Sunday, 14 December 2008

Officially on the NSEW programme

We are now, after a couple of technical delays, officially in the programme for the UK National Science and Engineering Week:


It seems we will not, after all, be the absolutely first Maker fair in the UK as the University of Newcastle is planning one for the same weekend. Again this is an example of how O'reillys in the USA are not really communicating very quickly as I only found this out by talking to their UK agent recently and there was no hint of this other fair when I openly advertised our intentions at the Make and Instructables websites.

It has proved quite difficult to get the Make magazine folks in the USA to respond to our requests for support. Their parent company, O'Reillys, has an agency in the UK which is being very helpful but they (and we) feel it is important to get explicit agreement for us to use the name Maker Fair/Maker Faire.

However, O'reillys UK will be sending us a box of back copies of Make magazine, which is very kind as they are pretty expensive to by over here. I am proposing to prioritise these to those actively taking part, i.e. those actually showing and telling.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Ideas for competitions

Time to get some ideas into development. the following are 'competitions' in the most lighthearted sense. Really they are to get people thinking about the possibilities.

Starting with any wheeled vehicle (car, bike, buggy, trolley, skateboard or whatever) turn it into any animal of your choice. Animals can be real or imaginary, existing, extinct or mythical. The wheeled item must still be capable of being used in the expected way: so you must still be able to skate on the skate board etc. the rider or driver can be dressed up appropriately but must not be the majority portion of the animal. There will be a parade of animals out of doors on the day, so remember how wet and windy March might be when you are building your animal.

For this you will need to build a structure out of any waste materials (card, paper, plastic bottles, domestic items, bike parts etc etc). The structure can be of any size big enough for an adult to stand up inside. Bear in mind you will be constructing this out of doors in March in Glasgow!

Bags of Wonderful
Biggest, maddest, oddest materials, what can you make a shoulder bag, rucsac or handbag out of?

Radical knitting
Either knit a really unusual object from ordinary knitting yarns
or knit something out of a really unusual yarn (not any commercial or handspun natural or manmade fibre yarns, but recycled textiles, plastics, metals etc etc)
Can you make a political/social statement with your knitting?

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Announcing the first ever UK "Maker faire": McMADSAT

You've seen the Maker Faires ( they hold in the USA but it has always been too far to go from this side of the Atlantic. Now it's easy: we will have our own right here.

Can you get yourself to Glasgow for Saturday 14th March 2009? Great! 'Cos that's when we will be having the UK's first ever "Maker Faire". We are calling it McMADSAT:
Mc (cos we're in Scotland)
M ake
A nd
D o
S how
A nd
T ell

Glasgow Science Centre have promised us the space to do it in: indoors and outdoors. Now we are calling for applications to take part.

You could exhibit at the first ever Maker Fair in Scotland

A unique event that brings together science, art, craft and engineering in a fun, energized, and exciting public forum.

If you are an amateur inventor or a professional maker of amazing things. Bringing the Grassroots Innovator out of all of us.

If you love tinkering, sewing, sticking, welding, cooking, ‘modding’, steampunk or gadgetry or just want to see more.

If your kitchen table, back room, attic or garden shed is full of projects waiting for an audience.

If you can share the sheer fun of thinking up something new and making it.

If you can get to Glasgow for Saturday 14th March 2009

Come and be part of the UK’s first ever Maker Fair.

Far more than a craft fair, this is where the really original stuff is shown off and the public get to have a go too.

We are looking for vehicles, food, structures, models, wood, plastic, metal, textiles, cardboard, steam, electrons, art, Lego extravaganzas, engineering, inventing, modifying, K’nex inventions, botching, paper, handmaking. Anything really fun and you had the idea and made it. Suggestions for themes would also be welcomed.

The aim is to inspire people of all ages to roll up their sleeves and become makers. We encourage you to join the fun and enter a project to exhibit. Children are welcome to exhibit too. No charge to non-commercial exhibitors.

To book your space to exhibit, contact

Supported by the Glasgow Science Centre and the BA