Meet Your Makers: International Guild of Knot Tyers

CarolMaker Carol Wang of the International Guild of Knot Tyers – Pacific America Branch has been exhibiting at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire since its inception with her wide array of knots. As both tool and art, knot tying is one of humanity’s oldest skills, and Carol shows how it continues to feed, clothe and bind our world.

When did your love of knot tying begin?
When I was 10, I visited family in Taiwan and was given a book on Chinese knots, probably as a way to occupy my time.  This was very successful.

Knots are can be both functional and aesthetically-pleasing. Can you describe the aesthetic styles and where the inspiration for these styles originated?
The major decorative style known to the West is probably macramé which developed independently in Egypt, China and Peru.  The word “macramé” is Arabic in origin. Macramé takes a fairly small set of knots and ties them repeatedly in different patterns to give you anything from a friendship bracelet or a plant hanger to baskets or three dimensional sculptures.

The major decorative style known to the East is Chinese knotting.  Stylistically distinct variations have evolved in both Japan and Korea.  Chinese knotting in its basic form takes a single cord to tie one fairly involved knot.  The basic knots can be combined into even more complex compound knots.  Adding more decorative touches in other colours, of course, require more cords.

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Meet Your Makers: Make.Family.Fun

Xavier and his tangram

Xavier and his tangram

Sarah (an elementary school teacher) and Julian (a software developer) both love to create, and now with three kids, this family can often be found in the middle of creations, wires and chaos. Tristan, 11,  loves all things that shoot: potato cannons, marshmallow shooters, and especially Nerf. Liam, 9, loves mixing things together, especially if they catch fire or explode. And Xavier, 4,  likes to build things, especially if he can knock them down. Together as Make.Family.Fun, they want to inspire other families to start making.

What inspired you to start making with your family?
Julian grew up as a computer and electronics fanatic on an orchard in New Zealand, with a father who was a carpenter, and a mother who was an avid sewer and cook. Sarah grew up with do it yourself parents who sewed, canned, fixed, built and more. Sarah made kites, go karts and stop motion animations with her father, and puppets, stuffed animals, gardens and her own recipes with her mother. It was just second nature for us to start offering our own sons chances to create. Continue reading


Wow the Crowds as a Performer, Workshop Leader, or Presenter at the 5th Annual VMMF!!

Did you miss the Call for Makers deadline? Though you can still apply for the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire wait list, you might be interested to hear that you can get involved in the event without committing to two days of exhibiting.  We’re on the look-out for Presenters, Workshop Leaders, and Performers to make the fifth annual VMMF a raging success!

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Share your knowledge and skills as a Workshop Leader! We love to encourage learning at VMMF so we are looking for Makers of all kinds who can design and lead a fun 30-60 minute workshop (or two!). In the past, we have had workshops on everything from letterpress to basket weaving. Continue reading


VMMF Seeks a Volunteer Coordinator

Do you love making things and the people who make? Do you want to help support creatives and participate in one of Vancouver’s largest maker events?

The Vancouver Mini Maker Faire is looking for an enthusiastic & highly organized person to join our team as Volunteer Coordinator. Do you have experience coordinating large groups of volunteers, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and mad time-management skills? Can you think quickly on your feet and keep a smile on your face as you head into your 3rd day of working 10-12 hours? Then tell us all about yourself and we’ll see if you’re a good fit.

Application Deadline: 6pm Thursday March 19