Melting Glass and Empowering Women At The NoVa Mini Maker Faire

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Melting Glass and Empowering Women At The NoVa Mini Maker Faire

2016 NoVa_MMF_wordpress

See Awesome Stuff. Learn How It Works. And Make it Yourself.  At the 2016 3rd Annual NoVa Mini Maker Faire

The NoVa Mini Maker Faire is just around the corner. The day brings more than 100 makers and demonstrations, speakers, family-friendly activities, and food trucks to a fun-filled day celebrating the diversity of makers across the Northern Virginia area. There will be a wide variety of Maker exhibits ranging from blacksmithing and primitive skills, to 3D printing, drones and robots, to recycled material reuse, to creative art-making. Here are a few of our favorite Makers at this year’s faire.

Mighty Girl Art - Wendy CookWendy Cook, Mighty Girl Art

Mighty Girl Art is an art empowerment workshop for girls (and moms) located in Northern Virginia.  We live in a society where a girl’s self-confidence is challenged daily by an assault of images which suggest that they are somehow not good enough the way they are. Mighty Girl Art empowers young girls to feel good about themselves through a series of projects that foster creativity and nurtures self-esteem.​ ​Mighty Girl Art presents workshops, camp, e-camp, and retreats.

Mighty Girl Art is a big supporter of the NoVa Mini Maker Faire and has been a popular exhibitor at all 3 Faires. This year Mighty Girl Art will teach attendees how to create their own Gelli Plate Monoprint without a press.

Bill Hess, Evolution Glass

Bill Hess of Evolution Glass creates astoundingly beautiful and durable glass surfaces using 100% bottle glass as the only ingredient. The process and product are unique and useful for countertops, tables, wall panels, and more. At the NoVa Mini Maker Faire, Evolution Glass will show this product and provide educational information about related methods for recycling glass.

Bill, a working artist for over 20 years, has been working with recycled glass for over ten years. A very small percentage of glass waste is recycled because there is very little market for glass waste. Years of exploration have led Bill and his team to explore large glass surfaces (i.e. countertops) as a viable format to incorporate recycled bottles. He created Evolution Glass as a community minded business to transform glass waste into beautiful and inspiring products and art.

aluminum smelter by Ian Larson

Ian Larson, Aluminum Smelter

Ian Larson, a high school junior, recently won Third Place at the Regional Science Fair, enabling him to exhibit at the upcoming Virginia State Science Fair. Unfortunately the Science Fair conflicted with the NoVa Mini Maker Faire where he was planning to exhibit his home-made Aluminum Smelter. You guessed it, the Maker Faire won and Ian will be demonstrating both the smelter and trebuchet that he built.

Ian created a homemade smelter made out of a few household materials and a love of fire. The smelter was designed to melt down aluminum cans and cast the molten aluminum into ingots or other metal casts. The process involves the use of a tank of propane, a hairdryer, a bucket, and a whole bunch of cans. Once all of the cans have been melted down, the molten aluminum is poured into casts made of a bentonite and sand mixture, which retains the shape of whatever is pressed into it, yet allows the heated water to escape and the molten aluminum to fill the space within the sand. After the aluminum has cooled down, the finished product is ready to be smoothed and cut.

Several Makers who previously exhibited at the New York Maker Faire will also exhibit at the NoVa Mini Maker Faire including: Storibot, Sally Byers of Threadwitch Light and Fabric, Jim Sweeney, Printed Solid, and Bob Coggeshall.

Area makerspaces will be exhibiting including locations at area schools, community libraries, George Mason University, Virginia Tech, Makersmiths, FredWorks, and of course, Nova Labs – the Faire host.

There will also be activities for Faire-goers to try including a Take Apart Zone and a working Trebuchet. In the Take Apart Zone you can disassemble machines to explore how things work. The trebuchet, also built by student Ian Larson, launches tennis balls.

The Faire will include five speakers including: Michael Stone, an Einstein Fellow at the National Science Foundation, “Making in Education”; Rebekah Wingert-Jabi, a local filmmaker; Jennyfer Peterson, “How to Make a Young Maker”; Little Code Ninja, a 7-year-old boy who created Storibot, a board game which allows blind people learn to code; and Bo Pollet, of Nova Labs, will talk about the upcoming TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers) event at Nova Labs. There will also be a panel discussion that will include various local makerspaces discussing “Where do you go from here with Making”.

Tickets are on sale now. For more information visit NoVa Mini Maker Faire or our mobile website.


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Jeanne Loveland

Jeanne Loveland is the Press/Media contact for the Maker Faire NoVa committee. She was introduced to making at their first Faire 4 years ago and was hooked. She weaves her background in design & construction, finance & accounting, and art always with a technology twist into her jobs and volunteer experiences.

View more articles by Jeanne Loveland