MEET THE MAKER SERIES | CLARISSA, CHIEF MAKEROLOGIST

How and why did you get involved with Makerologist? Before becoming a creative technology agency, Makerologist originally started as a collaborative blog with myself and Micah. We had so many ideas in our heads and in various notebooks but realized it would be challenge to complete them all. We wanted to share them not only for our own records, but in hopes that other makers would find inspiration in them and follow suit; or even better, turn those ideas into fruition. Happy to say, this is what happened.

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How does your work with Makerologist impact your life? In ways I never would have ever expected. I have been fortunate to work with some of the most talented innovators in the industry. Our first project together as "Makerologist" was the StrangerIOThings Wall. With that project alone, we made an appearance at the Intel booth at Portland Mini Maker Faire, we were invited to showcase the project at MoPOP Museum multiple times, and we received our first magazine publication as a team on MAKE Magazine. With our other projects, we have exhibited at the Maker Faire Bay Area and Seattle Mini Maker Faires. We also have upcoming installations coming up in local Seattle businesses which go hand in hand with our desire to contribute to the community in innovative ways.

Honoring those who came before us: When was a moment when someone impacted you and made a difference, or got you into what you do now? When I was a junior in high school, there was a beautiful couple, Kafi and Macheo Payne, who were educators that encouraged me to join the City of Oakland Youth Advisory Council. I was extremely shy and kept to myself. My day was already full. Work early morning, school, then went home to take care of two baby brothers. I had all the excuses in the world to not join this council but they encouraged me to make time and see the value in being active in the community. I didn't know it then but my experience with the council was the foundation of my leadership and community building skills that enabled Makerologist to be what it is currently and what it will become.

Thinking about specific scenarios/events: When was a moment when you realized you were making an impact? At Maker Faire Bay Area, we exhibited a project called "Jumbo Circuit Block City". This project was to help kids as young as 5 years old learn how to build a basic electrical circuit. There was a 3 year old that came by initially intrigued by the building blocks. I showed him and his parents that they needed to connect the lines to "complete the circuit" to trigger the fog machine using the flash cards we designed. When the 3 year old put on the last block to complete the circuit and the fog machine turned on cooling his face, the look of joy was contagious. That wasn't the best part. He took the block off and saw that the fog machine turned off. He proceeded to turn the fog machine on and off by lifting the last block on and off. It was then when I saw he understood it only worked once the circuit was complete. Later that day, Massimo Banzini, the founder and creator of Arduino, stopped by our booth and later commented that those blocks were similar to a toy that introduced him to electrical engineering when he was a child. I thought, holy crap, that 3 year old might be the next Massimo Banzini.

When you look ahead, what is your vision for your work and the community(ies) you work with? My response to this is ever evolving. I grew up in an underprivileged neighborhood in Oakland, Ca where there were little to no resources on STEAM education so I'd like to see resources be more accessible. I want the people's mindsets to go from "Where can I buy this?" to "How can I make this?".

With my previous experience in both corporate world and grassroots community, I want to use my skills to bridge the gap between the two. Show ways that they can benefit from each other.

At the highest level, my vision for my future work is the Makerologist Creed:

"We make big things small, small things big, closed things open, local things global, and global things local."

When you see me at Seattle Mini Maker Faire, ask me about;

  • How to get an installation for your business or organization

  • How to get a STEM workshop / event at your school or business

  • Laser cutting / 3D printing

  • Building communities

  • Industrial design

Connect with me on:

Passion Project: CSD Concepts - Custom laser cut and 3D printing.

Meet the Maker Series | Micah Summers, Makerologist of Fabrication and Prototyping

How and why did you get involved with Makerologist? I originally came up with the term 'makerologist' as a way to describe part of my role in the maker community. I see myself as one who holistically studies all elements of making (from technical knowledge to the cultural fabric of art & design) After sharing this concept with Clarissa, we began to spin it off into a collaborative blog.

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How does your work with Makerologist impact your life? Makerologist has quickly evolved into at least two powerful forces; a decentralized maker-based 'opportunity engine' (ie a marketed brand), and a hand-picked group of cool people with which to learn and collaborate.

Honoring those who came before us: When was a moment when someone impacted you and made a difference, or got you into what you do now? I've looked to many people, both dead and alive, for inspiration, motivation, and confirmation. This energy helps me preserve my ambition in light of the entropy and forces of nature working against us all.

