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Doing it Together is powerful stuff. East Bay Mini Maker Faire is an absolute manifestation of team work and collaborative energy. Together we threw an amazing celebration this past Sunday: a showcase of creativity, invention, and curiosity.

Close to 200 makers generously shared their talent, wit, passion and projects. Over 250 Park Day School parents + unaffiliated helpers took shifts to power everything from hands-on making booths (e.g. Nerdy Derby, rockets, Swap, Learn to Solder) to parking to tickets and registration. 95 exhibits offered hands-on making or  interaction.  Sponsors gave in their own way—enabling budget for the jaw-dropping installations, or donating in-kind with infrastructure and supplies. A core team of 10 or so plugged away months in advance to push this baby to fruition.

Together we brought together 7,000 happy people on the combined Park Day School + Studio One Art Center campuses. Whether working or just experiencing the show, it felt like most people were experiencing something new, and receiving some bit of re-charge and inspiration. Thanks for not just coming, but for contributing, and for making this day with us.

Keep the making going — check out our Resources page for makerspaces and maker meetups — and see you back again in October 2015!

P.S. We’d love to see more pictures! Send links to




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We are overwhelmed with appreciation for the spectacular day on Sunday.  This year, our fourth, we showcased just under 200 makers and hosted 7,000 people on the combined venue of Park Day School and Studio One Art Center.  The weather was spectacular, the depth and variety of content superlative, the community feeling strong.  And we had the first-ever, full-scale crate stacking show very likely in the history of the planet!

Thanks go first to our makers, those creative, generous people.  There is no Maker Faire without you.  You are problem-solvers and you are by and large easy.  You collaborate.  You are curious and happy.  Thank you for sharing your talent and your process and your prowess.

Then there’s our partnersStudio One Art Center, a fantastic arts facility owned and operated by the City of Oakland—and MAKE magazine, the entity behind Maker Faire.  And our sponsors (just look to the right rail), those companies and institutions that understand the value of maker culture and how important it is to foster and encourage.

Finally there’s the community of Park Day School How many of you reading this realize that the East Bay Mini Maker Faire is produced and organized entirely by the parents and staff of this progressive Oakland K-8 school?  It’s a staggering accomplishment, even for a group of professionals, let alone volunteers.  Thank you parents and staff!

Some nice news / posts came out about the fair:

We’ve been collecting images and loading them into a Flickr feed Please please share your images and videos—there were so many unique experiences at the fair that we’re just plain curious to see what you saw! Let us know via comments here, on Facebook or Twitter or G+, or email us at

So *phew* we’re done for this year.  But before you forget all of this, we’ve got a survey for makers and a survey for attendees that we would so appreciate if you would take a moment to complete.  Your brilliant ideas, constructive critiques, and words of adoration are all very much desired and appreciated, and will help us be bigger, better, stronger, and more fun in 2014.  See you then.

Photos by Stephen Jacobson, Ben Smith, John Orbon, Sabrina Merlo, Karen Marcelo and Jeffrey Braverman/MAKE.  See the full Flickr gallery and attribution info here.

sabrinacrate3Crate stacking is a game.  The objective is to stack as many upside-down plastic milk crates as possible and stand on the top. Stackers rest their feet in the handle holes of the milk crates, and the challenge is to place the next crate and transfer footings without losing balance and blowing the stack.

The set up is like indoor rock climbing or top rope climbing in that players are in a harness and are belayed for safety. Crates are tossed to the stacker when the stack is low, and then ferried by a rope on a pulley when the stack is high. When the stack inevitably blows, the stacker is held aloft as the milk crates scatter asunder. It’s fun. Really fun.

Want to try it? Crate Stacking will be going down on the front lawn of Studio One all day at East Bay Mini Maker Faire.  Under 18 will need parents present to try.  The highest stackers will be invited to a stack-off at 4 PM.

Here’s Crate Stacking game maker Liam McNamara, landing a record 26 stack:

Metalsmith Dan Romo at workOn October 20th attendees at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire will get the chance to be metalsmiths for a day! Watch master metalsmiths Dan Romo and Hopi Breton (and her Diablo Valley College students) pour a bronze cast, then make your own work of art to take home.

Maker Faire attendees will be able to mold their own sand form, with numbers, letters, and other objects provided by Romo and Breton, or create your own. Guidance and assistance with making the sand forms will be provided by Breton’s students from DVC. Attendees will then watch as their ideas become their own original bronze sculpture!

Pouring bronze into a formIf you want to learn about this amazing art form, the first demonstration will start at around 11:00. Create a sand form while you learn the process of turning molten metal into art. Then, at noon, your sand form will be used as a mold for your very own bronze art piece you can take home. The cost to create your own bronze sculpture will be about $45 (enough to cover materials), but the experience will be one you will never forget!

The demonstration will repeat at 1:00, with another chance to make your own piece at 2:00.

Dan and Hopi think they will be able to pour about 20 pieces total for faire attendees, so register now and purchase in advance to reserve your materials and pour:

If you love this, you won’t want to miss Breton’s upcoming Iron Pour at DVC on November 7th (make your mold) and 9th (pour)! Details can be found here:

All of this coverage of the Detroit Maker Faire at the Henry Ford Museum has me desperate to share my summer find, the very best museum in Europe:  Musee des Arts et Metier in Paris.

Clément Ader's steam-powered bat plane, Avion III.

Founded in 1794 during the French Revolution, the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metier was charged with collecting scientific tools and inventions.  217 years later, the permanent collection is jaw-dropping, old, exhaustive, and beautiful. It’s where you’ll find first inventions in everything from energy, flight, transportation, measurement and calculation, to communications and architecture.

