Guest Blogger, Matthew Murray: The Machine: Using a Raspberry Pi for Readers’ Advisory

 

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Raspberry Pi is a tiny, low-cost computer that was created to teach young people about computer science and programming. They’ve been embraced by the maker community and are being used for everything from robots to spinning wheels to cellphones to Minecraft servers.

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A few months ago I saw a post on Tumblr that showed an “Electr-O-Matic Book Fortune Teller” that used an Arduino (a computer similar to a Raspberry Pi) to print book recommendations onto receipt paper when people pushed a button. This seemed like a relatively easy project for myself and some other students to use to get experience working with a Raspberry Pi.

The first step was setting up the Raspberry Pi itself. Raspberry Pis run a version of Linux that’s a lot less scary than you might think. We messed up our installation, but you don’t have to do that!

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Next we had to set up the mini thermal printer (we bought ours from Adafruit). This involved cutting and stripping some wires, then screwing them into a DC power adapter so we could plug the printer into a power source. Then we installed the printer driver onto the Raspberry Pi.

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Once we did that we connected the printer to the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins using the included wires and printed off a test page.

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Actually, first we wondered why nothing was working once we’d hooked everything up. Turns out you need to plug the HDMI cable into the Raspberry Pi in order to have anything show up on the computer screen. Despite being supposedly intelligent, tech-savvy graduate students, we forgot to do this at least four five times (so far) during this project.

Once we had the printer working we started work on hooking up the button. This is a complicated process that involves:
1. Acquiring a button that doesn’t actually have the necessary connectors.
2. Purchasing the wrong resistors.

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Of course you can choose not to follow our steps directly and just get the proper pieces the first time. Either way, you then wire everything into a breadboard and connect it to your Raspberry Pi. (Your breadboard doesn’t have to be quite so long, but we ended up using ten resistors instead of one because we originally had the wrong type.)

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You’ll then have to install or create a program on the Raspberry Pi that understands when your button has been pushed and tells the printer to print a review. We’ll hopefully have one available on our blog soon! The reviews for our machine are ones that we wrote and include title, author, and a brief description. You could choose to include other information such as ISBNs or call numbers.

Once all of that is done you’ll have a working machine that will print off book recommendations! You’ll probably want to get some sort of box to put everything in, but we’re still working on that.

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We haven’t completely finished this project yet, but we’ll be posting updates (and eventually complete instructions) to the ASIS&T at UBC blog! In the future we might expand the machine so that it will have more than one button to allow readers to pick from different genres, moods, or other qualities (books with covers the colour of the buttons?)

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We’ll be showing off our machine at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire on June 7th-8th at the PNE, you should come by and check it out!


About the Author:

Matthew-Murray

 

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Matthew Murray is currently completing a Masters of Library and Information Studies at UBC. He’s a member of ASIS&T at UBC (without whom this project could not have happened!) and is excited about bringing technology like the Raspberry Pi into libraries. He’s probably working on too many projects right now. He also really likes monsters and comic books.

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Meet Your Maker: Zaber Technologies

 

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Zaber Technologies is a Vancouver-based manufacturer of computer-controlled motorized linear slides, miniature linear actuators, motorized rotary stages, and other devices. Make sure you stop by their booth this year to catch all the moving parts! They’ll have several interactive demos, including a “Microsurgery Game”, interactive musical stages called the “Zee Board”, laser-cut give-aways that will be made at the booth, and “Big Zed” – a moving/changing Z-shape that lights up. In fact, they’re bringing so many different projects to Vancouver Mini Maker Faire that we had to talk to several of them to put together the details for this article!

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What are you making/exhibiting at VMMF this year?

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Several Zaberians (people who work at Zaber) have gotten together to make the following:

Frank’s project: Micro-surgery game – Think “Operation”, but miniaturized and with a joystick.
Justin’s project: Big Zed – A giant, multi-part, moving, 3D “Z”.
Aaron and Connor’s project: Zee-board  – Make your own music with our stages.
Dan’s project: Laser cut give-away – Something to take home and make yourself!

