So, it’s all over and everyone’s had a week to recover. People have started getting photos up and blogposts written so it’s really nice to be able to see those!

Mosaic from images on Flickr 

1. Internet Enabled Fishtank by Hayden Kibble at Manchester Maker Faire using Power Mac G5 case, 2. Mini Maker Faire – Friday, 3. Mini Maker Faire Manchester 28th July 2012, 4. Mini Maker Faire – Friday, 5. Mini Maker Faire – Saturday, 6. Mini Maker Faire – Saturday, 7. Mini Maker Faire – Saturday, 8. A collection of 3D printers from Richard Gain (Microcubology) and Chris (NopBotShop) at Manchester Maker Faire, 9. Mini Maker Faire – Sunday, 10. Mini Maker Faire – Sunday, 11. Tonoscope / Chladni plate at Manchester Maker Faire, 12. Manchester Mini Maker Faire Stand, 13. Badge, 14. Mini Maker Faire Manchester 28th July 2012, 15. Mini Maker Faire Manchester 28th July 2012, 16. Mini Maker Faire Manchester 28th July 2012, 17. Mini Maker Faire – Friday, 18. Mini Maker Faire Manchester 28th July 2012, 19. Mini Maker Faire Manchester 28th July 2012, 20. Tonoscope / Chladni plate at Manchester Maker Faire, 21. DoES stand, 22. Robot!, 23. Mini Maker Faire Manchester 28th July 2012, 24. Mini Maker Faire – Saturday, 25. lizzyastro maker faire 1, 26. Mini Maker Faire Manchester 28th July 2012, 27. Mini Maker Faire Manchester 28th July 2012, 28. Mini Maker Faire Manchester 28th July 2012, 29. Manchester Mini Maker Faire, 30. Mini Maker Faire – Saturday, 31. Mini Maker Faire Manchester 28th July 2012, 32. Mini Maker Faire – Saturday, 33. Mini Maker Faire – Saturday, 34. Mini Maker Faire Manchester 28th July 2012, 35. Mini Maker Faire – Sunday

You can download a list of all those wonderful people who came from Greater Manchester and Beyond (including Belguim!) to exhibit at the MMMF: Makers in mostly their own words  (this should have been available earlier sorry – can only blame mental block and wrestling with WP …)

The MMMF had a couple of write ups from BBC news online first this, then this which helped get the word out on the event.   For a quick review of the event, see this Storify story put together by @Defnetmedia.

Alex aka @CuddlemeViolet was All About The Beads up in the 1830 Warehouse and she recorded her view on the weekend here. This captures the essence of how different a Maker Faire  is from a ‘normal’ craft show. 

A couple of exhibitors made timelapse videos:

Showing the energy usage in the 1830 Warehouse Polargraph robots (YouTube)

Another one from Saddleworth Vintage - continual streams of people! 

 It was enormous fun and the smiles on everyone’s faces, visitors and makers alike were really fantastic to see. If you have any comments, photos or videos to share please do! Use the email address, @MakerFaireMCR or the Facebook page

Meet the Makers

3D Printing

3D printing is going to be well represented at the Manchester Mini Maker Faire. We’re looking forward to seeing 3D printers in action, as well as some of the ingenious objects that people have designed and made.

Mark Gilbert with the clock “Fable”

Visitors to the Faire will be able to learn more about this exciting tool and  even meet the designer of the Mendel90 printer. 

Meet the Makers

MOSI projects

Gary paints counters for a giant Connect Four inspired game

MOSI staff really got behind the Manchester Mini Maker Faire. Some of the Technical Services team created giant versions of games inspired by the much loved KerPlunk and Connect Four. We had a sneaky play on these the other day and we’re sure that the whole family will love challenging each other. 

Creative play in the Atelier space

In a little corner of the Textiles Gallery is what MOSI calls their Atelier space. Fantastic sensory experiences have been designed specially for under-5s, including those with special needs and disabilities. Hour long sessions are scheduled through the day at 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.00pm and 3.30pm. Spaces are limited.

You can also have a go at paper making, which is a session usually only offered to school groups visiting MOSI. Produce a piece of hand crafted paper using an old fashioned mould, deckle and press. This will be run as a drop-in workshop, so check the times when you arrive at the Museum. Remember that the paper has to dry out! 

Meet the Makers

Manchester Game Jam

MCRgamejam logo

This is going to be excellent fun at the Mini Maker Faire – not only will you be able to play on the videogames that talented people have made specially for this weekend, but there’ll be game making in progress too. We’re looking forward to the massive controller buttons that they’ve been working on with HacMan

If this seems like the kind of thing you want to be involved in future, keep an eye on MCRgamejam and Dan Hett’s blog for upcoming events. There’s also a great explanation of what Game Jam is all about here.

Meet the Makers


“What is a hackspace?”  It’s a place where people can go to build things, share skills, learn and maybe use equipment that they don’t have at home. Does this sound good to you? They’re open to anyone, so think about finding one near you and dropping in. The Manchester Mini Maker Faire will be hosting quite a few Hackspaces. They’ll be showing off some favourite projects, running soldering activities and probably working on others, so stop by to have a go and find out more.

Tom Bloor working on his HacMan project at MadLab


At the MMMF you’ll find people from: 

Meet the Makers

The Chandelier of Lost Earrings

Do you have a growing collection of lone earrings? Wondering what to do with them? We’re really glad to be hosting a project in progress called The Chandelier of Lost Earrings which will be exhibited at St Mary’s Hospital, in Manchester. Two artists, Sagar and Campbell created and look after the Glass Summer House at the hospital and the chandelier will become an installation there.

donated earrings hanging on gauze

They’re collecting earrings and the stories associated with them at the Manchester Mini Maker Faire, on 28 and 29th July. There’s a Twitter strand to this project too #chandelier so we’re looking forward to this taking off as well.