Like the Henry Ford, the museum’s prototype machines have that magic of industrial “simple:”  you can almost understand how the machine works by seeing all the parts.   And the inventors were often also the fabricators.  Here are just a few gems in the collection that caught my camera’s eye:

1844 electric motor by Gustave Froment

Volta's "pile" from 1799—the first electric cell

Car with propeller, Leyat, 1921

Gorgeous gears

One of many stellar, styly early bikes

Early mathematical models. Good sculpture.

Needless to say, all prime inspiration for coming home and gearing up for the second annual East Bay Mini Maker Faire.

We want flying machines, hand-built bicycles, solar ovens, goat-butchering workshops! Help us spread the word to all the quiet geniuses in garages, basements, machine shops, kitchens, gardens, and office corners across the East Bay.

Call for makers, performers, crafters, vendors for our own “museum” of arts and innovation is open through September 1.

P.S. Faire means “to make” in French.

The first time I went to Maker Faire in San Mateo was in 2008, as a performer with my band Toychestra.  Except for the time on stage,  I spent almost the entirety of my day (and indeed, each time I’ve returned) inside the Swap-o-Rama-Rama — a pavilion loaded with mountains of donated clothing to sift through, unmake, re-make and up-cycle.

But it’s not just clothes.  There’s sewing machines as well as freestyle use of buttons, ribbons, glue guns, feathers and googly eyes.  A veritable textile buffet!

My favorite part was the screen printing.  You just pick out an article of clothing from the stack, take it over and choose from one of the ten or so available screens.  Mr. or Mrs. ScreenPrint would swipe the ink that you like and Voila!  A super cool t-shirt for my son—and a much improved hoody for myself.

screenprinting station @ Swap-o-Rama-Rama

When we started producing the EBMMF my personal Maker priority was to ensure some kind of clothing mash-up section—especially because our Mini Maker Faire will happen on the Sunday before Halloween! Costume-O-Rama-Rama! So I did a little internet searching and discovered a bit about the inspired and fearless leader of Swap-O-Rama-Rama—Wendy Tremayne.  Here are a few inspired words from the Swap website:

In 2005 Wendy created Swap-O-Rama-Rama (to observe and respond to) some of the issues that perpetuate consumerism. It got off the ground with a grant from Black Rock Arts and now takes place in cities all over the world. It has repurposed hundreds of thousands of pounds of textile waste and transformed thousands of consumers into creators.   … At Swap-O-Rama-Rama objects are imbued with meaning as would-be trash is revivified with authentic, communal creativity and spirit.

This year, the East Bay Mini Maker Faire will stage our own Swap-O-Rama-Rama thanks to Wendy and her SORR sponsor YUDU (!  WooT!

If you want to play, just come on down on October 24.  It’ll be a great opportunity to make that ultra fabulous Halloween costume, remake some favorite clothing, or find and make some new treasure you can take home with you. And, it’s all FREE with your EBMMF admission!

If you want to help—donate some clothes—any womens/mens/kids clothing that still has some life in it. We also need sewing machines to use that day, volunteers to help with all the hijinks, and any extra materials, notions, trims or embellishments you can part with. Contact Corey for more details at

Swap-O-Rama-Rama by Wendy Tremayne is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

The Maker Faire in San Mateo doesn’t draw 90,000 people over a single weekend because it is dry, dreary or serious.  JOY is the subtext of Maker Faire.  People come in droves to the Maker Faire because it is fun!

You might dispute this, but I would wager that the most fun and joyful exhibit at Maker Faire is the two-punch combo of Paul’s Rides and Cyclecide.   That’s why I’m particularly thrilled to announce that Paul’s Rides and Cyclecide will be making their magic happen at the inaugural 2010 East Bay Mini Maker Faire!


Paul’s Rides are pedal-powered carnival rides.  Two- and three-person ferris wheels; tiny and big carousels, two- and six-seater dizzy toys. These are rides that make you scream out loud and make you dizzy with good old centrifugal force.   You get off and can’t walk straight.  Paul’s Rides are human-powered hilarity.



“Paul” is artist Paul Ceseskwi (AKA Paul the Plumber).  He started his exploration of these circus rides in 2000 with the Dizzy Toy and building up to his 2004 masterpiece, the Star Wheel.  The Star Wheel debuted at Burning Man (which sponsored its creation), went to the 2007 Austin Maker Faire, and has been a rare experience since because of its need for space to roll. You’ll have to see this beautiful short film here to see why:

Cyclecide, though, is the band of kooks and tinkerers and performers who helped build the rides with Paul and who have incorporated the rides into a kinetic circus involving jousting, clowns, mash-up cycles, rodeo rituals, inner tubes, and tu-tus.  The Heavy Pedal Cyclecide Bike Rodeo makes it all come together.

Inspired by discarded bikes, American rodeo culture, and punk rock, Cyclecide assembled itself way back in 1995.  First it was building funny bikes (the Lawn Mower bike, crazy choppers, tall bikes, and the fire-breathing Chupacabra). Along the way it morphed into a full-blown bike rodeo, complete with a house band (“Los Banos”) and stage show, and the fabulous ride midway. The show always includes musical interludes and comedic skits and stunts involving the whacked-out bikes and the Cyclecide staff rodeo clowns, stunt riders, and beauty queens.




Chances to experience this quality of interactive fun just come every so often in life. Circle your calendar now for October 24 and get your g-force giggles out with the Heavy Pedal Cyclecide Bike Rodeo at the 2010 East Bay Mini Maker Faire!