Thinking about specific scenarios/events: When was a moment when you realized you were making an impact? (An aha moment) My strongest confirmations of personal impact have (and still) come from my work with the West Seattle Tool Library, where we enable thousands of people with their projects. Being published in MAKE: Magazine and being able to exhibit the Bay Area Maker Faire were both powerful indicators that our groups projects were meaningful and valuable

When you look ahead, what is your vision for your work and the community(ies) you work with? I could write pages on this, but I believe my best work is very much to come. 8-10 years ago, I knew I wanted to enable my endless stream of ideas and designs. I set about collecting tools, knowledge and environments to make things (anything and everything I could). That general drive has not faded, but it has been augmented with a strong desire to connect, build, and share community. The Makerologist group is one kind of community, the volunteers at a makerspace or tool library are another, as are my local geographic community, and countless online communities. I have a personal requirement to continually ramp up my education to these communities as well as continuing to learn and innovate. My ambitions are a bit like free-range/organic food; they're more defined by the journey than the destination.

When you see me at Seattle Mini Maker Faire, ask me about;

  • Prototyping

  • Fabrication How to build anything

Passion Project: Founder of West Seattle Tool Library Since June of 2010, The West Seattle Tool Library has provided donation-based access to over a 3,000 tools to any resident in our community. Over 4,000 residents have taken the Tool Library up on that offer and formed a great community of DIYers, makers, and students. We invite you to join the community as well.

The West Seattle Tool Library is a community-led project to provide pay-what-you-can community access to a wide range of tools, training, and relevant advice.

By providing this service, the West Seattle Tool Library aims to inspire its community to participate in community projects such as park restorations and pursue sustainability through fun projects like backyard gardens, home energy improvements, and water harvesting.

Meet the Maker Series | Alex Checker, Makerologist of 3D Printing

How and why did you get involved with Makerologist?

I’ve been working on my own maker goals for the last few years, focusing primarily on streamlining open source 3D printing systems and developing an easy and approachable curriculum to educate my local community about this tech. I’ve since begun branching out into other open technologies, and as a result, likely got me “noticed” by the like-minded folks at Makerologist. This is probably what was responsible for me to receive an invitation to join.

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How does your work with Makerologist impact your life? It’s still early on, so that is yet to be determined. I am hopeful however that it will be in a great and meaningful way. I’ve wanted to bring a team of makers together to collaborate and play off of each other’s strength for a long time, and have been dreaming of what that might look like for an equally long time. Is Makerologist it? I am very hopeful that it is. Ultimately, I believe in the old saying, “you get out, exactly what you put in,” and if that holds true, I believe all of us in Makerologist can do amazing things.

Honoring those who came before us: When was a moment when someone impacted you and made a difference, or got you into what you do now?

I’ve had many maker mentors and friends along the way. From my father and grandfather, who taught me “the right way” to use so many tools from a young age, to mentors like Ron Hunt who opened up his shop to me to learn on some of the “big boy toys” I wouldn’t have ever had access to otherwise. My High school photo teacher that told me there was no wrong way to press the shutter button. There were so many others too, in various communities like the Burners or the Denver Mad Scientists, who taught me “the wrong way” to use tools effectively. But, that is only the tip of the iceberg, as every time we step out our front door and encounter something that makes us think for a moment, it impacts us in subtle ways that we might never remember or realize, so a nod and a smile go out to all those in the deep recesses of my memory as well.

Thinking about specific scenarios/events: When was a moment when you realized you were making an impact? (An aha moment) I’ve had a few, both positive and negative. I would like to think that every time it was negative, I stopped and reversed course, but hindsight is rarely 20/20. On the positive side of things, I take pride in my early career as a programmer, working on flight training courses that helped many of today’s pilots reach the skies. These days though, it’s seeing all the kids we have taught 3D printing to and then witnessing their endless creations thereafter.

When you look ahead, what is your vision for your work and the community(ies) you work with? I would very much like to be able to just tinker away, following my imagination, and have the outcome of that tinkering become kits that not just teach fundamentals of science, engineering, and tech, but also inspire others to join in on the tinkering.

When you see me at Seattle Mini Maker Faire, ask me about; All things 3D printing

Passion Project

MyOpen3D

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Meet the Maker Series | Jen Fox, Makerologist of Robots

How and why did you get involved with Makerologist?

To build awesome projects with awesome folks, expand the reach/capability of my company, and build a community of makers.

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How does your work with Makerologist impact your life? It's wonderful collaborating and sharing ideas/opportunities with other talented and unique makers! It keeps me on track with my business goals and gives me access to people, knowledge, and tools to which I wouldn't otherwise have. The Makerologist team ensures that I share my strengths with like-minded, passionate folks, and that I have assistance and guidance in areas where I need help. In short, Makerologist is like a puzzle piece of makers, tinkerers, and engineers who join their unique skills and passions to create something bigger and more beautiful than the individual parts could do alone.