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What else do you guys make?

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Zaberians have been known to make a lot of things, including music, automata mechanisms, heliostats, etc…

 

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What is your favourite part about being a Maker? Your least favourite part? The most challenging part?

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Frank: I’m an engineer and my work projects are expensive, complicated and precise. Building personal projects helps me develop my skills in new areas with low risk. My least favourite part is not having the right tool for a job or waiting for parts. The most challenging part is finding time.

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Connor: My two favourite parts about being a Maker are the satisfaction of seeing something I created come to life, and the look of enjoyment and surprise on people’s faces when they see the project for the first time.  My least favourite parts (which thankfully haven’t happened this year) are the rare occasions that someone calls into question the usefulness of spending time on the project.  The most challenging part would definitely be when I’m 20 hours into a 5 hour project and it finally feels like I’m about halfway there.

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Justin: Favourite part about being a Maker is the simple joy of creating, sucking sawdust, getting my hands dirty, and problem solving. I’m also able to express my sense of humour through my creations (when possible) which otherwise may go unnoticed from day to day by others. I also actually on occasion make myself laugh because you never know exactly how things will turn out….
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Dan: I’ve never called myself a Maker, but I like making things. My favourite part is starting projects, when every idea is possible. The most challenging part is finishing them.

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How else does the passion for making manifest in your life? Where does it come from?

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Frank: I became an engineer as I enjoyed designing and building things. It comes from years and years of training with Lego.
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Connor: I’m fortunate enough to work for a company that allows me to embrace my passion for making and work on cool projects, so my passion for making manifests itself almost daily at work. It’s hard to trace the passion for making since I’ve had it for as long as I can remember; however, I can say that my family has fostered my curiosity and enthusiasm for making since I was a small child.
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Justin: Being a ‘Maker’ is a central part of my soul. I create and ‘make’ at home constantly, so much so a day without ‘Making’ would be fairly unusual. Making comes from a desire to create and express where words rarely can be used or are insufficient -OR in some cases words are just a waste of time. One glance, you get it…

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Dan: I try to do my own car and bicycle repair. I get to make lots of prototypes at work. A lot of it comes from pride; I think I can do a better job than what’s out there, or I care more about the end result, so I end up doing things myself.

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Have you been a maker your whole life? What’s your earliest memory of making ?

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Frank: Yes, building a Lego gun with a trigger that could shoot Lego blocks about 5m when I was 8.

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Connor: I have been interested in making for as long as I can remember, but I would have to say I was initially more of a watcher and un-Maker – staring at construction sites and taking apart old appliances.  My earliest memory of creating rather than dismantling something is probably one of the hundreds of Lego or science kit projects I undertook as a child.

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Justin: I have been a ‘Maker’ all my life from very young. My earliest projects included a dozen or so tree forts, a Return of the Jedi Scout Walker made entirely out of cardboard and wire (because we were very poor and I couldn’t afford the proper model kit), and a large aerial view diorama of Kennedy Space Center made on a large table in my folks basement – which was inspired by the excitement of the first Space Shuttle launch.

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Dan: I spent a lot of time drawing as a kid. I think that has something to do with it. I also did origami with my mom. I probably inherited some of her Japanese “eye-for-details”.

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Who’s your favourite Maker? Other than yourself.

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Frank: Dan Gelbart. There are few other engineers that are so proficient at design, machining, and prototyping with such a broad range of expertise and experience.
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Connor: I don’t really have a favourite Maker, or even a favourite project.  If I had a dollar for every time I was blown away by the creativity, complexity and detail of another Maker’s creation, I’d be able to retire and just spend my time building things for fun… however taking into consideration what I get to do at work, I probably wouldn’t.

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Justin: Hands down automata artist Paul Spooner. A close second is Tim Hunkin and his ‘Secret Life of Machines’ BBC series.

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Dan: Tesla, but I guess that’s a pretty popular answer, so maybe Curt Herzstark.

 

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Who or what inspires you to keep on making, even when your project falls to pieces?

