Meet the Maker: Drawn with Fire

tumblr_mj3p4zI5I01rcgo2vo1_500Ever considered making art with fire? Then you have to check out Steve Baltrukonis’s Drawn with Fire at Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire. Steve Baltrukonis creates art through pyrography, a form of decorating wood through fire. He got his start in pyrography in 2012 when he started experimenting with a wooden medicine cabinet and a soldering iron. Within a short period of time, he was hooked. In an interview, he explains, “As an art form I like how versatile it is. My work runs the gamut from very traditional stuff with a Wild West vibe to super weird psychedelic black light pieces and sci-fi illustrations.”

Steve finds a lot of his inspiration from books, especially science fiction. When he’s not taking commissions and working on other projects, he’s working on his big project to read the top 100 science fiction books and creating a piece to correspond with all of them. He also creates street art in Chicago. Several years ago, he started photographing the amazing street art in Chicago and blogs about it at StreetArtofChicago.com. He loves street art because “it’s ethereal…it’s incredibly dangerous. It’s the great leveler. Someone with no talent can grab a paint marker and scrawl a tag on a wall or someone can bolt a gorgeous piece of art that took hours to make to a stop sign.” After a while, he decided that he should create his own street art.

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At Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside , Steve plans on demonstrating pyrography to demystify the process. He’ll be working on several pieces and fielding questions about the art form. He’ll conduct some presentations to discuss different tools and effects that can be achieved through burning on wood and leather.  So stop by Drawn with Fire and learn about using fire for art’s sake!

Meet the Maker: Daley College Manufacturing Technology

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Daley College’s Manufacturing Technology department is coming to Mini Maker Faire Northside Chicago! If you ever considered a career in robotics, computer integrated manufacturing, or factory automation or just think creating objects is neat, you should definitely check them out!

When we asked Ray Prendergast, Dean of College to Careers at Chicago City Colleges and former Director of Manufacturing Technology programs, about his hopes for Mini Maker Faire, he said that he wants people to be excited and manufacturing objects. Daley College is looking for people who are interested in creating and problem solving in the field of manufacturing. There are exciting possibilities in a career in manufacturing technology! Dean Prendergast stressed that all students learn both computer skills, like how to use a computerized lathe and a 3D printer, and traditional manufacturing skills, like welding and milling. In addition, students will learn quality assurance and business skills like lean manufacturing. Students also learn about green technology since that is essential in today’s business world. In a 2013 Chicago Tribune profile, Dean Prendergast said, “Companies want people with a technical background, but also with a good sense of business and organizational skills.”

For Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside, Daley College will bring a computerized lathe and more. A lathe is a machine that works materials by rotating them; it can cut, sand, drill, etc.  Participants will have the opportunity to design a part and watch the lathe make it before their eyes! Attendees can also learn more about the educational offerings of Daley College.

Meet the Maker: ChiBots

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Chibots is coming to Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside! Based in Schaumburg, IL, Chibots has been committed to making robotics accessible to everyone for about fourteen years. Back in 2000, many people thought that robotics was too complex to anyone to get involved in. Thankfully, some forward-thinking individuals thought otherwise and founded Chibots to make robotics accessible to everyone. And there is nothing like working on your robot and then getting see the immediate results when it starts working (or not working). The excitement is tangible.

Chibots continues fulfilling its mission today through a variety of venues: monthly meetings, an online forum/group, and various events in the Chicago region. Chibots showcases its robots at libraries and Science Nights at middle and high schools. In addition to these events, they hold their own competitions. Previously, they’ve held events like Mini-Sumo, a form of sumo style fighting, and Line Maze, where robots try to complete mazes. Recently, they’ve been hosting a larger competition called SRS RoboMagellan. SRS RoboMagellan is a competition where robots have to navigate to three traffic cones, avoiding obstacles. People can use GPS, sensors and much more to try to accomplish the task. The contestants are graded on speed and accuracy. Chibots’ next SRS RoboMagellan is coming up soon so you should definitely check it out. Or better yet, you should build a robot to compete!

For Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside, Chibots will be showing off a selection their robots in action. They’ll also bring some video of old competitions, like Mini-Sumo! ChiBots wants you to get excited about learning more about robotics and wants to help kids to get more involved in STEM related activities.  ChiBots want you to know: “We are here. We are willing. We are able. All we need is your interest in robotics!”

Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside Returns Saturday, May 3rd

Reserve your spot to the third annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire! Tickets are FREE to the public, but by reserving early you guarantee your spot. Now you can e-sign the media release on Eventbrite and skip the line! As always, your generous donations allow those who cannot otherwise afford Maker Faire to attend for free. Recommended donations are $10/adult, and $5/child under 12.

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS!

Are you or someone you know a maker of awesome things? Apply to be a maker here! There is no fee to set up an educational display to show your stuff! The deadline to apply is April 7th.

SHOW YOUR STUFF

Did you miss Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside in 2013? Catch a sneak peek from our blogger Elisa Shoenberger:

Robots, sharks, and circus, oh my! Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside was a blast! The halls and front lawns of Carl Schurz High School were full of laughter and hard work as children and adults, alike, tried to learn wondrous things from our Makers. There was so much to see and so much to do. Human sized bubbles and spider robots greeted visitors outside. IMG_0627

Inside, there was a wonderful hallway of crowd-sourced painting and life sized cardboard people from the project “Make Your Mark.”  Everyone was encouraged to decorate the walls or play available musical instruments. Downstairs was a DIY photo booth by Maker Troy McLucas who originally created the machine for his own wedding. Makers and visitors alike could dress up in tiaras, glasses and funky lips to commemorate this wonderful day.IMG_0562

When you go to the second floor, you couldn’t help noticing the life size Great White Shark from Dee Hotchner’s Discover the Depths, the people behind Artology-the Colossal Squid.  The true to life organs of the Shark were on display, all made from recyclable materials.IMG_0570

 Inside the cafeteria, there was a flurry of activity as people learned lock picking, chainmail jewelry making, and so much more. Bookbinding Words showed people how to make flexagons with wonderful stories and drawings. The Blue Buddha Boutique had a table for people to make chainmail earrings and key chains. Build a Blinkie was immensely popular; the soldering tables were always humming with happy busy activity. Community Glue Workshop mended a variety of items, including the hem of pants and a ceramic doll. Museum of Science and Industry’s Wagner Family Fab Lab let people design stickers or scan themselves in three dimensions.IMG_0659

Visitors also had the opportunity to play. The Reptile Convention brought out various snakes and lizards for people to learn about and even touch! Larger than life Jenga pieces invited people to challenge one another or build up to the ceiling! Goats in the City stopped by with several goats and their kids. It was so delightful watching them munch on the front lawns. In the gymnasium, DIY Circus performed several thrilling acrobatic shows and taught kids how to stage fight and make puppets.

It was an excellent day of mischief, wonder, and learning. Can’t wait for the next Chicago Northside MiniMaker Faire!

Open Call for Makers 2014!

 Welcome back, Chicagoland Makers!

BubblesSchurz High School , the Urban School Foundation, and local maker Christina Pei return with the third annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, celebrating teaching and learning for all ages of makers, new and old!  For those of you who are new to Maker Faire, it is the largest celebration of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) in the world.  Maker Faire is a venue for inventors, technophiles, artists, crafters, mad scientists, hackers, musicians, and anyone who makes cool things and want to show others how it’s done.  If this describes you:

APPLY NOW!

Reserve your maker table at Schurz High School on Saturday, May 3, 2014.  We will be accepting applications until April 7.  There is no cost to makers to present and it’s FREE for your friends to attend!  Makers will also be featured on our website and advertisements.

Questions? Contact us at ChicagoNorthsideMF@gmail.com

Year-Round Making for All Ages in Chicago

Calling all Chicagoland lovers of making, hacking, and tinkering!

Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire comes around but once a year, but making isn’t just a one-day thing.  Here are some activities for makers of all ages going on in Chicago RIGHT NOW:

Keep up with cool happenings in your city, and keep your imaginations active for Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside 2014!

Are you suffering from Maker Faire withdrawal?

The first Chicago Southside Mini Maker Faire is coming to Daley College on Saturday, August 4th, and they want MORE MAKERS.   There is STILL TIME TO APPLY!

Makers Apply Here

Want more information? Interested in attending? Check out their website: http://chicagosouthsidemakerfaire.wordpress.com/

Countdown to Maker Faire: 1 Day!

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Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire is just around the corner!  Here are some reminders to plan your day accordingly:

  1. Download our FREE YAPP for your mobile device to guide you: my.yapp.us/CHINORTHMINI
  2. Or, check out the MAKERS tab on this website to see who’s coming!  And read the FAQs in the  ATTEND tab.
  3. Bring broken tschotske to be fixed by Community Glue.
  4. Bring stuff you’ve always wanted to solder.
  5. Bring cash, so you can pick up some kits to build on site!  (Remember that you can also donate to Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire at the door, and receive a free pin as a token of our appreciation.)
  6. Check the weather: It’s said to be mostly sunny, with a high of 78 degrees and 10% chance of rain.  Dress accordingly.
  7. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @CNSmakerfaire, and use #makerfairechicago during the event!

We’re incredibly excited to meet all the new and returning Makers this Saturday, as well as all the awesome attendees, who are also makers-in-training.

Meet the Maker: Artology – Colossal Squid

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Watch out! The Colossal Squid is coming to Mini-Maker Faire! Join Carl Schurz students as they work on making a colossal squid out of plastic bags. Students fuse plastic bags together to create body parts for a life size, anatomically correct, and inflatable colossal squid. When completed, it’ll be about 20 feet long, and 4-6 feet wide.  It’ll tour schools, park districts and more. Along the way, students learn about this mysterious animal that changes color and texture that lives near Antarctica.

 

The project, known as Artology – is a collaboration between Carl Schurz School and Columbia College’s Center for Community Arts Partnerships (CCAP).  The program is taught by Dee Hotchner of Discover the Depths, Laura Christman of CCAP and Lauren Bauknecht, a Schurz teacher. The project gives students a scientific background in marine biology and teaches students the importance of the ocean and the threats the oceans currently face. Simply put, humanity cannot survive without the ocean. The project also educates students about art methodology and how to manipulate recyclable materials into art pieces and educational tools.

 

Join fellow students and volunteers to watch them work on constructing body parts at Mini-Maker Faire. Come by and learn more about the amazing colossal squid!

 

Meet the Maker: Bookbinding Words

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It’s not everyday you make art with complete strangers. That’s what the Bookbinding and Papermaking art project wants you to do. At Mini-Maker Faire, people can learn how to make Flexagons and play the Exquisite Corpse. A Flexagon is  “a piece of paper that can be folded in different ways, revealing and rearranging page order.” When completed, the Flexagons will be a central part of the writing and drawing game called “The Exquisite Corpse.” This is how it’s played. Everyone gets to write or draw something small on a side of the Flexagon. Then the Flexagon is passed to the next person who draws or writes something on a blank side, without seeing the preceding artwork. The Flexagon is passed on and on until it is completed. At the end of the game, the group will have collectively created funny, profound poetry and art pieces. It’s about collectively creating art.

The project is a collaborative project is part of Columbia College’s Center for Community Partnerships at Carl Schurz School. It is a collaborative project between FLOWetry, led by teaching artist Maya Odim, and Printing Sans Ink, led by teaching artist Trisha Martin.  FLOWetry teaches poetry and performance art while Printing Sans Ink focuses on bookbinding, such as papermaking, paper folding and more. Come join them at Mini-Maker Faire to make your own Flexagon and play the Exquisite Corpse!