Category Archives: Crafts

DO: Fold, Bend, Spindle and Mutilate

The Craft Area at Maker Faire 2013 was inspired by a donation of over 1000 used t-shirts and over 400 women’s slips donated from New Bohemia. The challenge was to figure out ways to use them. T-shirt yarn, weaving, t-shirt bags and screen printing were all incorporated into the area and we used about 800 t-shirts throughout the day. It was my first time making T-shirt yarn and it has changed the way I look at a worn out or ugly T. Rather than thinking “rag-bag” now I think, “T-SHIRT YARN!” and in seconds I am cutting and rolling up a beautiful new ball of yarn to use for weaving, tying, gardening, and wrapping gifts. When I say it changed my lens on this ridiculously abundant material, I kid you not.

This year, the craft area will be all paper projects. The theme of paper was inspired by a package from Perigee Publishing which contained two of what are now my favorite books: The Art of Getting Started by Lee Crutchley and This Book Was a Tree by Marcie Cuff. Both of which encourage a creative approach to life in general.

And the wheels started turning. Hmm, paper projects? I started scheming and dreaming and pondering and reaching out. Perigee Publishing responded big time! They sent us books to donate to all our makers. They sent us fun print-outs of projects to give to all our attendees. They sent us sponsor money too for the paper craft area. And they are even helping to get these authors from their respective homes in Australia and Massachusetts to come to the Faire!

So what will we be doing in the craft area? We’ll be drawing, folding, bending, spindling, and mutilating all different kinds of paper. Drawing out words. Making a collective poetry wall. Making seed balls from paper egg cartons. Paper airplanes from old phone books. Paper Cranes for McCallum High School’s No Place for Hate campaign. Open build origami. And a collective paper mobile which by the end of the Faire should be a most amazing site!

I want to thank Perigee Publishing first for creating such a host of amazing maker books like the two mentioned above. And for donating such books as The Art of Getting Started by Lee Crutchley, This Book was a Tree by Marci Cuff, Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith, Fold Me Up by Michelle Taute, How to Make Jewelry by Tatty Devine, Outside the Lines by Souris Hong-Pourretta, Slow Family Living by yours truly, and The Trickster’s Hat by Nick Bantock.
I hope you make it to the Faire and I hope to see you in the Paper and Book Craft area. Because, not only are we going to be making some amazing things, but we hope too to get a new lens on paper, projects and endless possibilities!

Camp ShopBot – Friday Feb. 28 & Saturday, March 1

ShopBotLogo

This year’s Austin, Texas Camp ShopBot will once again be hosted by Wayne Locke – Locke Design & Woodworks, 9000 Featherhill Rd. Austin, TX 78737.   512.288.3472 Friday morning sign-in is between 9-10 am with light refreshments served, lunch is around noon and the Camp ends between 4-5pm. Saturday morning sign-in is between 8-9 am with light refreshments served, lunch is around noon and the Camp ends between 4-5pm. Come for one or both days. There is no charge to attend this Camp.

I asked about age requirements and Wayne at Locke Design & Woodworks and he said “Breathing, I guess.” so while it is not a kid’s camp, children are welcome (accompanied by an adult). Everyone is welcome – from hobbyists to professionals. Sign up here.

What’s All the Excitement About ShopBot CNC Tools?

A ShopBot is an amazing do-all tool for precisely cutting, carving, drilling or machining all kinds of things from all kinds of materials.  With a ShopBot, you use the included software to design your parts on your personal computer, then, like a robot, the computer controls the cutter to precisely cut your parts.  In the past, tools like ShopBots were strictly industrial tools and were referred to in factories as CNC (for Computer Numeric Control) tools.  Now, the types of tools that create things by cutting material away or building up material in layers to create an object are called digital fabrication tools, and ShopBot’s innovations have made them affordable for individuals and small shops. For more information on what the ShopBot can do, click here.

Are YOU a Commercial Maker?

This year’s Austin Mini Maker Faire will be held at the Travis County Expo Center (remember when Austin Maker Faire was held here way back when?) so, we’re back! The Commercial Makers will be outdoors this year, under one large tent.

Commercial Makers are makers that sell their handmade wares the event. We’d love it if you offered some kind of demonstration of what you do, but it’s not a requirement to be a commercial maker.

What are the requirements to be a commercial maker?
Your items must be handmade by you. We would love makers from all over Texas! (or not from Texas, we don’t mind!)

Link to the application. Applications are due by March 15th!
Check out the Austin Mini Maker Faire 2013 Makers
 Austin Mini Maker Faire 2012 Makers

Here are images of past commercial makers, to give you an idea:

This third year of Austin Mini Maker Faire will be held at Travis County
Expo Center on Saturday, May 3rd and will continue an annual festival to
make, create, learn, invent, craft, hack, recycle, build, think, play, and be
inspired by science, technology, engineering, arts, music, and crafts.

Over a hundred Makers and thousands of attendees of all ages will 
participate in a day of exciting exhibitions, demonstrations, and hands-on activities for all ages while enjoying interesting presentations/speakers, live music, and visual/performing arts.

In 2013, Austin Mini Maker Faire took place at the Palmer Events Center
and attracted:
• More than 150 Makers in over 60 maker booths.
• More than 4000 ticket purchases by individuals and families.
• Adult Makers from the fields of engineering, architecture,
robotics, crafts, environmental sustainability, and the arts
• Youth Makers involved in robotics, technology, design, and more

In 2014, Austin Mini Maker Faire aims to attract twice as many Makers and
8000+ visitors through local, regional, and national advertising; representation
at aliated events; newspaper and radio interviews; and word-ofmouth
promotion of the event. Previous sponsors include: Paypal, Volusion,
Twilio, TechShop, Tormach, Stitch Lab, and many more.

PRESS:
In 2013, we were featured on KVUE and were written about in the Austin
Post and in the Austin American Statesman, and received a ‘Best of’ in the
Austin Chronicle.

If you have any questions about being a commercial maker, drop me an email lisa@austinmakerfaire.com or reply to this post. I’ve been a maker at 14 Maker Faires around the country, so I have lots of experience at this point! My first Maker Faire was back in 2007 at the Travis County Expo Center!