It's the second Mini Maker Faire to be held in Adelaide (the first was in 2013) but the first one for me and I have some photos to share.
|The former Main Assembly Building (a.k.a. MAB) |
housed the Mini Maker Faire. Dulcie's bus gives
a sense of the building's scale.
In a former life, this bus provided public transport
to the people of Adelaide. These days it services
Adelaideans in a different way, as a popular
travelling vintage-clothing shop with
proceeds going to charity.
There is plenty of room to share all sorts of 'making' from the latest in technology to traditional handcrafts and home-made produce.
The variety of demonstrations, lectures and things to do, see and buy provided something for everyone, children and adults alike.
|A robot to welcome us!|
Naturally, I focussed on the craftier side of things, but there were so many interesting things–too many to get a photo of everything, so if you want to know more, just head along to the Mini Maker Faire's web page or, better still, go and have a look for yourself next time.
The weather put on a perfect spring day which brought everyone out so it was a social occasion as well as an exposition. Over 5000 people attended. I spent a lot longer at the fair than originally planned!
|Technological developments are part of 'making'. |
Lots of new technology was on display including electric vehicles.
|The MAB has been totally redesigned with |
environmental sustainability in mind for
this particular site.
The plantings and gardens are integral
parts of the climate control system.
The site was divided into different sections:
Creative Court; and
The adjacent campuses of Flinders University and Tonsley TAFE also provided displays, activities and lectures.
|A Samurai whose armour won an award|
for 'best use of materials'.
It is made of recycled and repurposed materials
by Terry Izatt.
|A local Dalek interacting with the public.|
|There were at least three Daleks at the fair thanks to the Dalek Builders' Union.|
|Headwear is all the rage with the younger set.|
Hand-made fluffy ears were THE must-have accessory at the Mini Maker Faire.
One had to be quick—they were sold out before lunch!
One of the ways in which the Mini Maker Faire distinguishes itself from the usual craft market is its focus on sharing knowledge. Many artisans and craftspeople were not only selling goods and displaying their products but also demonstrating how to make them or talking about their design processes.
Candida Virgo of Candide Soaps was demonstrating and explaining her soap-making process. I am very interested in such things because my autoimmune problems leave me very sensitive to many ingredients found in modern toiletries.
|Soapmaker Candida from 'Candide Bath and Body' |
with her young helper
at the end of a very long and busy day.
By the time I got to her display (the Tonsley site is enormous) it was nearing the end of the day. I can't imagine what a very long day (and weekend) it must be for the exhibitors.
Despite obvious tiredness, Candida remained friendly and upbeat about her craft. She had sold most of the soaps she had brought along and was apologetic for not bringing more with her to present a larger choice to me! Candida told me she wasn't expecting to sell so many as the focus was mainly on demonstrating and teaching.
It didn't matter. She had the kinds of soaps that I, and every second person who came along, was seeking—a gentle soap that would not cause a reaction or exacerbate an existing skin problem.
My autoimmune issues cause problems for my skin. I have battled various forms of eczema or dermatitis throughout my life. It takes daily maintenance to control.
|Candide Bath and Body soaps make |
a pretty display in my bathroom.
Front: Pure Olive Oil aged 6 months
Back: Pure Goat's Milk Soap
The soapmaking process is fascinating. Did you know that it is a bit like cheese in that it needs to be aged? The character of the soap changes according to the duration of the ageing process.
I haven't got around to using Candida's soaps yet as I my current one is not finished but if they work for me, I will let you know! In the meantime, I am enjoying the pretty display in my bathroom.
… and now for some yarny goodness!
|Kelly Hickman of Handmade By Blue Button|
Kelly Hickman of Handmade By Blue Button is a new exhibitor, based south of Adelaide. She knits baby gifts and other items to order. Kelly's attractive, colourful display was a highlight—so many beautiful items to 'ooh and aah' over (so cute!): mobiles, cocoons, photo props, baby hats with matching pilchers and some prize-winning ribbons to match her fine work.
|One of myriad pairs of baby shoes|
lovingly knitted by Kelly Hickman
(Handmade By Blue Button)
I was proud to be Kelly's very first customer at the Mini Maker Faire with a purchase from her large assortment of baby shoes. It is such a pleasure to do business with her because she was so friendly and cheerful with a professional attitude even though she works from home to combine crafting and child-rearing.
