Makerfaire 2014

So this weekend was a fabulous 2 days at Makerfaire14 in Newcastle upon Tyne, this is the first time I have had a stall at one. I visited last year as a guest and really enjoyed it so this year I decided to go for it.

For those who don’t know Makerfaire is a worldwide sensation for makers, creators, designers and entrepreneurs. In the UK the main Makerfaire happens at the Centre of Life in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and came into my radar 3 years ago. The first year I couldn’t go because I was off to a friend’s wedding, last year I visited for the Saturday and this year when the call for applications were appearing on Facebook, I decided to give it a punt.

So at the last minute just before the deadline, late one night in January I rattled off my application and didn’t give it another thought until suddenly there was an email in my inbox saying I had a stall and I needed to confirm that I would be attending. After replying that I would be going and sending in the paperwork I realised that I actually had no idea precisely what my proposal was!

So I contacted the brilliant team at the Centre for Life and they sent me a copy of my proposal, below is what I ended up submitting:

“From Upcycling to Recycling and everything in-between

We are a planet with limited resources that are rapidly being used up, everything that is designed has a short lifespan in the hope that we will quickly have to buy another one. Upcycling is one of the current trends, reusing something in a way that gives it a ‘better’ use than it previously had but has been going on centuries for many people. I would like to have a space to talk about recycling and reusing, on a larger scale and what you can do but also a small workshop where people can choose from a range of items to make their own upcycled item e.g some Jewellery, a Keyring, sewing project using old clothes

The risks participating in the workshop:  Scissors, Needles, drill, pliers and other small hand tools.  Actions to minimise: Children under a certain age must be supervised, all equipment only handed out when needed, equipment suitable for children 9e.g. safety scissors)

The idea of this project is to get people thinking about the world around us and the resources we have that are running out.”

As I tend to in life in general I decided I had tons of time and I wouldn’t worry to much about getting stuff prepared until nearer the date and as normally happens I continued to think this until the last minute when suddenly I realised that it was in a fortnight and all I had managed to do was write down lots of to do lists and collect a dozen or so inspiration images!

This was a little worrying and suddenly the last two weeks became cram packed with collecting materials, making things, taking photos, getting leaflets made and writing blog posts. Until I was trying to write half a dozen in one evening I never realised how long each one took!

Thankfully by the time Friday morning rolled around everything was ready, my dad had cut up my leaflets, the blog posts were ready and my stuff was packed in the boot of the car ready to be set up. The registration that evening was a little stressful as we couldn’t find me under recycling or upcycling and that little voice inside of me who was still convinced I didn’t really have a stall reared its head only to be beaten down when I was listed under From!

I was in zone B and had no idea what to expect, I know the Life building quite well and was almost out if zone B before I found my two 8 foot long tables. Perfect for what I was planning on doing!

One table was all about ideas and inspiration for people out there, showing them a small range if possible items.

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The other table was all about making your own upcycled souvenir: an old toy into a keyring, old beads into new jewellery and paper into new creations.

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Overall I had a brilliant weekend, spoke to many other enthusiastic people and made plenty of upcycled items!

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