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Making MAKESHOP Work

Sewing Circuits, Part 2

On Tuesday, Pei and I hoped to replicate the success of last Sunday’s workshops. We soon realized, however, that it was a beautiful day outside — after so many unpleasantly hot and sticky ones — and the attendance rate of the museum was therefore lower than we had anticipated, as all of Pittsburgh was busy enjoying the novelty of not having to swim through the humidity in the air. By the time 1pm ro
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a Sunday spent Prototyping is a Sunday spent playing

I love it when there are new toys to play with at the Museum; this Sunday presented me with not one but two.  I already knew about the DIY Pinball created by Felix in the MakeShop; I briefly played with it on Saturday and made it clear that I would spend all day Sunday playing with the thing if time allowed.  Little did I know that another project would also make an appearance on the Floor on Sunday; a protoype Tough
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Fifth Period: Shop Class

Every Sunday I find myself venturing into the MakeShop just to see what’s going on.  Lately we’ve been allowing visitors to experiment and build using wood.  Visitors are able to create whatever kind of project they want using our tools and materials. First off, visitors are asked to draw up a blueprint of their project.  Visualizing your project is incredibly important.  From there visitors are able to s
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WoodShop Begins

It’s been quite a change, moving from the malleable and forgiving materials of SewShop to the hard-bodied solidity of wood, and making the adjustment from electrical-powered sewing machines to a cadre of hand-powered tools. Already with WoodShop I am discovering a completely different kind of reaction to the tools and materials we’re using. Hammers and nails are nearly ubiquitous, and most visitors are aw
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Some Reflections on SewShop

Last week we wrapped up SewShop, sorted through all the scrap fabric, put the bear-repair teddies out of their misery and put our sewing machines back in storage (for now). Many of the visitors (not just the youngest ones!) were completely new to the world of sewing and textile manipulation. Quite a few had never cut fabric before, never held a needle, never even thought to examine the seams inside their clothes! Of
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