Nearby, I met Jan and Suzy, a pair of lifelong friends and passionate spinners, happily showing people how to spin fleece into yarn.
|Jan chatting as she spins.|
All sorts of knitted, woven and crocheted items were on display along with samples of raw fleece and spun yarn.
One of the items included a tricot blanket made by Suzy's mother (sadly now deceased) which fascinated everyone including Jan and Suzy who, unable to ask the creator directly, were finding it difficult to surely identify it as either knitting or crochet.
|A vintage tricot throw rug |
Jan and Suzy were happy when I confirmed that Suzy's mother used a specialist crochet technique called 'tricot' (also known as 'Tunisian crochet' in the USA and other parts of the world) which, for the uninitiated, looks a bit like regular crochet and a bit like knitting as it has similarities to the two better known crafts.
I like to describe tricot as the place where knitting and crochet meet. I have seen a lot of plain tricot in my time but this rug was amazing. It was a highlight of my day to be able to have a close look at this beautifully crafted vintage rug.
|Suzy shows how to use a drop spindle.|
I was very privileged to have an informal lesson with Suzy about how to use a drop spindle.
I do own a drop spindle but have never used it because I couldn't remember how to get started!
Suzy explained the process very well and even let me have a go!
Suzy and Jan were so friendly and generous with their time and knowledge. It was an absolute pleasure to meet them.
|A couple of tricot hooks|
It was great to see a superb example of tricot but I was disappointed that crochet did not have any representation (apart from one crocheted shawl on Jan and Suzy's display) even though crochet is now experiencing a wave of popularity.
During the planning stages of the Mini Maker Faire I toyed with the idea of organising a crochet display but when the call came, I was not in a position to take up the opportunity. Now that it is plain to see that there is a gap to be filled, maybe I could do it? I can certainly demonstrate how to do tricot and lots of crochet techniques, but would the body be able to cope with the demands of such an event? Sadly, this is more unpredictable than the weather. I would need extra physical support but, maybe, calling in friends, we might be able to put something together. What do you reckon?
Even the craft of felting got a 'look-in'. The 'Felting Frenzy' stand generated a lot of interest. I could not even get close to see what was going on there because of the crowd that had gathered–aptly named!
From new friends to familiar faces …
Down Artisan Avenue, one could find tin smithing, artwork, millinery, jewellery-making, rope mats and various computing and radio interest groups (and more).
|Kylie of A Bag and a Hat |
not only dyes her own yarn
but uses materials that others
throw away to reduce waste
and help the environment.
You might recognise one of their members, Kylie Willison of A Bag and a Hat, who had her own display of the non-orthodox materials that can be utilised for crochet.
Kylie recycles waste materials and gives them new life with her crochet hooks. She has made bags, bottle holders, decorative pieces and hats and garments. Materials include bread tags, ring-pull tabs, audiocassette and videotape, wire, electrical cables and 'e-waste'. She also saves money and the environment by doing the traditional ripping back of old jumpers to source yarn for her projects.
How about some Cosplay?
Arts, crafts and activities for everyone ...
The Mini Maker Faire was not one of those expos solely aimed at adults. Everyone could get involved. Participation was encouraged. There were as many things to do as there were to see.
|Lego building table hosted by Southern Bricks Lego User Group (LUG)|
|This magnificent work of art is created entirely of Lego|
by Tim of the Southern Bricks LUG.
It took approximately 3 months to make from concept to creation.
Would you like this stylish image on your wall?
Lego versions start at AU$10,000.
|Lolly Jar Circus Inc. provided healthy, active play opportunities for young visitors and their parents too!|
Handily (or stragetically) positioned next to a coffee shop.
|Robotics Challenge contestants share their designs.|
The competition was hosted by Flinders University.
|This vortex will blow your fluffy ears off!|
|The smoke cannon was a big hit!|
Hit the diaphragm to create
giant smoke rings in the air.
At the Adelaide Mini Maker Faire I found 'making' (both high- and low-tech), art, creativity, play, science, computing, ideas and innovation, products and participation, community groups and collaboration with a clear emphasis on sustainable living.
It was an awesome experience to see the fabulous talent that exists in 'my own backyard'.
It was a huge day, leaving me quite exhausted (which is why it has taken so long to post about it) but totally worth the experience. I will certainly do it again next time!
|What a big day! Have a rest on these 'lawn chairs'!|
References & Links
Adelaide College of the Arts: http://www.tafesa.edu.au/adelaide-college-of-the-arts
- Debrief "We Made It!": http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=acd341a12af37a4041e3d2e58&id=443a3c5548&e=8ee63fdd53
- Meet the Makers—Makers Directory: http://www.makerfaireadelaide.com/meet-the-makers/
- Walk Through (video), Youtube: https://youtu.be/t6F8106dT1A
This video will show you how huge the Maker Faire was. You may see someone you know at 1'21"!
