The Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire is Back!

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The Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire Is Back!

 SAVE THE DATE     Saturday, October 8, 2016  (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

Tunxis Community College, Farmington, CT

 We had such a fun time at last year’s event, so let’s do it again!

More than 1,500 people of all ages experienced and were dazzled by nearly 50 exhibits at our premiere event last year.

Now it’s time to again call all makers, tinkerers, entrepreneurs, inventors, techies, scientists, engineers, artists, designers, performers, dreamers and schemers….and anyone who wants to share their passions for what they make.

We want you back–or with us for the first time—for the 2nd Annual Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire!

It’s a free, family-friendly community event.

Help get the word out. Send our new postcard to all your friends, family, and those around you who like to explore with their minds.

2016 Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire – Save the Date Postcard.pdf

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We were in Maker Faire Global!

We’re excited to share with you some photos from other Maker Faires around the world in 2015. Some of the photos from our Maker Faire made the cut. You can check them all out here.

Thank you to our Sponsors, Makers and Attendees!

Just over one week ago, we celebrated the first ever Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire, which brought out over 1,500 attendees!GHMMF-Thx_1024x512

And although it was a rainy afternoon, 48 exhibitors and makers enthusiastically showed off their stuff (check out photos here)!  Continue reading

Meet the Maker: Terry Rennert

Meet Terry Rennert, a found-object artist who makes robots from recycled materials

GHMF: Can you tell me about your exhibit and what activities will be available?

Terry:  My exhibit area will be home to many members of my recycled robot family for you to visit with, pick up and trying to sort through each one to figure out “what did this part use to be?” I love sharing stories about how I created them and am available to answer any questions you might have. I will have photos of my work, different pieces and parts that I work with and some of the tools I use. Perhaps you’ll spark an idea for a creation yourself!

Terry Rennert1GHMF: You consider yourself a “found-object artist”. What do you do and what inspired you to start building?

Terry:  From the first time at 8 yrs. old when I dismantled my grandfather’s Bulova Accutron watch to see what was on the inside, I knew wanted to tinker more and create things. I have always loved Legos, Tinker Toys and Erector Sets along with a healthy obsession for video games and sci-fi movies – one day I put on my welding mask on and found a robot lying in the pile of junk in front of me. I am inspired to make found-object robot sculptures because it is amazing to have random parts starting back at you as you drill, grind and weld them – it’s as if they like it and are thankful that you found them. Continue reading

Meet the Maker: Steve Longpre

Meet Steve Longpre, CEO of Barnstorm Studio, LLC and maker involved in 3dD Printing and Rapid Prototype and Design Services  

GHMF:  Tell me more about your exhibit.

Longpre:  I’ll be bringing three consumer/light industrial 3D printers, along with a number of related technologies, including a prototype Microwave Extrusion Print Head, a Parabolic Solar Oven made from a discarded DISH reflector and a Solar Powered Thermoelectric Cooler. I’ll also bring a variety of prints and materials for people to examine. Finally, I’ll have on display a prototype LED Light-up Dart called a “Light NoOdle,” which I’ve developed for the toy industry, and which has applications in agriculture, environmental sensing, pest management, security and aerospace. Barnstorm photo

 GHMF: It looks like you’re involved in many different projects. Can you describe some of those as it relates to makers?

Longpre: One project I’m particularly proud of was undertaken with Baystate Hospital in Springfield. I worked with Dr. Andrew Doben, chief of Thoracic Trauma Care, to produce a 3D printed model for a patient suffering from multiple broken ribs. He was able to use the print as a surgical guide and educational tool. As a result of the project the hospital is examining ways to implement the technology more widely, improving patient health, while saving themselves and our health care system thousands of dollars per procedure. Continue reading

Meet the Maker: Balam Soto

Meet Balam Soto, a new media artist and maker bringing his digital creations to the forefront!

GHMF:  Your project is called “Exp.Inst.X Version3.” Can you explain what that is?

Soto:  “Exp.Inst.X Version3” is an interactive artwork that I designed, programmed and built independently. It is an experimental instrument that incorporates projection and sound generated by a wireless box made of wood, Plexiglas, electronic components and custom touch sensors. By touching the box at various points, patrons create different sounds. These sounds then generate changes in the projection.

It is an analysis of the social and cultural adoption of a tangible user interface. Globally, touch devices are increasingly common; people understand how to use them. “Exp.inst.X” analyses this new technology and makes use of this new common understanding to fuse sound and visuals into real-time interactivity.Soto interview photo

“Version 3” refers to the technical version of this artwork. This version incorporates additional sound inputs, pitch and bending notes, and scale control. Patrons can also choose between three different software instruments to create their own sonic landscape. It uses touch technologies to fuse sound and visuals into real-time interactivity. Continue reading

Meet the Makers: Prehistoric Skeleton Recreation using Chicken Bones

Meet Cecil and Grayson, a father/son team creating prehistoric skeletal structures using chicken bones!

GHMF:  Can you describe your project?

Cecil:  Our project focuses on creating amazing skeletal models of prehistoric creatures using chicken bones (leftover from dinner) as a medium.  My family enjoys visiting museums and after several visits to the Peabody in Yale and the Museum of Natural History in NYC, I thought it would be cool to create a dinosaur skeleton that was realistic and of similar quality as a museum Prehistoric Skeleton Recreation using Chicken bonesshowpiece.  I also felt it would be a good father/son project since my older son has always showed an interest in nature and building with his hands.  Chicken bones along with other common dinner fowls, like ducks and turkeys, work great as a construction medium because they have a multitude of bone sizes and varieties along with their connection to their dinosaur ancestors.  Our ultimate goal is not just to recreate prehistoric animals, but to use our imagination in order to transform a disregarded material from a meal into a work of art. Continue reading

Meet the Maker: John Ellsworth

Meet John Ellsworth, director of the Vintage Radio & Communications Museum and an instructor for our Crystal Radio Building class at the Faire!

GHMF: Can you tell me what your project is about?

Ellsworth: We show students how to build the first and most basic radio, a crystal set. The radio runs completely on the power of the radio waves. It is a fascinating project that takes about 90 minutes to complete. Continue reading

Meet the Maker: Tim Sway

Meet Tim Sway, an upcyclist who makes nice things out of items that would otherwise be thrown away!

GHMF:  Tell me about your exhibit and what activities will be available.

Sway:  My exhibit is a little area I built for myself to hang out in – and for you to visit. My “set” fits into the table base which doubles as a cart to carry it away. It is made entirely from reclaimed materials. I’ll have photos of my work and an ipad with additional photos, as well as videos of me making things. I will also have a couple of guitars I made from reclaimed materials and a chess set made from airplane engine parts. I’m just going to hang out with whomever wants to and answer questions anyone may ask. Maybe I’ll bring something small to work on. bike parts and tree branch console

GHMF:  You consider yourself to be an “upcyclist.” Can you explain what an upcyclist does and what inspired you to become one?

Sway:  Honestly, most of my work is making things out of reclaimed materials… wood and other things that were salvaged from deconstructed buildings. There is value in reclaimed building materials. But what I REALLY like to do is upcycle, which is when I take something that has been discarded and deemed “trash” or valueless and give it a value and purpose again. Continue reading

Have you met our sponsors?

Three of Connecticut’s most innovative manufacturers are supporting our first ever Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire.

You may have heard that Legrand, Stanely Black & Decker and LEGO Systems are the corporate sponsors for this family-friendly event produced by CBIA on behalf of the Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing with funding from the National Science Foundation. Continue reading