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Frank: You usually learn the most from failures. I actually enjoy massive failures, because that it is something that I’ll never forget and eliminates an approach, technique, or at least makes for an interesting story.

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Connor: To paraphrase Thomas Edison “I have not failed.  I’ve just found another way that will not work.”

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Justin: I have to, it’s who I am. Cliché but true. You always learn something from a failed project. The next one is ALWAYS better than the last.

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Dan: It’s whoever I promised something great to. If I don’t tell anyone about a project, I will probably just leave it in a box when it stops being fun, but if I tell someone about it, I feel obligated to deliver something, and nobody likes delivering something below expectations. This is why I usually don’t like showing unfinished work.

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What is it about Maker Faire that attracts you as an exhibitor? What are you looking forward to the most?

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We like that Zaberians can get together to make something using our products. The process is fun, challenging, and team building.  We also really like that VMMF is a family event. It might sound cliché, but we look forward to the “show and tell” aspect of VMMF. We like to talk about what we have made, but we also enjoy seeing other people’s projects. We are still kids at heart!

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Your company is a VMMF 2014 Sponsor. What is it about the Faire that draws your organization?

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Zaber’s roots are in “Making”. The company’s founders are Makers, and a lot of Zaberians are too. We also understand the vital role “making” and creativity play in building a strong community. All of the groups who participate in VMMF – crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists, science clubs, students, authors, and commercial exhibitors – get together because they are passionate about making things. We feel like we have a lot in common with these folks – some of them may even one day work at Zaber or go on to start their own companies. We find this very exciting.

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For more background on Zaber’s progress for VMMF projects, please visit Zaber on Facebook to see more photos and write-ups.

 







Guest Blogger, Stephanie Ostler: Making a Difference – Buying Better Means Buying Less.

11 years ago I created a clothing company. I was fresh out of high school, full of energy, and naive about what I was getting myself into. Calling it Devil May Wear, I began with a passion for self expression and providing an exceptional service – but soon my experiences with chemicals in clothing and the growing list of human rights atrocities would begin to lead me down a road of fashion activism.
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 I often speak with students graduating from their fashion programs, and  they tell me “I don’t think I can work in fashion. It is too unethical, and too polluting.”
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“That,” I respond, “is exactly why you must.” Fashion is, after all, the second largest industrial user of fresh water and one of the greatest causes of environmental degradation, in addition to boasting an appalling history of slave labour and sweat shops. We aren’t going to change it by turning a blind eye to the problems but by using our skills, our knowledge, and our creativity to provide better options for our bodies, our lives, and our planet. And the best part is better options are just more fun!
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Those luxury fibers that feel so good on your body, wear so well in the long run, keep you cool on hot summer days and warm on soggy winter nights – the textiles you just can’t keep your hands off are often the very same ones that are better for your body and for the world. Textiles made from materials like bamboo, the fastest growing plant we can make textiles from, and which is also all organic because there is simply no need to use pesticides on it.
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The local, wearable art of true artisans making special, one-of-a-kind items personally for you (or so true to fit that they seem as if they were made from your specs) let you show off your exceptional taste and enjoy something made with love, with the added benefit of keeping your money in your local economy. They are the kind of items that may cost more in the short run, but save us money and resources in the long run –  we desire less because we love what we already own – and because quality goods typically last  much longer than cheap, mass-produced  items, we have no need to replace these items frequently.
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The same premise applies to the food we consume, the vehicles we drive, the houses we live in, the communities we are a part of. My background is fashion but we are all connected, and we can all enjoy living better in every aspect of our lives. Information is key – we must strive for the truth behind products, companies, and laws. We’re not going to change the world by waiting for policy makers to dictate what we can and can’t do, or by continuing with business as usual, or even by nagging each other with depressing statistics and “granola” clothing,  but  by changing the way we choose what we buy. By taking the time to find the items we love, that will last us a lifetime. By seeking out items as close to natural as possible, and manufactured close to home. And when you are proud of the beauty you have let into your life, you will inspire others to live better. This way we can spread a revolution of luxury, and quality, and of hope for a better – dare I say sustainable – and more equitable world we can enjoy for generations to come.
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When I launched Devil May Wear, I didn’t realize the responsibilities I’d have as a business owner in my community. Now that we’ve grown into a company with two stores, international sales, and a fantastic staff of passionate individuals, we’ve also grown and evolved to offer better products for a better planet. By not only designing but also sewing everything in Vancouver we create more local jobs; we make everything in our Vancouver studio as opposed to in a sweat shop; and we control our quality so we aren’t over-producing unsellable quantities in order to fill quotas, which in turn fills up landfills. We can respond to trends faster, make clothing that fits and appeals to our growing client base, and offer free, minor alterations (after all, our customers don’t all have cookie cutter bodies and preferences!) We use sustainable fibers and textiles with fewer chemicals and carcinogens than conventionally milled fabrics. After all, if we’re sewing it we don’t want to be inhaling or absorbing all the fire retardants and petrol chemicals used these days any more than we want our customers to be wearing them!
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Please come to my talk at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire to learn more about the impact of fashion, and how you can enjoy it better. Or come visit us in one of our stores and see for yourself what change looks like!

