Maker Faire Volunteers Build Community at Car Free Day

Under Sunday’s cloudy sky with patches of sun, Vancouverites came out in droves to Main St. Car Free Day. There were a ton of things to see and try — and a zillion more to taste and buy — it was a veritable feast for the senses! I could hardly restrain myself.

 

Car Free Day is a fantastic time to get out and interact with the community, so of course, our Vancouver Mini Maker Faire (VMMF) volunteers were there with bells on.

 

Here’s the highlights:

 

Holding down the fort at the Maker Faire booth: Michel Kakulphimp, volunteer and UVic electrical engineering student, and Liisa Hanus, VMMF Volunteer Coordinator, keep it friendly and informative.

The incredible shrinking Mr. Tom Wynn, from The Hive Vancouver (a sustainability and creativity co-working space), poses with a VMMF art bike. Check out the Art Bike Project on Facebook.

Nate and Yum Yum from Daily Eggs (an urban chicken-coop-building company) strike it for the camera like professionals while educating the public.

Tien Wee, from Lucky Monkey Home, poses with his beautiful display of stunning jewelry and homemade, all-natural soy candles and mists. Mmmmm!

Mike Zeits and Ryan Paton show off another colourful tall bike to promote the Faire.

Yay! Robot heads!

Sophie Wyser at her lovely little Random Revival booth — making small spaces look pretty and inviting.

Lady Taiko drummers = Awesome.

And here’s what I took home: A totally awesome pair of teensy wood panel prints featuring Richie and Margot Tenenbaum, made with love by Kris G. Brownlee of A Cagey Bee (you can see them at the bottom left).

u

Adored.

Best wishes for a Car Free Vancouver!







Vancouver Mini Maker Faire at Got Craft?

This past Sunday, May 6th, Got Craft? put on an epic show. With over 50 colourful vendors and just over 1300 attendees, it was impressive that all that crafty cuteness could fit in one room. A job well done to the organizers, vendors, and everyone involved. My personal favourite: Rice Babies. So cute!



The Public Art Crew (Mike + Christina) were the masterminds behind our set-up. Mike brought out 2 tall bikes that he had built (Don’t forget to ‘like‘ the Art Bike Project on FB), which were such great substitutes to flimsy posters: He just rolled them in and it was like instant signage. Christina, Anna, and Kim all put their minds together, and pulled off some super fun yarn bombing outside of the front entrance. Check it out:



See those objects hanging off the pole? Those are recycled bottles that Christina has re-purposed and covered with crochet. She also put an old tank top to use, and used the materials to cover one of the art bikes.



A big thanks to Kim for coming out and helping out as well! Hai Kim!



Some of the details: Anna crocheted the flowers:







We had a few scraps left over that were knit up by Anna. I couldn’t help but use the remainder to yarn bomb part of the pakora truck. Thanks pakora guy! (Chris).







Art Bike Project Profile: Mike Zeitz is Learning to Make Tall Bikes



Big Mike has spearheaded the first ever Vancouver Mini Maker Faire art bike project, where he is recruiting Makers to start decorating, building and creating custom bicycles – of all shapes and sizes. So far he’s managed to wrangle bicycle fabricators, sign decorators, and has found a pile of bicycle parts for pillaging. His overall goal is to learn how to make bicycles from old parts, meet friends, engage with Vancouver’s cycling community, and help promote Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. He’s looking to do more, and looking for more people to get involved. You do not have to have experience with welding to join the project – just enthusiasm Sign up now to get involved!
 

1) Where did the idea for the art bike project come from, and how did it start?

I was inspired by the yarn bombing project from last year. I had been thinking over the winter about creative, maker-themed ways to attract attention and media coverage. I realized that art bikes, and tall bikes specifically would be a great way to do that. Vancouver has a very strong bicycle culture with lots of people already making tall and alternative bicycles here. I figured that a brightly colored, wildly decorated tall bike, with Vancouver.MakerFaire.ca boldly emblazoned across it would be a very effective mobile platform for promoting Maker Faire.

2) Can you talk a bit about the different people that are helping to make this happen?

