I love the Space Centre, and I love Maker Faires, so when we were invited to go and have a stand at the Space Centre
's first ever Creator Fair, well let's just say I got a bit excited.
We decided early on that we'd like to run a workshop which we've never done before, but wanted to steer away from the obvious soldering workshop, not because there is anything wrong with them, but because they are a great and cheap way for Hackspaces to get involved and advertise their own places.
So, we decided that we'd do something based around our own Electro-Fashion® range
, something that children could get involved with, and something for them to take away with them. Over to Aaron, our product development and support chap to get creative with the laser cutter. A couple of prototypes later and he had a working design for the sewable badge, and we were ready to cut out a couple of hundred ready for the weekend.
When I arrived it felt like years ago since I was last there, although in reality it was just six months ago for the British Sci-Fi weekend. The fair itself was split into two separate areas due to space, and we were in the half with the three East Midlands Hackspaces, Just Add Sharks
, and York Hackspace
as well as a few others.
The 'sew your own badge' workshop proved incredibly popular, and plenty of children got stuck in to sew their own using just a coin cell holder
, a PCB LED
and conductive thread
to connect the two. The pre laser cut guides helped to make it such a simple workshop that anyone could sew it.
I did get time to go and have a quick look around the rest of the fair, and it was great to see so many faces from the new Leicester Hackspace, as well as the Derby Hackspaces' Rope Making Machine which we first saw at the Derby Mini Maker Faire last year, and it was just as popular this time round!
Martin from Just Add Sharks was there (Dominic was in New York) and there seemed to be a lot of interest from people in the laser as well as his array of laser cut goodies. It was, as always, nice to see Nottinghack
at a fairly local event, doing badge soldering workshops as well as showing off a variety of goodies, and Matt from re-innovation
had his own stand selling some of his kits as well as having the pedal machine there for people to really get involved and see how much power you could generate through cycling.
Other stand outs for me included Debbs Elliman with her hand made masquerade masks, Cog 'o' Two
with their gorgeous laser cut Steampunk airships and a young local designer called Holly with hand knitted hats and a sock monster workshop.
Pat Dodds' stall caught Geoff's eye, and he bought back with him some of her hand sewn work which he quickly added some flickering candle LEDs
I think the highlight of my weekend though was seeing York Hackspace's Spacehack Game
(as seen at the Maker Faire in Newcastle), and a new face behind their desk. I managed to grab a few quick words with Christine, who it turned out had found out about her local Hackspace from our Maker Faire article!
"I was delighted to meet some of the folks behind Kitronik at the Creator Fair! I couldn't wait to tell them how excited I was that it was actually because of them, that I was even at the Fair!
I subscribe to the Kitronik email newsletter to see what new things they have or what news they are posting because I buy a lot of things from them, and back in June sometime I was reading it and noticed a really fun story about a crazy thing called ’Space Hack’. I saw that it was from York Hackspace... and being Canadian, I assumed it was in York, Ontario so I Googled to find out more, out of curiosity - and discovered it was actually York, UK! This was pretty awesome because I am now based there, so I introduced myself to the group and now I’m a part of it. I joined York Hackspace because of seeing the Kitronik newsletter - so not only am I a huge fan of their components (I use them in some of my wearables projects / projects for my kids) but they also provided me with a really great connection to meet these local folks who had similar interests to me."
You can see some of what Christine is working on at christinefarion.com and some of our components in her stuff at Etsy
All too soon the weekend was over, and it's back work. As always it was great to see some old friends, and meet some new ones. If you're inspired to either have a stand or just go to see what inspiration you get then Derby's third annual Mini Maker Faire takes place later this month, and you can always check the Hackspace Foundation's website
to find out if there is a Hackspace near you.
If you want to browse the rest of our photos from the weekend, we added them to our Google+ page
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