About the author:
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Guest blogger Stephanie Ostler is on a mission to save the planet, one pair of bamboo underwear at a time. She’s the founder of Devil May Wear, an award-winning Vancouver-based clothing line that is committed to staying locally made and as sustainable as possible. Using body-friendly fabrics like bamboo, soy, and organic cotton, she strives to cover your butt (literally) with feel-good fabrics and awesome cuts for your curves.
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Meet Your Maker: Lee’s Electronic

MYM-Lee's-ElectronicLee’s Electronic was established in the heart of Vancouver in 1993, and has been proudly serving local businesses, manufacturers, and people for more than 20 years. They are one of few remaining electronic component stores in the lower mainland. They provide multilingual technical support for students of all levels, from elementary to undergraduate. They’re huge supporters of the Maker scene in general, and the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire in particular. They answered our “Meet Your Maker” questions the way they do everything else – as a team!

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What is Lee’s exhibiting at VMMF this year?

We are making a wirelessly controlled mini tank using a Raspberry Pi micro-computer (we called it the PiTank). Viewers will be able to navigate the tank through obstacles and hopefully if we can make more than two, the tanks might play soccer or a game against one another. This exhibit is to introduce micro-controllers to the general public and how easily available it is for everyone to join into the fun of building.

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What else do you make?

Members of the team each have their own individual projects, like autonomous romba vacuums, lego machines, car custom lighting, and IOS/Android app development.

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What is your favourite part about being a Maker? Your least favourite part?
Our favourite part about being Makers is the feeling one gets after working on a project for many, many days and when you power it up, IT WORKS! That feeling is extraordinary – everyone needs to experience it! Our least favourite part would be struggling to debug code that you know should work, but doesn’t. It’s tedious – but when you find the problem, it’s very rewarding!
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How else does the passion for making manifest in your life? Where does it come from?
The curiosity for newer and better ways to solve current problems and future problems encourages us Makers to strive forward.
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Have you been a maker your whole life? 

Some of us on the team have been Makers since an early age, and some have just joined the team not too long ago. Our team members come from various different fields of study and work; fields such as human kinetics, computing science, engineering, chemistry, linguistics, and industrial design.

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Who’s your favourite Maker? Other than yourself.

Some of our favourite Makers include Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman (Myth Busters), Ben Heck (Element 14), and historical makers like Thomas Edison.

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Who or what inspires you to keep on making, even when your project falls to pieces?

Other Makers in the community are a huge inspiration. When you see how their projects have changed the lives of so many people, and how you yourself may be using their invention, it makes you wonder how you can contribute back.

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What is it about Vancouver Mini Maker Faire It that attracts you as an exhibitor?

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire is a great way to not just show your projects, but to invite others to also be curious and introduce them to the new era of electronics. We’re really looking forward to seeing all the interesting projects other Makers are working on.

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Your company is a VMMF 2014 Sponsor. In fact, Lee’s has supported VMMF right from the start! What is it about the Faire that draws your organization?

