It turns out Vancouver is home to not one, but two gigantic walking spiders.
That’s what the organizers of the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire, June 25 and 26 at Great Northern Way Campus, have learned.
In addition to eatArt’s Mondo Spider, the world’s first walking electric vehicle that weighs in at 1,700 pounds, there’s a pedal-powered spider, Panterragaffe, from Metro Diverse Services.
A Youtube video shows two men powering the Panterragaffe in West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park from their perch on a cowhide couch.
This elegant arachnid will strut its stuff at Great Northern Way Campus alongside Mondo Spider. Daisy, the world’s largest solar-powered tricycle, and the Gramorail, a pedal-powered rail machine that looks like a giant gramophone will also make rounds.
Visitors to the event for “anybody who makes anything”—as Emily Smith, who spearheaded the Vancouver event, put it—can admire art installations, techie demonstrations and participate in workshops that include one on how to solder and use electroluminescent, or EL, wire to make your bicycle glow like E.T.’s finger, to another on how to smoke your own bacon.
Exhibits and workshops include newfangled synths and software for perusal by sound makers, a spin art box where passersby can squirt acrylic paint onto poster board that’s whirled by the motor from a washing machine and a handcrafted furniture maker who even crafts some of her own tools.
Smith, a member of Vancouver Hack Space, or VHS, along with organizers from eatART and Vancouver Community Laboratory, expected up to 60 exhibitors and workshop leaders to sign on to Vancouver Mini Maker Faire.
Instead, close to 100 participants will flaunt their resourcefulness and innovation, most of them from Metro Vancouver.
“Definitely, for a Mini Maker Faire, it’s really big,” Smith said.
Other maker events see oodles of exhibitors from other cities, including those from Vancouver in San Francisco.
“So ours is unique in that it’s all Vancouver people. Even the people from O’Reilly are like, Wow! There’re a lot of people in Vancouver making stuff.”
(O’Reilly Media organizes big maker faires, publishes how-to books, Make magazine and Craft magazine.)
The first maker faire started near San Francisco in 2006 and has spread as far as Ghana.
Lantern makers, knitters and knot tiers—their international guild will be on hand—will teach skills and display their work next to a micro power generator that harnesses the energy of creek water, sumo and walking robots fashioned by members of the Vancouver Robotics Club and a portable camping hot tub at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire.
Speakers include Kim Werker, who urges crafters, in person and through her Mighty Ugly website, to cast aside the pressure to fashion cutesy creations.
This perhaps fits with Smith’s take on the do-it-yourself, or DIY, ethic of tinkerers, inventors, crafters and hackers who do their own thing as a response to consumer culture.
Vancouver Mini Maker Faire runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 577 Great Northern Way. For more information, see makerfaire.ca.