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MAKESHOP Superhero Gadgets

We get our fair share of crime-fighting gadgets here in the ‘shop. Grappling hooks come and go in waves, and lightsabers are always popular. We’ve seen Iron Man-style repulsers, and plenty of Batman-inspired costume pieces. There’s a foam samurai getup on one of the dress forms, and I myself am guilty of making a magazine-paper broadsword and plate armor combo. Usability is a huge factor when you
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Renaissance Faire Field Trip

The day after Pittsburgh’s Mini Maker Faire I decided to take a trip to Pittsburgh’s Renaissance Faire…What a weekend! The DIY spirit was in full force at the Ren Faire.  Vendors were selling all kinds of wares, from handmade armor to beautiful ceramics.  Much like the Maker Faire, the Ren Faire was filled with people having a good time.  I would say that it was like “stepping back in time,
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Prototyping New Programs

The MAKESHOP staff likes to prototype our programming.  Sometimes this step can be the most fun part of developing new activities for our visitors.  Our theme for the month of September is “Books and Bags.”  We set out at the end of August to figure the best ways for visitors to create these two things.  Along with the best ways for the Teaching Artists to teach other people how to make books and bags. We
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Music in the MAKESHOP

Our theme for the month of August is sound and music. We have been encouraging visitors to create musical instruments, but the staff has been having a blast creating some instruments of our own. A family came in a couple of days ago and wanted to try and make a pair of harps. I have never made a harp before, so it was a little challenging to figure this project out. It can sometimes be difficult to make something for
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Welcome to MAKESBURGH

I came in to work a couple of days ago to find an entire half of MAKESHOP covered in amazing cardboard structures, such as cars, boats, buildings and bridges. We’ve tried to make a cardboard town in the past, but this one is easily the most extensive. Visitors seemed to be more invested in their projects if they know that they will be prominently displayed.  We had visitors write their names and what they creat
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Our Floor Loom

Our floor loom has been around since we opened MAKESHOP last fall. I’m not sure why it took so long for me to write about it in our blog, but maybe it just took the right visitor to inspire me. “It caught my eye,” is what I was told by one of our teenage visitors. He spent over an hour adding to the scarf project that was currently on the loom. This teenager helped me to reflect on the practices of
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