Category Archives: Meet your Makers

Zee Kesler: Merging Arts and Trades

Building the Tiny Community Center

Two years ago Zee Kessler posted on this very blog about her project; the goal was to build a “tiny house” to be used as a mobile classroom and artist residency. 

Zee’s motivation (and inspiration) for her project came from many sources: the high cost of commercial rental space in the city, her experience co-creating the Maker Mobile, and her thirst for more technical knowledge in realm of carpentry.

Over the summer of 2014, Zee worked with a team of talented friends with a wide range of technical skills where she learned the true value of  trades. Through the experience of building a mobile classroom, Zee was able to see how innovative thinking combined with technical know-how is the magic that brings ideas to life.

IMG_1676These days, Zee is busy hosting an artist residency with Emily Smith and Francoise Thibault out of the Tiny Community Center called the “Magic Trout Imaginarium” based out of John Hendry Park on the north side of Trout Lake Community Centre.

This summer Zee is passing on some of the tool skills she learned from Youngmakerscamp_webbuilding the Tiny Community Center. This summer, Zee is hosting 3 sessions of half day summer camps for kids 7-12 focused on tool use and material exploration in art making.

To learn more about how Zee was able to make this project happen through the magic of the local maker community, and to learn about her camps, catch her talk at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire’s Speaker Series 12:30pm Sunday June 12th.

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Meet your Makers: The Stump Artist, Jesse Toso

Toso Wood Works

This is Jesse Toso, aka the Stump Artist. He’s the creative force behind Toso Wood Works. He also likes to carve things with a chainsaw. Jesse has been an award winning chainsaw carver for over 10 years and demonstrates his talents in shows and competitions across Canada.

Toso Wood Works

Toso Wood Works sources salvaged, wind fallen or beach combed wood to create unique pieces that reflect a west coast lifestyle. They love wood with a story, like their spalted maple coffee table created from a stump salvaged on northern Vancouver Island, or their tables made from trees that fell in the 2006 storm that ravaged Stanley Park.

Jesse will be at Maker Faire with his chainsaw so you won’t want to miss him!

Toso Wood Works

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Meet Your Makers: Obscurius

The Obscurious duo (comprised of Amy Fielder and Niel McLaren) combine the art of needle felting with programmable lighting and whimsy to bring you a bazaar of impossible creatures.

obscurious

At their booth, you’ll see glowing wool sculptures brought to life with embedded LEDs. Sculptural needle felting is a relatively young art form developed in the 1980s. The technique uses notched needles and wool to create 2D or 3D designs.

Amy and Niel discovered needle felting at the 2015 Eastside Culture Crawl and were excited by the enormous variety of shapes that could be created, and are now combining this textile medium with computer-controlled LEDs and EL wire to create soft, glowing sculptures. They are interested in exploring the lighting, colour, and shape of deep sea creatures, viscera, and fungi.

Amy Fielder is a designer for children’s cartoons, a portrait painter, and a fan of the humourously grotesque. Lately, she’s been translating her sketchy weirdness into creating huggable things. Niel McLaren likes to create interactive experiences. He is interested in different conceptions of time and space and in crossovers between computer algorithms and natural forms.

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Meet Your Makers: Wil Wong – One-on-One Shootout Hockey

Upon leaving 2014’s Vancouver Mini Maker Faire, Wil Wong couldn’t wait to attend the next one… not as a spectator, but to join the Maker community as an exhibitor!
Wil Wong One-on-One shootout hockey
This is a common theme with people that attend. Many makers that exhibit were attendees previously. Maker Faire’s have a tendency to show people that everyone is a maker and we all have something we’re passionate about…and many like to show it off.

If you enjoyed Wil’s Star War-inspired table hockey game last year then you won’t want to miss this year’s creation: the world’s largest scaled interactive One-On-One Shootout table hockey game. The classic showdown challenge of player versus goalie, bigger than you’ve seen it before! There will be plenty of room for maneuvering as the playing surface is 10 foot long. Drop by and be a part of the action!

Wil graduated from Langara’s Art & Merchandising program. His many passions include writing music, inventing, and collecting table hockey games. He is an art director for a trade magazine, and is writing a book about the history of table hockey.

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