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Maker Faire Ottawa, 2016

Maker Faire Ottawa 2016 was a total blast.

Here’s my take:

Having a booth there was weird. You ever seen a video of that poor dog that has a tasty treat on their snout and they just sit there until a command is given? Cruel. Just as cruel as having a booth at Maker Faire and not being allowed to play.

And around 2:30 Sunday afternoon, I realized the command wasn’t ever going to come and just went on a walkabout.

A lot of 3D Printer stuff. The guy’s to my right (ORD Solutions) had an incredible printer. It had five extruders and they were showing off mixed coloured prints using CMYK and a translucent filament (see pic). The samples they had out er

They guy to the left of me, Ed Blaser, turned out to be the same guy whose Kijiji ad I had replied to about cheaper filament AND better quality. I learned so much from him about best-practices, and some really cool tricks and work-arounds. He was really cool, I got a bust-type 3D scan and he’s offered to scan all my bowls. Nice guy and will probably be my source for filament (when I can afford it).

A lot of Star Wars stuff. I’m a geek, proud of it, but not a fan of the franchise since someone let Lucas wipe his ass with it. I will say, there was an awesome moment when a robot dog bumped into a life size R2 and it freaked out like in the movies. The company/people who designed it know what they’re doing.

There was an art installation I wish I had spent time talking to the artists about. The write-up on the MF site is poor.

There was a wall of plants with projected imagery. Amazing. A walking stick bug in a bowl that through just “being”, took selfies of itself every time it moved with the several iPhones surrounding it.

It seemed very equal in gender. A lot of booths were a woman, who had an idea, made it, and was there to show it off. I was impressed with the wearable tech, clothes that reacted to the wearer’s emotional state, and the IoT sculpture that you waved your hands over to move a projected puzzle to a solution, where it was duplicated in another city… very cool.

Another company was set up to help artists at a communist level.

The Ottawa Tool Library was there and the Ottawa Public Library.

The Ottawa Public Library. I Pimp those guys out any chance I get. When I got asked how I made my stuff, I plugged OPL_BPO.

This is a follow up to my post about my bowls.

I wanted the Maker Faire experience to be about getting feedback on my bowls, what did people think, etc.

On a scale of 0 to 10, solid 10. Now it’s about making them practical.

Having Ed Blaser set up next to me was a fortuitous thing. I’m sitting next to the guy I was dealing with online about getting better and more affordable filament. The dude even scanned a bust of me (pic attached)

What got crazy weird is this. Celeste (La Petite Masquerade) and her husband Jacob, were at Art in Fashion 613 as well. Celeste had a show on the runway of her masks and I had a table. We left Maker Faire early to set up and got there, everything was just in the knick of time, things were good.

 I went home and changed so I didn’t look and feel like I did at the Mod Club in August, came back.

I wanted to showcase my art at Maker Faire, my bowls at AiF613. So I stood there, behind my table and suddenly, this guy called Derek comes up to me and is like, “Hey David! Great to see you here!”

He’s the guy who cuts all my wood for the laser cutter. He saw a couple of bowls months ago, offered some way more exotic hardwoods, and he was here because his wife was catering the desserts for the event.

Now, that evening, once he showed my bowls to his wife, things got really exciting.

Crazy coincidences. And, seeing Derek at AiF613, he’s giving me a box of mixed hardwood scraps, perfectly milled for cutting to pick up tomorrow.

I am so looking forward to seeing the topographic bowls with some rich striations running through them.

I spent quite a bit of time getting my art ready for Maker Faire. That’s not what people wanted. They wanted something they could “touch”, something on the table.

However, I did get an invitation with the art, so there’s that.

I also got asked, twice, by the Museum of Science and Technology to hold a workshop about Art & Technology. The Visitor Experience Director at the museum and her assistant both asked me, separately and I agreed to do it. Some time in the new year in their temporary location. They open officially November 2017.

What I learned is this:

  • Get more business cards. Better quality
  • Get a pop-up or two. VistaPrint has them for about $60. I used to think they were a waste of money. Not any more.
  • Have something interactive. This year was market research. Next year is Full-On noise makers
  • Have an LCD display with a loop on the production process. Easy to make and will make people stop and take a closer look.
  • Have an assistant. I’m tired of doing this alone. I’ll pay someone if I have to but I’m done doing this alone.
  • Less is More. Keep key art pieces at gallery height, everything else is wasted.
  • Get some lanyards and branded inserts.
  • Product catalogue (early days, just writing it out)
  • Get an iPad. I swore I would never get one but they are useful.
  • Have a giveaway. Get email addresses, follow CASL.

Next year, is gonna be great. Next year is sound. Next year isn’t bowls you can’t put guacamole in.