Honoring those who came before us: When was a moment when someone impacted you and made a difference, or got you into what you do now?

Steve Davee has been incredibly helpful and encouraging in my development as a maker educator -- he has been supportive in various work endeavors I had prior to founding my company and has a contagious enthusiasm that helps remind me why I'm doing this work. The second pivotal person was Michael Schutzler, who encouraged me to focus on women and girls and helped push me to narrow and believe in my company's mission.

Thinking about specific scenarios/events: When was a moment when you realized you were making an impact? (An aha moment)

When my 9-year old homeschool student excitedly explained what the parts on a PCB were -- even though she couldn't remember the names, she knew exactly what they did and why there were there.

When you look ahead, what is your vision for your work and the community(ies) you work with?

Regular project-based learning workshops taught by a crew of specially trained maker educators, educational science kits that reach folks, specifically women and girls, who wouldn't otherwise be interested or confident in STEM subjects, and project collaborations with artists and other creatives to bring beauty, inspiration, and human connection to our communities.

When you see me at Seattle Mini Maker Faire, as me about;

  • STEM Education

  • Girls in tech

  • How to get started in IoT

Connect with me on:

Passion Project

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Our mission is to educate and empower women and girls in Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics (“STEM”) fields through project-based learning and design thinking.

We believe that education is the key to a successful, equitable, and progressive society. The more we know, the more problems we can solve and the better we can solve them! Our goal is to teach our students critical thinking and problem-solving skills alongside practical, career-ready skills in STEM fields.

We promote and advocate for: equal protection and education for all persons; environmental conservation and protection; and reduction of consumption and waste.

Our current and past clients include SparkFun Industries, the Living Computers: Museum & Labs, the Pacific Science Center, and NCCE.

Meet the Maker Series | Krunal Desai, Makerologist of ElectrICAL ENGINEERING

How and why did you get involved with Makerologist? The Stranger Things IoT Wall -- Clarissa told me about it, and it seemed like a fun thing to build. As an engineer, I'm used to planning out entire projects in various phases, etc. The wall was a fun way to just "build" something, without specifications, phases and the usual engineering rigmarole.

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How does your work with Makerologist impact your life? With Makerologist, I've gotten the chance to have projects I've worked on get a lot of eyes / attention on them, and share our work with the world.

Honoring those who came before us: When was a moment when someone impacted you and made a difference, or got you into what you do now? I think I mostly pursued electrical and computer engineering from growing up having more computers / robots than friends, and spending a lot of time on the Internet learning how things worked. My parents helped encourage and support me in the course of doing that.

Thinking about specific scenarios/events: When was a moment when you realized you were making an impact? (An aha moment) Not necessarily an impact, but seeing kids on a summer day getting very excited about typing in messages and seeing a giant wall blink them out was quite rewarding. In general, seeing people realize that they too could make projects like this was rewarding to see.

When you look ahead, what is your vision for your work and the community(ies) you work with? I would like to build installations / do work that serves as interactive art in public places, using modern technology to help comment on the happenings in our world.

When you see me at Seattle Mini Maker Faire, ask me about;

  • Electrical engineering
  • Space Industry
  • DnD
  • Corgis
  • Star Wars

Meet the Maker Series | Tony Loiseleur, Makerologist of Words

How and why did you get involved with Makerologist? Alex Cheker and I were invited by Clarissa San Diego to join on. It didn't take much convincing as our goals and passions were much the same!

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How does your work with Makerologist impact your life? We're still in the early stages, so I think that the "big impact" Makerologist would make in my life is still just over the horizon. That said, the mere existence of Makerologist has been both reassuring and inspiring in that it disproves the notion that the Maker movement is anemic (let alone dead) in Seattle, and it came to my attention at a really critical time. After first hearing about and then witnessing the mismanagement and closure of other maker spaces in Seattle, I was beginning to think it would be impossible to be a part of this industry unless I'd moved to California. That wasn't in the cards, so I began to think and plan my exit into a new, less impactful, and far less exciting career path. Thank goodness Clarissa came along when she did, though. It was invigorating speak to her about what she was building, and it was heartening to see old maker friends, who had since scattered to the four winds, come back together under one group and with a shared vision. It's given me hope that we can still make a difference AND make a living doing this. It's like learning the Avengers exist, but they're all your friends.

