking and methods into other kinds of projects and also, of course, exciting and educating the public about the possibilities of sustainable living in fun and hands-on ways.”

Join us at the Faire, stop by the Village, maybe get your hands a little dirty, and help Make It Sustainable!

solar generator

Meet the Makers: part Five!

The Fifth and Final installment in the Meet the Makers series created for Austin Mini Maker Faire 2013 for the most excellent filmmakers, Troy Lanier and Danny Cameron.

Introducing… Lisa Chouinard of Feto Soap!   You WILL see her at the Faire, your kids (or you!) WILL want to make a piece of customized soap (choose the color, scent, and toy to go inside!)… such a fantastic activity that everyone loves!

Meet the Makers: part Four!

Part Four of our Meet the Makers series by filmmakers Troy Lanier and Danny Cameron… an awesome motor boat Made by Young Maker Bodhi! Come meet Bodhi and other young Makers at the Faire on May 5.

Meet the Makers part three!

Another installation in the 5 part series by filmmakers Troy Lanier and Danny Cameron.

Melissa Knight will be in the Mega Clothing Swap and Chop section collaborating with Faire-goers on a fabric collage using fabric from the swap. Then she’ll be giving it away via lottery at the end of the day… so cool!

Meet the Makers: Pony Trap!

Pony Trap: Viola, Cello, and Robotic Percussion from Austin Mini Maker Faire on Vimeo.

Thanks to filmmakers Troy Lanier and Danny Cameron for this amazing video!  Check out Pony Trap and much much more at the Faire on May 5!

Austin Bike Zoo will be premiering their newest creation at Austin Mini Maker Faire 2013!

Meet the Makers: short film series

Check out the first of five Meet the Maker shorts that were created for us by filmmakers Troy Lanier and Danny Cameron!

Is it a time machine? A MIDI controller? An art sculpture? Yes! We just call it awesome. The Type 40 Mark III console is an interactive sound sculpture. The console surface is covered interactive controls that trigger samples, loops, and other sounds. You can also modify tempo, tone, pitch, and apply different sound filters. We invite you to explore and play – create your own dynamic soundscape!

Lego-mania

YES!  We will have lots and lots of legos.  Whew!  You were worried about that, weren’t you.

Texas Brick Railroad will have lots of amazing creations on display which  combine their love for legos and model railroads, and a play area, too.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Learn how to make custom LEGO based minifigures with Jared Burks of fineclonier.com .  A huge amount of his customized LEGO minifigs will also be on display.  

 

lego-customization

And come play with legos, programming, and robotics with LegoWeDo and Scratch: Playful Robotics.  

 

lego WeDo

 

 

 

Woo Hoo! New sponsor New Bohemia!

We’re so thrilled to announce that New Bohemia, the famous and funky SoCo vintage clothing store, is supporting our Faire at the Special Event sponsorship level!    new bohemia 2

This is homegrown Austin business that supports it’s community and really gives back… we love you New Bohemia!

And they’re giving us much more than just financial backing… they’ll also be donating tons of clothes and fabric to our amazing Mega Swap and Chop that will be taking place in one hefty corner of our Faire.  In the second of our Meet the Makers series we are doing on Sundays at the Austin Children’s Museum, Bernadette Noll, our Swap coordinator, offered up a taste of the huge amount of crafts and projects that are going to be available.  These are cool denim crowns (denim donated by New Bohemia) that kids had a blast making and customizing.

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