We have been around for more than 20 years empowering students, hobbyist, and Makers of all ages with the parts and tools they need. We -along with organizations like the Vancouver Hackspace- have been working to build communities of makers and all interested in electronics. We are grateful to see an organization like Vancouver Mini Maker Faire also shares this vision with us. We believe that the VMMF is an awesome event that everyone needs to see and experience for themselves.

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Find out more about Lee’s Electronic at the 2014 Vancouver Mini Maker Faire, on their website, or on their Facebook page.

 







Guest Blogger, Zee Kesler: Tiny Houses & Sustainable Living

Zee Tiny houseMy name is Zee Kesler and I love tiny houses and efficient spaces!

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As such, I am interested in working with the City of Vancouver to explore the feasibility of tiny houses in an urban environment. To start the conversation, I am collaborating with the Emerging Green Builders to host a Tiny House Design Jam @the Hive Thursday May 29, 7pm. If you are a designer, architect, urban planner, or tiny house enthusiast, please join us! We’d love to have your input.

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At the jam, we will break up into groups to address issues that face the tiny house community such as bylaws and zoning, building codes, as well as liability/insurance issues. We will also explore potential pilot projects and brainstorm systems to match tiny house owners with yard/rental space. Admission to the jam is by donation – click here to book your seat.

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Are you interested in building tiny houses and learning basic construction skills?

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Join us this summer at the Vancouver Community Laboratory for the Tiny House Building Workshop Series, run in association with Camera Buildings.  At the workshop you will learn the skills required to build a tiny house. The series of eight workshops will focus on Q and A, tips to salvaging materials, tricks of the trade, safety, and hands-on construction skills. Upon completion, the tiny house created in the workshop will be used as an experimental off grid Tiny Community Center which will host workshops and artist residencies.

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If this project inspires or interests you, please sign up for our mailing list found on the side bar of the project blog! Info on the workshops will be released shortly and workshop spaces are limited.

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Come find us at the Camera Buildings booth at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire June 7 & 8th! You can also catch my presentation, “Building A Tiny Community Centre”, on June 8th as part of the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire Speaker Series.







Meet Your Maker: Heike Kapp, Glass Artist

 

MYM-Heike-KappHeike Kapp is a local glass artist, and a perennial favourite of Vancouver Mini Maker Faire attendees. She creates glass jewelry, marbles, and small-scale objects, and is returning to the show this year with her collection of striking flamework marbles. Heike was a quilter for many years and enjoyed the tactile and three-dimensional aspects of textile art very much. After completing courses at Joanne Andrighetti‘s glasswork studio, she started incorporating her own soft-glass beads in her work, but was more and more drawn to the sculptural and magnifying properties of clear borosilicate glass. Heike now sells her glass pieces at craft fairs and online, and her goal is to create objects that enrich the owner’s life.

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What are you exhibiting at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire this year?

Glass marbles.

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What else do you make?

Art quilts and photography.

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What is your favourite part about being a Maker? Your least favourite part?

My favourite part is letting my creativity run wild; my least favourite part is being forced to triage my creative ideas to fit into the limited amount of time I have for making.

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How else does the passion for making manifest in your life?

I show people who think they are not creative how to be a maker, with the abilities they already have. Sometimes it just takes a small spark!

 

How did your passion for making originate?

My parents always encouraged and helped me to be a maker, my mom was very crafty and my dad was a practical tinkerer.

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What’s your earliest memory of making?

I’ve always been a maker; my earliest memory is of making a rattle from a cardboard cheese box, glue, and rice.

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Who’s your favourite Maker?

I have to pick just one? Impossible! Lynne Taylor Fahnestalk, John Kobuki, Gerda Conzetti, Sandra Meech, my dad.

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Who or what inspires you to keep on making, even when your project falls to pieces?

There is always a new project on the horizon.

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What is it about Maker Faire It that attracts you as an exhibitor?

Maker Faire is so wonderfully different from any of the events that I attend. The exhibitors and visitors are so inquisitive and have such a positive attitude, the atmosphere lifts me up and carries me on a high that lasts for most of the year.