I have received a lot of support and advice from many quarters, but there are some in particular who have proven invaluable. Nearly all of the old bicycles and parts I have used have come from the Pedal Depot and the UBC Bike Co-op. Huge thanks to both those organizations! Many of the people on the Maker Faire team have been invaluable with support and guidance Emily, Richard and Ben have been awesome at encouraging and motivating me! Christina has done so much for this project, and it’s about to payoff in a big way! I am going to have lots of bikes for her and her creative, artistic people to decorate very soon!  Neal DeGroote has also decorated his own bicycle and let us show it off at the MOV Fundraiser. You may see him riding it around the city as well. Down at the Vancouver Community Lab there’s been many people, like Jim and Conrad who’ve given some very good advice, but the one person who’s made the biggest difference is Ryan Paton.This dude is awesome! He’s been there for every one of our Wednesday evening and Saturday build session (plus lots of other time). He’s given materials, shared expertise and loaned tools and equipment! We’re getting very close to having bikes ready to put out on the street and we wouldn’t be if it weren’t for Ryan! All you have to do is look at the Facebook page and what you see is Ryan, making bikes and riding them!


3) What kinds of skills are you gaining through the process of putting together this project?

Aside from the larger goal of helping Maker Faire, I did have a few personal goals for this project. I wanted to get to know some of the people in the art and bicycle scenes. I wanted to get some experience rallying and motivating people. Mostly I wanted to get a bunch of like-minded strangers together and have them emerge as a large group of bike making fiends! I mean friends!

I also have the goal of learning to make creative alternative bikes. Years ago, I was very into biking but had fallen away from it. I’m wanting to get back into biking in a big way! In 1995 I went on a big bicycle tour, and I’m working on getting a leave of absence from my job to do a big ride this fall. I want to make myself a recumbent bike and ride it 2-3000km. Actually, I’m going to make a fairly normal recumbent bike first (a tour-easy clone), but I have some very ambitious ideas about a hybrid recumbent/upright/cargo/camping solar-powered, arduino-controlled, electric assist bike. There’s a whole lot of things about that bike that I don’t know how to do, (yet) but I’m aiming high and taking it step by step, acquiring skills as I go. First thing – learn to weld old bikes.


4) How many bicycles do you think you will be putting together? Decorating?

Initially, I had been hoping to make 15-20 bikes. I have come to realize that 8-10 is probably more manageable for our first year. We have 4 bikes nearly ready for decorating now, and now that the process is worked out, the rest will materialize quickly. I want to have at least 3 or 4 out on display at various prominent bike racks at any given time, with a few in reserve for weekends, big events and repair (hopefully not necessary, but I’m prepared to repair/replace). We’re going to be aiming for main commuter hubs during the week, making sure to place the bikes out of the way, but in high-visibility locations. Tallbikes are awesome for this as they have no larger a footprint than a normal bike, will not take up any more than a normal footprint at a bike rack, but really stand out! On the weekends, we’ll be targeting events (craft fairs, bike events, sporting events) where there’ll be lots of foot traffic and high-visibility bike racks. I’m looking for suggestions for events, bike-themed or otherwise.

5) What’s your favourite part of this project so far?

I’ve met some amazing people! That’s been the best part by far! This city is full of really awesome, creative people!

I love having an output for my creative energy! sending out ideas and bouncing them around with people is awesome!

All of the bikes we have used have been pulled from the garbage stream. Every single bike was on it’s way to being recycled or trashed. I love to get new value and new life out of old things. We throw away too much stuff. I really love the Pedal Depot and UBC BIke Coop for the invaluable work that they do in this area. They rebuild/recover old bikes and get them to people that need and will use them. It’s an honor to me that I can take the stuff that even they can’t use and make something wonderful out of it.
Least favorite part = I keep burning my arms while welding ’cause I’m a klutz.

Do you want to make an art bike but don’t know how or have the tools/facilities? Come talk to us! Our regular times at the Colab are Wednesday evenings 5-9(ish) and Sundays 10-4(also ish). Also, keep an eye on the Volunteer calendar for more updates and events if you’d like to come help out.

We are looking for bicycles too! If you have some old beast that’s been lurking out back or under your stairs, unloved and unappreciated, let us show it some love!

If you have an idea for some other way you could, or would like to contribute, please let us know! Send Mike an email at mikez@makerfaire.ca







Vancouver Mini Maker Faire Art Bike Project

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire is recruiting Makers to start decorating, building and creating custom bikes, of all shapes and sizes (the crazier the better). Want to get involved? Sign up now!

See what Ryan Made Already!!





Want to learn more about the Art Bike Project? ‘Like‘ the Art Bike Project on Facebook.