Honoring those who came before us: When was a moment when someone impacted you and made a difference, or got you into what you do now? I think I owe an equal debt of gratitude to two persons in particular: Richard Albritton and Alex Cheker. When I met Richard, I was primarily a writer by trade and training, but through his patience and direction, I learned how to solder, how to use a sewing machine, how to design and use CAD files for laser cutting and 3D printing, and how to program microcontrollers, just to name a few things. Richard took me from being a hobbyist to a fledgling designer and maker. Alex Cheker came along soon after and continued to foster my technical growth, and now I'm a partner in his startup, MyOpen3D. With Alex, I'm helping to design and build version 2.0 of his stellar 3D printer and I now have a hand in developing curriculum and extending access and knowledge of open source hardware to educational institutions in the Greater Seattle Area. I've been incredibly lucky to have met them when I did as without then, I couldn't have been a part of the Maker movement.

Thinking about specific scenarios/events: When was a moment when you realized you were making an impact? (An aha moment) I recall once teaching a high school student how to use a laser cutter. He was part of a summer program that I was helping teach at that felt more or less like a perfunctory summer program meant to keep him and his peers busy (this was my least favorite part of the program). Toward the end of the program, they were set to spend several weeks on-site at the maker space I was working out of, which was exciting for me, but didn't seem to be exciting for the students. By that point in the summer, I got the impression that their patience with the program had run dry, and they were already looking forward to the coming school year. Thus, while it took some convincing, I eventually talked him into trying to make something on the laser cutter. He decided on making wood jewelry for his friends and family that reflected his Somali heritage. Under his aesthetic direction, I helped him locate designs online and showed him how to render them in a CAD program, and then showed him how to have those designs etched and cut on the laser cutter. I thought it would end there, as generally, I've seen how happy most people are when they walk into a maker space with an idea, then leave with their idea in physical form afterward. But then he said something that stuck with me since: "y'know, I could go into business making this kind of stuff. This could be my job." He smiled then, which was the first time I'd ever seen him that happy and engaged during that entire summer program.

When you look ahead, what is your vision for your work and the community(ies) you work with? I want to live in the Star Trek future, or at least, something very much like it. Specifically, and starting with what Alex and I are doing now, I want to see a future where the generation that comes after mine is not just creative, but technically literate and capable of making the things they need rather than live their lives by the whims of corporations as captive consumers. I want the hardware and software they use to be open and shared by the community in such a way that while it still benefits the least experienced users, the most advanced users help push the tech forward through tinkering and modding, all for the benefit of the community. I want future generations to not be afraid of emerging tech, but to embrace it, and have an active hand as a community in shaping it in such a way that it liberates and elevates us all. To paraphrase Gene Roddenberry, I want to live in a future where "there is no war, there is no disease, and every child knows how to read." I may not see it come to pass, but I hope to do my** part to help realize it.

When you see me at Seattle Mini Maker Faire, ask me about;

  • Writing
  • Learning how to make from a non technical perspective

Passion project: MyOpen3D

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Meet the Maker Series | Gabriel Bello-diaz, Makerologist of Education

How and why did you get involved with Makerologist? Through knowing Clarissa personally, Makerologist has the same vision I shared on wanting to expand the maker philosophy beyond the experts and have projects and space that open the dialogue to an expanded community.

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How does your work with Makerologist impact your life? Through Makerologist I have been able to work with Intel and present at several MakerFairs (Bay Area, Portland and Seattle) along with being published because of our installations. This group has also empowered me to continue the work I do in digital fabrication by creating collaboration opportunities. This summer I was able to work with Jen Foxbot on a few fashion runway shows with wearable technology because of the support from Makerologist.

Honoring those who came before us: When was a moment when someone impacted you and made a difference, or got you into what you do now? Luis Fraguada and Marta Male-Alemany are my biggest influences in the work that I do. They were both of my instructors from The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and encouraged all of my crazy ideas in architecture and robotics.

Thinking about specific scenarios/events: When was a moment when you realized you were making an impact? (An aha moment) As a public school teacher, I encourage kids to explore the world of engineering from various perspectives. When I see them have the aha moments, I am right there with them in knowing I am guiding a generation into accessing a type of education I had to go in debt for.

When you look ahead, what is your vision for your work and the community(ies) you work with? I want my work to continue to be flexible in scale but always strive to reach a greater audience in order to curate conversations on how we can come together as a community to empower each other into success.

When you see me at Seattle Mini Maker Faire, ask me about;

  • 3D printing

  • STEM Curriculum

  • Architecture

Connect with me

Passion Project Efficio Fashion Seattle A Multidisciplinary design studio focused on the collaboration between hand-crafted and digital fabrication. Through the use of various materials: leathers, wood, plastics and metals, Efficio produced products at all scales: Jewelry, bags, clothing, furniture and architectural installations, With the use of 3D printers, laser cutters and CNC routers (at Sodo Makerspace) Efficio is able to experiment with innovation and give clients custom pieces.

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