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What is an Armature?

An armature is like a skeleton (sometimes made out of wire) that can be bent and held into certain positions. As a movable sculpture it can be used to make stop-motion animations. Guest Maker Anisha Deshmane visited MAKESHOP on August 16th to explore the process of making armatures with our visitors. We used steel wire and pipe cleaners to make the skeletons and cotton stuffing and colored masking tape to give the sk
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MAKESHOP visits the Strip District

On August 2nd, I got the chance to attend a “Maker Party” at the Society for Contemporary Craft located in Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District. First off I must say that the SCC is an amazing space (I had actually never been there before). There are classroom spaces along with gallery and exhibit space with lots of different art on display. If you are ever in the Strip District I highly recommend t
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My two favorite things…

The above photo is a nice visual representation of two of my favorite things happening at once in MAKESHOP. There are a bunch of educators in our workshop and we are making circuit blocks. I love it when the Museum hosts any event or professional development that involves other educators. Earlier in the month of August we held another of our Maker Educator Bootcamps. This bootcamp was a week long event that gave educ
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C.H.I.C.K.E.N.

What do you say when someone says that they want to make an egg-laying robotic chicken? In MAKESHOP we would typically answer that question by first searching through our recycled materials to find just the right thing to make a chicken. Apparently an empty milk carton makes a great chicken shape. The plastic eggs were from a donation of materials brought in by a regular visitor to the Museum. If I had to guess I wou
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Methods of Attachment

Attachment is something that we explore all the time in MAKESHOP, from sewing to woodworking to taping things together. We have had a set of building blocks in our space for some time now. These blocks were designed and built by our Museum Exhibits team. They are mostly made out of wood (there is also an aluminum block, a 3D-printed block, an acrylic block and some squishy foam blocks) and can be attached together us
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Our Circuit Blocks

The circuit blocks in MAKESHOP are easily one of my most favorite things in our Museum. They might not be the prettiest things in the Museum but they do have a certain charm to them. “Circuit blocks are a set of components, switches and powers sources mounted on wood that can be connected together with electrical wires. They are used to allow children and adults the chance to explore electricity through trial,
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