Meet a Maker!

If you’ve visited the MAKESHOP on a weekend, chances are you’ve met and created with Allison!


Name/ Nickname: Alison, but some of my friends and family call me Ali or Al.

Favorite color: Hot pink! (And green)

How long have you been working at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh?
I started working in MAKESHOP in August 2012 but I’ve been helping with learning research at CMP since the end of 2011.

When did you know you were a maker?
I never even heard the term “maker” until I started working at the museum. I’ve always been crafty —  thanks to 13 years of Girl Scouts. When I was growing up, you could always find me doing some type of DIY craft project or helping around the house. I went through a few rubber stamping and scrapbooking phases and I had an old, green Singer sewing machine from the ’50s. I also spent a good bit of time helping my Dad with his stereo — adjusting speaker cables or changing out his record machine’s needle. Now, I spend most of my making time doing things for around my house, like sewing curtains, repainting old dressers, and anything to spice up my decor.

Who or what influences what you make?
I spend WAY TOO MUCH time on Pinterest, but I get a lot of my inspiration from projects I see on there. Sometimes I just wander around stores like Target or TJ Maxx and think, “That looks cool, but I bet I can make something exactly like it for a lot cheaper!”

What is the most important thing you’ve learned by working at the MAKESHOP?
You’ll never learn something new unless you try it. I remember being terrified of the soldering iron before I learned how to use it, but I tried it and now I can say I know how to solder metal. SO COOL!

What do you not know how to do?
Lots of things! I’m not very good at woodworking or electronics, so I’m constantly learning something new in the workshop. The top thing on my list to learn how to do it, though, would have to be bottle slumping. I’d love to be able to slump a glass bottle into a cheese tray.

When you are not in the MAKESHOP, what do you do for fun?
I’ve recently started running A LOT, so I spend a lot of time running through different Pittsburgh neighborhoods and trails. I’m currently training to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in May!

If you were a material or tool, what would you be?
A fun, sparkly button!

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