Even if you can’t visit, you can still be part of the project by tweeting @summerhouseart and sending earrings in the post to Sagar and Campbell as described on The Chandelier of Lost Earring’s facebook page.

Meet the Makers

Knitting and Knotting

A highly collaborative contribution to the Manchester Mini Maker Faire, this exhibit encompasses three projects. On display will be the knitted Rose Galaxy that was created by  the University of Manchester’s In Stitches group as part of 2011 Manchester Science Festival. There will be two other projects in progress that visitors are encouraged to help with!

Rose Galaxy intarsia knitting project (image  by  Creativity Unleashing Potential)

At the Manchester Mini Maker Faire people can knit or crochet a square that will become part of a yarnbombing project in the city centre of Manchester. Members from the In Stitches group and the Manchester WI’s Purls and Wisdom group will be at the MMMF knitting and crocheting. Join them on the comfy red seats! The squares can be any size, pattern, colour or indeed yarn. This is all up to the individual creating the square. This is part of a collaboration with Yarnbomb Consortium and Creativity Unleashing Potential.

Additionally, in a further collaboration with Budleia Arts, members of the groups are also making tassels using the colours from the waterways of Manchester. These will decorate Brewer Street Bridge in Manchester as part of the Canal Festival 2012 in Piccadilly Basin.

By having a go at tassel making, knitting or crochet at the MMMF you’ll also be part of other events in the city. 


 It’s nearly here!

We’re just over a week  days away from Manchester’s first ever Mini Maker Faire and we’re really pleased that we have a great selection of Makers joining us at MOSI.  We encouraged Makers to incorporate hands-on elements and they’ve done us proud. 

Tony loads the giant Ker Plunk inspired game he made

There’s plenty of workshops to get stuck into, amazing interactive artworks and musical instruments, plus games like crazy golf and giant Ker Plunk.

All the Makers are passionate and enthusiastic about their projects, so when you’re visiting don’t be shy about talking to them. Maker Faires of all sizes, from mini to massive, are much more fun when there’s lots of “What if…?” “Could I…?” and “Have you tried…?” flying around. It’s not just about the things that are there in front of you, it’s about the things that are yet to be. 

Risk Assessment

Risk assessments are not scary.

A risk assessment shows that you have considered (reasonable) risks to yourself and the people interacting with the exhibit. Providing us with a risk assessment allows our insurers to assess whether your activities come under our insurance. 

 If you haven’t prepared a risk assessment before, take a look at some examples and templates online. We’re happy to talk you through the process if you like, and you’ve got the direct email addresses in the Maker Pack. 

A risk assessment consists chiefly of writing down common sense, which means telling us what you’re already doing or could easily put in place to reduce or remove any risks. For instance, it’s helpful to tell us that your equipment is in good condition and that it has been or will be PATested, that you know how to use it appropriately, maybe you won’t leave it running unattended. *edited to add* If your contribution generates fumes of any kind, the risk assessment is the time to flag it up and outline your ventilation needs.  We don’t want to have to evacuate the building when sensors detect fumes, or have the fire brigade turning up unnecessarily.  For extra belt and braces approach, even if you mentioned ventilation in the application, give us a shout on the Google Group or by any other means, so that we can locate you somewhere suitable. 

Think about the kind of information that people might want to know before interacting with your exhibit and how you could present that information. Maybe you’re demonstrating something that has a peculiar side effect such as wiping hard drives. To reduce or avoid this risk, you could let people know about the effect and mark out an exclusion zone for things that are susceptible that kind of interference.

This is all stuff that we are sure you’d do anyway. We would just like to see it written down in advance of the event. We’ll deal with the physical spaces, things like first aid and fire alarms, so you just have to think about your exhibit.

If you have any questions, please contact us. You can also take a look at the Google Group to see if a similar topic is being discussed.

Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance and other formalities

So, the fun and exciting confirmations went out to Makers a while ago. This week, with only 2 weeks to go until the event (deep breaths) we’ve asked our Makers to provide their Public Liability Insurance certificates. 

We are well aware that a lot of people will not have PLI and we’re not asking people to go and buy it to participate in this one off event. If you do have it, we’d like to see a copy of the certificate. If you don’t have it, we really need a risk assessment from you as soon as possible.  

“But my exhibit isn’t dangerous!” 

We’re sure it isn’t, but all our Makers are required to write a risk assessment. Approach it as a plan of what you are going to do, imagining how an average* person might interact with your exhibit. This is especially important if what you described in your Maker Application is now different to what you plan on actually doing. In most cases, MOSI will be able to take you under our insurance so you won’t need your own Public Liability Insurance, but we do need your risk assessment in order to sort this out.

“Can’t we just sign a waiver?”

 All events at MOSI require contributors to show that they have PLI and/ or risk assessments. We can look into waivers for the future, but it is not going to be possible to prepare a suitable one in time for this event. We’ll be collecting feedback from Makers to help us evaluate this event, so you could use that as an opportunity to comment on this topic.

 Please contact us with your questions (or using the relevant addresses provided in the Maker Pack) and we will be happy to talk through the process with you. You can also take a look at the Google Group to see if a similar topic is being discussed.

 *yes, horrible term. Think “least extreme”.