I love what I do, and what gives me the greatest joy is seeing the surprise and wonderment in the eyes of the person holding one of my pieces for the first time.

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Check out Heike’s pieces in our Maker Faire Marketplace; her marbles are like whole universes unto themselves, and they make great gifts for the hard-to-shop for – or for yourself! To keep up-to-date on her work, follow her on facebook.

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Guest Blogger, Jessica Oman: Turning Your Awesome Idea Into an Income

You made it. Now how are you going to sell it? Turning an awesome product into a profitable business can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming to learn to think like a business owner as well as a Maker of awesome things. Not all great inventions or products make good businesses, but there are a few litmus tests you can apply to see whether there might be profit in your product.

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Image courtesy of dzingeek.

1. Can you scale it?

You might be able to bake ten dozen cookies a day in your kitchen, but a hundred dozen, or a thousand dozen, involves a whole different process. You will have the extra expense of a commissary kitchen, but you might also be able to get better prices on ingredients because you’ll be buying in bulk. To test your product for scalability, first figure out how much it costs you to make one of your items now. Next do some research on how those costs change per item when you 100x or 1000x (or more) your production. If higher volumes result in lower production costs per item, you might be on to something.

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2. Can you price it well?

We all know that when a new technology first comes on the market, it’s usually very expensive to buy. Only a select few early adopters will be willing to shell out the cash to buy, and those few customers won’t sustain a business for very long. To create broader appeal, the price has to make sense for your ideal customers. If it’s too high, they may not see the value in making a purchase – but if it’s too low, they might think it’s cheap or low quality. Even worse, pricing that’s too low can suck all the profit out of what could be a great business.

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3. Is the market ready for it?

Microsoft created one of the first tablets years before the iPad came out – but most people don’t remember it. That’s because the market wasn’t ready for tablets yet; consumers didn’t see a need for them. Whatever you make, your customers have to understand how it benefits them or solves a problem they have – whether it’s a bikini that fits any body type, or an application that helps people be more productive. To test whether consumers are ready for your product idea, you can run taste tests, conduct surveys, or do statistical research. You can’t be 100% certain that people will buy your product, but you can get a lot of valuable insight into what your customers really want – and you’ll find it’s not always what you think they want.

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Even if you fail at turning your product into a business the first time, you can make it a success later. Experiment with different ways of marketing. Adapt your product for different kinds of customers. Figure out a way to make it cheaper, or to sell it for more. You’ll find the right combination eventually, especially if you have the right resources and people to support you. Your business, like the things that you make, is always evolving, and you can forever make it better.


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About the author:

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Guest blogger Jessica Oman is the founder of Write Ahead Inc., a team of consultants, writers, and trainers who help entrepreneurs launch and grow businesses that support their lives and passions. Grab their free report5 Critical Steps for Taking Your Business from Idea to Open, and learn to build your business the “write” way. Don’t miss her talk, Can Your Invention Make You Money, at the 2014 Vancouver Mini Maker Faire’s Speaker Series.

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New for 2014: Maker Faire Marketplace!

The Vancouver Maker Foundation and Vancouver Mini Maker Faire are proud of our ability to provide an incubation ground for new Makers, and support for established Makers who are looking for new ways to grow. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that this year we’ve got a whole new area of the Faire dedicated to just that! The Maker Faire Marketplace is your spot for finding unique and interesting handmade goodies, many of which you won’t find anywhere else in town.

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new-vendors

Many of our Marketplace participants are brand new to the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire, and we’re really excited to welcome them to our little club! Elgin Vine is bringing his handmade bags and leatherwork items, and Kukubee will be there with their zipper pouches, paper goods, and accessories. Stop by the eBoy booth to check out their  modular Blockbob toys and their city posters, built of modular pixel elements. Strathcona 1890 will be at the Faire with their carefully-curated seed collections, perfectly suited to growing in any Vancouver garden.

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Is your wardrobe looking for a little pick-me-up? Stop by the Blu Pixie, Devil May Wear, and DRIFT booths for gorgeous and unique finds. If you need something a little more casual, Locomotive is back this year with their awesome collection of t-shirts, just in time for summer.

