Saturday, 14 March 2009

Technology is Awesome

Miss & Mr Wrapped in Wool, Mr Wonderfuls and I are up in Newcastle at the 1st UK Maker Faire. The website was a bit vague about what was going to be on, but we decided to trust our gut intuition that Make:/Craft: would put on a fabulous event & trek up here.

When we arrived in the marquee, we made a beeline for the joint stand, where I got to sy 'Hello' - it was great to see Folksy at the event. We were quickly distracted by the local weaving/spinning/dyeing guild, who were demonstrating weaving on an Ashford loom, tablet weaving and needlefelting.

I fell in love with the loom weaving, it is such a relaxing process. We were using a plain warp, a novelty yarn weft and weaving slubs of a merino silk blend in every now ad again to add texture. I spent quite a while weaving and made a small felted brooch.

The Curiosity Collective had a fabulous stand with models based on proverbs. I especially liked the Watched Pot, which sensed when it was being watched and displayed how close to boiling it was.

We did some silk painting, which was very peaceful and relaxing, despite being surrounded by the sounds of many interesting electronic devices.

Wrapped in Wool and I went off to the Chiptune Marching Band workshop, and spent a happy 3 hours making fab battery powered, hand crank rechargeable noise machines, then proceeded, with the 20 or so other workshop participants, to flashmob both the faire and Newcastle Station with our interesting sound tubes

We rushed back to the main marquee to try to see all of the other stand which we mised when we were weaving and Chiptuning, including the lovely guy at the Howduino stall, the fantastic full sized animatronic horse on wheels, the Maker Shed store where I bought a tshirt and a LED picture kit, the lady who told us all about Gocco, and explained how they're not being made any more, and loads of other great stands.

We didn't get to do all of the events at the Faire, we skipped the Robot Wars in favour of workshops and stalls, and didn't have time to go to the discovery centre.

In all, it was a fantastic day, and I hope that the Faire will return to the UK next year, or sooner. I think next time I'd like to see more crafters sharing our skills alongside the more electronically minded folks, some examples of conductive thread/lilypad arduino projects (maybe a workshop with some stuff to take home) and even more shopping!

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