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC497ZDZvZzs0iPc0ippuFxA
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlakesbyHats
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/9kqo1lrA5e/
- Meet the Maker: http://www.makerfaireadelaide.com/meet-the-maker-blake-canham-bennett-blakesby-hats/
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook page is named "Candide Bath and Body": https://www.facebook.com/soapsbyCandide
- MadeIt online handmade market shop: https://www.madeit.com.au/Main/Store?storeId=18675&userId=113464&showStoreAbout=true This site tells you more about Candida.
- Meet the Maker: http://www.makerfaireadelaide.com/meet-the-maker-candida-virgo-candide-bath-and-body/
Dalek Builders' Union:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ausdalek/
- Meet the Maker: https://www.makerfaireadelaide.com/meet-the-maker-australian-dalek-builders-union/
Deloitte Australian Centre for the Edge, Product Innovation in a Hyper Connected World: The Australian Maker Movement, report, Deloitte Digital, <http://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/technology/articles/product-innovation-hyper-connected.html>, PDF document: http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/au/Documents/technology/deloitte-au-tech-maker-movement-290514.pdf
Dulcie's Bus, mobile op-shop, "a shop of real opportunity":
- Hutt St Centre: http://www.huttstcentre.org.au/events_and_appeals/dulcies_shop_of_real_opportunity
- Meet the Maker: http://www.makerfaireadelaide.com/meet-the-makers-dulcies-bus/
Felting Frenzy: http://www.makerfaireadelaide.com/meet-the-maker-gunson-family-felting-frenzy/
Flinders University: www.flinders.edu.au/
Hackerspace Adelaide: http://hackerspace-adelaide.org.au
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/BlueButtonBabyGifts
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/HandmadeByBlueButton
- Meet the Maker: http://www.makerfaireadelaide.com/meet-the-maker-kelly-hickman-handmade-by-blue-button/
Jackson, Rob, "Five Lessons from Volunteering", blog post, Third Sector, 24 November 2015: http://robjackson.thirdsector.co.uk/2015/11/24/five-lessons-from-volunteering/
Rob Jackson blogs about his positive volunteering experience at the 2015 Adelaide Mini Maker Faire which was organised by a committee of volunteers. Rob Jackson identifies five things that can be applied to all volunteer organisations and asks how the learning can be transferred to one's 'day job' and/or other areas in life.
Lolly Jar Circus Inc.: http://www.lollyjarcircus.com.au
Marshall Tearle's Animatronics, Models and Props:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marshallsprops
- Meet the Maker: http://www.makerfaireadelaide.com/meet-the-maker-marshall-tearle-animatronics-models-props/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Priscillas-Emporium
- Meet the Maker: http://www.makerfaireadelaide.com/meet-the-maker-jodie-shoobridge-priscillas-emporium/
Southern Bricks Lego Users Group: www.sblug.club
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/southernbricks
- Meet the Maker: http://www.makerfaireadelaide.com/meet-the-maker-southern-bricks-lego-user-group/
Terry Izatt, 'The Beauty in Recycling':
- Meet the Maker: http://www.makerfaireadelaide.com/meet-the-maker-terry-izatt-the-beauty-in-recycling-homemade-japanese-armour/
Tonsley development: www.tonsley.com
Tricot / Tunisian crochet has also been called 'shepherd's knitting', 'Scottish knitting', 'tricot ecossaise', 'idiot stitch', 'afghan stitch', 'afghan crochet' and 'railway knitting'!
Here are some resources:
- Jones, Rebecca, The Complete Book of Tricot, Kangaroo Press, imprint of Simon & Schuster, Australia, 1991
- Mapstone, Prudence, Knot Just Knitting:
Web site: http://knotjustknitting.com/
Craftumi shop: www.craftumi.com.au/PrudenceMapstone
Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/freeformbyprudence
- Wilkins, Delia, Railway Knitting, e-book PDF: http://www.kbnfibres.ca/images/Railway%20knitting.pdf
- A Bag and a Hat: http://www.abagandahat.com/
- Meet the Maker: https://www.makerfaireadelaide.com/meet-the-maker-kylie-willison-cost-the-earth/