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VMMF-Food

As always, we’ve got an awesome group of food trucks lined up to keep you fed at the Faire -but don’t forget to stop by our Marketplace and grab some treats for later! We’re delighted that Living Lotus is back this year, and excited to welcome Chickadee Family Bakery. In true Maker Faire spirit (and for those of you more patient than hungry), Make Cheese is back with their cheese-making kits.

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marketplace-jewelry

Need a little treat for yourself? Alie & Droid is back with their quirky, handmade items for everyone’s inner geek, and PHRESHA is bringing their 2014 line of jewelry and accessories, ON THE PROWL. Also back this year: Parrotphernalia, with their feather-based jewelry and accessories – as far as we know, the only place in town to get humane feather jewelry. Jewelry makers Umbrella Bird and Dalliance and Design are both joining us for the first time this year, and on Sunday, June 8th only we’ll be joined by Sublime Sisters, a Young Maker team of two sisters.

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giving-back-vendors

Two of our Marketplace vendors give as good as they get. The African Fair Trade Society produces organic shea butter-based soap, shampoo, and skin lotion in an environmentally sensitive manner and without animal testing, and  then uses the profits of their shea butter sales to channel micro-aid to small, impoverished communities in Western Africa. Enterprising Women Making Art (EWMA) works with emerging women artisans in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to develop an alternative form of business or employment that is grounded in the needs and realities of their participants. Look for their jewelry, paintings, art cards, headbands, dream catchers, and pottery in the VMMF Marketplace.

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holiday-headstart

Maybe you think June is too early to get started on your holiday shopping? Think again! Glass artist Heike Kapp, steampunk artist Professor Whovianart, and local collective Queen Bee can all help you with those hard-to-shop-for people that you’ll be fretting about in December.

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Stop by the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire Marketplace and feel good about indulging in a little treat for yourself or someone you love!







Maker Picnic Sunday June 1st!

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The days leading up to Vancouver Mini Maker Faire can be stressful for makers. Many makers spend days locked away, missing the light of day as their projects slowly (and sometimes painstakingly!) come to fruition. So this Sunday (June 1st, 2014) we invite makers to take a day off from their projects, relax, meet awesome people, troubleshoot and celebrate maker culture!

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Not a maker? That’s ok too! Come check out what people are up to and participate in some fun games and activities designed to get your gears turning.

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The Love Bus will be parked nearby for your ball pit pleasure (yes, adults are allowed!), the “Fun silly-tator” will be hosting a blueprint area to brainstorm “Machines of the Future“, you can make some creepy monsters in the Creature Creation Zone. Remember to bring something to roast on the BBQ!

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Bring your quadro-copters, tall bikes, homemade instruments, knitting projects, sketchbook, toys, and food! Or just bring yourself! Anything goes! Hope to see you there!

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Sunday June 1st @ Dude Chilling Park (2390 Brunswick Street) from 1:00-6:00 p.m.

Rain or Shine!

 







Maker Town Hall

Thinking about participating for the first time at this year’s Vancouver Mini Maker Faire? Not sure if what you do makes you a Maker, or if anybody else would be interested in your project? Maybe you’ve participated at a past VMMF but have some questions that need answering before you do it again.

 

Then the Maker Town Hall is for you!

 

Join us for an evening of presentations, Q&As, socializing & meeting of fellow makers. Get your curiosity piqued, questions answered, and enthusiasm pumped.

 

Date: Saturday March 1, 2014
Time: Doors at 7:30pm, event from 8:00-10:30pm
Location: One Thousand Rivers, 54 E. 4th Ave., Vancouver
Cost: The Maker Town Hall is free but due to limited space pre-registration is strongly suggested.

 

*Please note: The Maker Town Hall is intended for people new to participating in a Mini Maker Faire, or past participants who are uncertain about their involvement this year. We will be having another event in a couple of months for veteran VMMF Makers who are already planning on participating.

 

photo by blue mollusc

photo by blue mollusc