Makers 2011

What would a Maker Faire be without Makers?

Our Call to Makers process finished at the end of June, and produced a wonderfully larger than expected list of possibilities – a million thanks to all that applied! We’ve been wrangling over the list and the constraints of our venue since then to try to figure out how we can squish all the amazing workshops, installations, curiosities and devices into the space we have available. It’s been fun, but by golly it’s been hard – and heartfelt commiseration to the few that we needed to turn down – please apply next year, we’ll have more space – promise!

We’ve tried where possible to focus on doing over looking, so expect to come along and learn some new skills, and take some stuff away with you to get making yourself. Many of our makers will have kits and other things to sell that will inspire you to get cracking – make sure you bring some cash with you!

So, without further ado, here’s a whoosh-bang summary of the things our fantastic makers have in store for you:

Dotted all over the place we’ll have an amazing array of Interactive Installations. Curiosity Collective will be down from Ipswich with their Reel to Reel and Tortoise & the Hare contraptions. Brighton’s own Circus Kinetica will be stopping by on their busy festival tour with some of their amazing Josephine machine. Gareth Griffiths will be bringing his iMirror along, which will show you in a whole new light. We’re also very excited to have the incredible Subsonic Submarine creation of Ray Stockill tucked away in a not-so-quiet corner for you to make a tonne of noise with!

Luciana Haill’s NEURALInterface

We’re very excited about our Craft Cavern taking over the whole Founders Room of the Dome, as it has an incredible amount of workshops involving all manner of stitch, crochet, knit, cut-out, scan and stick activities. So much stuff: End-of-level Boss Making with Jim PurbrickYarn Crafts with Crafty ZoeCuttlefishlove’s Japanese Craft; Lilypad Musical Craft by Rain Ashford.

There’s more: Incredible Needle Felting with Eve Maria KellyAmigurumi & Crochet with Joanne MunroMaking Cat Toys with Jay KendallMosaic Panels by Christine Walker; Creating your own Knitting Patterns by Grenville Glossop. Will Segerman will be displaying his amazing Chainmail and Fantasy ArmourEmily Garland will be showing you just what you can make out of Gingerbread.

Emily Wright’s Cuttlefishlove Kanzashi

We’re super excited to have Brighton legend Jane Bom-Bane along, who’ll be getting you all to make a very special Mini Makers Hat (and Song!), along with many of the other Bom-Bane’s performers.

Engineering Excellence will be on display all over the show, embracing what can be done when you combine a DIY attitude with a bunch of spanners and physics know-how. We’re proud to feature our friends at the Cranks co-op bike workshop, who’ll be showing you how to fix your knackered old ride (bring it along!). Brighton Uni’s Ian Watts and family will be there with many of their robot creations, though we’re told their Robot Wars legend Big Brother is just too damn feisty to be around this year! Software Engineering isn’t forgotten either – Proactive Paul will be on hand to show you how to write your own Homebrew DS Games.

Ever wanted to go on a skateboard but figured four wheels was just Too Many? John Dingley will be showing you just how easy it is to ride around on one with two wheels. On the side. Using a Wii remote.

We’re also particularly proud to have the team behind the Bluebell Railway Restoration Project along, who’ll be showing just how much effort goes into keeping a thing people care about alive.

Bluebell Railway Restoration

Microprocessor Mayhem is where you’ll find all our makers that get their kicks from modding their world with inputs and outputs of the amazing wee devices like Arduino and PICAXE – and how easy it is for you to do the same. We’ve got Martin Evans with his Mini Underwater ROVs – in a fish tank to play with. Malcolm Napier will be showing you how to build and work a RepRap 3D printer. Nixon McInnes will be launching its Happy Buttons project, measuring the overall levels of Woo! and Boo! in the event. The Nanode Project will also be on site, showing how to connect your world up to the interwebs.

There’s a whole ream of music control and making devices bringing the mayhem: Adam Place’s AlphaSphere music control surface is going to revolutionise live performance. Martin Klang will be showing of his BlipBox controller. Brighton’sRichard Davis will be there with his Stringless Ukulele and Guitars. And Iain Sharp will be making some amazing squelchy noises with his Vibrati Punk Console.

We also will have Mike McRoberts’ great hobby electronics shop Earthshine on site, so you can take some of this magic home with you – he’s the author of Beginning Arduino, so can definitely help you out.

Circus Kinetica

The Kinect Kerstage (sorry – it’s not in a Korner) will be showcasing the work of some of the best Kinect hackers in the country. See what possibilities open up when a device that used to cost tens of thousands of quids suddenly becomes available to everyone. Hove’s Dom Mason will be showing a bunch of his work. As will Moving Brands‘ Daniel Soltis, who’s working with the Kinect to ease 3D modeling for later 3D printing in his Hand:Drawn project. There’ll be a bundle of other kinect hackers there too, popping onto the (ker)stage over the course of the day.

The Hackspace Haven is where you’ll find some of the UK’s hackerspaces represented – hopefully one from or near the city that you come from. Build Brighton Hackspace will of course be there in force – we’re still planning what we’re doing for the event (eez a ‘surprise’), but expect a whole manner of music meddling and robot bimbling at the very least.Nottingham Hackspace are down from the sunny midlands, bringing a heap of their creations. Same with the huge London Hackspace – too much stuff to mention (they say, & we trust them ;). HAC:Manchester will be there with their superb Project-a-sketch, and from sunny Birmingham we have FizzPOP down with their new Thereborg creation!


In addition to that, the hackspaces will all be joining forces for our mega Soldering and Open Hack workshop, where as well as showing you just how easy it is to solder – by providing you with a ton of fine LED badges, musical instruments, robots and other projects to hack together – they’ll also be working with each other to try and hack the event into a different shape. Making new stuff. Making cheap stuff do expensive things. Making stuff do stuff it wasn’t designed for. And showing you how.

Last but not least, we have our Spectacular Science exhibits, where you’ll get to see some of the fun side of how things tick. Luciana Haill will be showing you a bit about how your brainwaves wibble (and make some music) with her NEURALinterface system. Richard Robinson from the Brighton Science Festival will be reducing you all to mere neurons in his Of All The Nerve workshop. Brian Degger will be exposing some of the bizarreness of the underwater kingdom with his Takeaway Aquatic Monsters exhibit, and Mor Bakal will be showing just how much a sonic landscape can affect how you draw.