Category Archives: Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2012

Submissions from VMMF Yarn Party

A few weeks before Maker Faire 2012, we received a large shipment of wool from Granted clothing. We decided to pass out free wool to anyone that wanted to knit something awesome. Scroll down to check out some of the submissions!

A felted table covering:

A hand knit toque:

Finger warmers!

A kayak cozy!

A creative wall hanging:

A poof!



To see even more photos of submissions, check out our yarn party group on flickr.


Vancouver Mini Maker Faire + Mom = Bliss

Vancouver’s second annual Mini Maker Faire witnessed a sea of smiling faces two weekends ago, as local makers shared, entertained and inspired the city’s hungry minds.


Being a volunteer, I was eager to share the experience, so I invited my parents along.


There was plenty to see and do — but what first? 3D printer village? Perfume mixing? Soldering? Painting with bikes? Felted beads? Mushboo? Disaster Area?


More than 100 makers were busy tinkering, weaving, hacking, playing handmade horns, drawing with robots, and carving faces out of sand.


It was a thrill for the senses and a feast for the mind.


During a short break, and in between bites of scrumptious pakora, I asked my mom what she thought of the event.


“It reminds me of the mentality we had in the 60s and 70s, you know, getting back to the garden,” she mused. “Everybody wanted to make their own things — clothes, macramé, growing their own food, working with leather. Only people would do it in small groups. Nobody would have put an event together like this.”


Right on! A gold star from my mom! And she’s right on too. The event is organic. It’s educational. It’s loopy and it’s kooky, but most of all it’s fun. It’s a nerd’s paradise, no matter what kind of nerd you are.


As I listened to my mom speak, I looked inside my purse full of little handmade trinkets, some of which I made myself onsite. I felt so inspired.


“It’s the beginning of something,” she said. “I’m not sure what exactly. It feels like Circle Craft, deconstructed.”



A Volunteer’s First Maker Faire

What a magical place! My first time at Mini Maker Faire was the overwhelming array of sights, sounds and motions that I had hoped for. The Makerverse was a hustling, bustling assault of the senses.


As an early morning volunteer, I headed to the front gate to begin my shift, passing the beginnings of stalls I saw many things that intrigued me: weird shapes protruding, projections screens expanding, messes of criss-crossing wires and circuits, cables being gaffered to the ground and strange objects lifted from boxes.  I wanted to explore, but I knew I had to focus on helping out. I spent the morning volunteering at ticketing, where I saw kids buzzing with excitement; jumping, squirming and smiling ear to ear. It’s good to see that the Maker movement has captured the hearts of those so young.


Silver Dog Vancouver Mini Maker Faire


When my shift was over, I was finally able to round the door and see what awaited me. Things spun and clicked and rolled and danced before my eyes. There were glowing lights and the whir of a helicopter overhead! Scents emanated from the perfume booth. A long, low, echoing note surprised me from a horn made from a hat. Strings and sculptures dangled. Visual projections warped and altered. Flashes went off from the callotype booth. Here I was, surrounded by making. I felt immersed in the joy of creation and sharing, and I too started to buzz with inspiration. If you are heading to Mini Maker Faire today, here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect to find.


Meet Your Makers: Al Roback of Grass Frame Works


Ever wanted a bike frame that’s completely sustainable and totally unique? Vancouver’s Grass Frame Works has just the thing: a bicycle made from bamboo.


Al Roback spent time researching the varieties and uses of bamboo and had the inspiration to start building bamboo bicycles when he was studying in Asia.


When he’s not on the production line, he spends his time finding materials and parts for Grass Frames’ bikes, sourcing them as locally and sustainably as possible. In fact, sustainability is one of Grass Frames’ top priorities. Their frames are manufactured from bamboo poles, hemp fibre, aluminium fittings and plant-oil derived epoxy. They constantly source out the most ethically grown bamboo and most eco-friendly products on the market, while also cutting down on waste in the production process.


Driven by a need for local, innovative, and sustainable manufacturing, they also offer a course teaching others to build their own frame. Here’s what Al had to say about his influences, the bike-making process, and what he plans to bring to this year’s Maker Faire.



How did you come up with the idea for making bamboo bicycles?


I was studying in Asia and noticed the way they used bamboo in construction of buildings and furniture. Being a cyclist and a woodworker, it got my mind going. What started a a side project ended up being a really great bike.


How important is sustainability to you, and how does this influence your product development?


Sustainability is one of Grass Frames top priorities. We constantly source out the most ethically grown bamboo and most Eco friendly products on the market while cutting down on waste in the production process.  It really results in better quality bikes in the end.


Are you the first company ever to manufacture bamboo bikes?


I wish I could claim that! Bamboo bicycles have been around for a long time. They were making them in England at the turn of the century and now in Australia, Asia and the USA there are companies that have been making them for a few years. But we’re proud to be the first company in Canada to making bamboo bicycles.



I gotta ask, how durable is a bamboo bike frame, and how much does one cost?


The bikes are incredibly durable. Because they are bound at each end, the bamboo will keep its structural integrity even if it were to crack in a situation like being hit by a vehicle. We do offer a 10-year warranty with each of our bikes. We’re extremely confident on their durability. The frame alone is $2000 and a full bicycle starts at $3000.


What do you plan on bringing / demonstrating at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire this year?


We will have the bikes out with us, be doing some fun demonstrations on the durability of bamboo, and showing people how we build our frames. We might even build a frame at the Faire to show our process.




Meet the Grass Frame Works team at Maker Faire tomorrow, or visit their website for product and ordering info.