Project Overview: Cyborg Hand Collaboration
Tamara, a self-taught leatherworker, is collaborating with Andrew Moskowitz, Intentional 3D, Arian Croft, and several others to make a custom leather glove with 3D printed finger mechanisms. Their hope is to create a functional mechanical hand with a cool cyborg look.
Project Update: Cyborg Hand Collaboration
As of January 15, 2014 we've tried to 3D scan Andrew's hand, but ran into some trouble in getting a full 3D image. Brandon at I3D helped to create a lifecasting of Andrew's hand, and soon we'll have a 3D scanned file to begin phase 2, the creation of the finger mechanism.
Project Overview: Jigsaw Renaissance
Jigsaw Renaissance is a learning and making space in Seattle, WA where Tamara's mask making studio, faceOdd Wearable Art Masks, is now located. She first learned of Jigsaw Renaissance from a gentleman named George in the Steampunk section at Maker Faire Bay Area 2011. George was making Victorian era necklaces by using an enormous hand operated press to cut a heart shape from the center of a coin, creating two wearable pieces. Upon returning to Seattle, Tamara looked into Jigsaw Renaissance – but sadly, she did not get involved right away due to a misconception: that one must be 'techy' to be part of a hackerspace (a term frequently used interchangeably with makerspace).
Project Outcome: Jigsaw Renaissance
By moving her studio from a private space into two 6'x6' coworking spaces at Jigsaw Renaissance, Tamara's rent helps to cover the operating costs of the space while giving her the ability to really understand how a makerspace functions. This is a work in progress, but in just three months she has already co-produced a fundraising event, attended planning meetings for the building's quarterly arts festival, collaborated with other members to work on an illuminated unicorn horn design, taught a mask making class, and now she is helping to promote upcoming robotics classes at a neighboring space, XBOT Robotic. Being at Jigsaw Renaissance also puts her in direct contact with other people who are working to change the world for the better. She is currently working with Fay Shaw, mechanical engineer and instructor at another Seattle makerspace, Metrix Create: Space, to apply for a panel discussion at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013 entitled 'Women in Makerspaces: Our Stories'.
Project Overview: How to Make a Makerspace conference
On February 1st and 2nd 2013, Artisan's Asylum and MAKE joined forces to present the first 'How to Make a Makerspace' conference. First hearing about this conference back in December, it changed how Tamara began to view her role as Doer: Maker Advocate and prompted her to revise her mission. Her focus is now to help build sustainable maker communities through learning, teaching and connecting – and she was very much in her element at this dynamic conference of more than 150 makers passionate about furthering the maker movement.
Project Outcome: How to Make a Makerspace conference
During a break at the conference, Tamara had the opportunity to work on a laser cut leather book cover she was making. It was a huge honor to be able to actually be a Maker at Artisan's Asylum!
Although the conference covered many topics such as finding a space, funding, building codes and insurance requirements, three subjects surfaced repeatedly throughout the weekend:
1. How to interest more women in makerspaces
2. How to train teachers to teach in a makerspace environment
Tamara has decided to focus on these three topics in the next few months, beginning with how to interest more women in makerspaces. She is collaborating with 5 other women to propose a panel discussion at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013 called 'Women in Makerspaces: Our Stories'. The Call for Makers closes on Friday, March 15th. They are anxiously waiting to hear if their proposal has been accepted, and the three Seattle members of the group are also considering applying to present at Seattle Mini Maker Faire in June.
Project Overview: FabLab Tacoma
FabLab Tacoma opened on November 1st 2012 just up the hill from the University of Washington-Tacoma. Tamara attended their Open House with the intention of helping FabLab build their membership. While she was there she had a conversation with co-founder Stephen Tibbitts about the possibility of teaching a leather mask making class using their Epilog laser cutter.
Project Outcome: FabLab Tacoma
In addition to teaching mask making workshops using the laser cutter, Tamara also teaches a hand sewn refillable journal cover workshop, has become a FabLab member, and is learning how to design leather goods using Inkscape. She recently made a prototype laser cut book cover for the 'How to Make a Makerspace' conference in February. She also helped out at the 'Shift Happens' event in January where she was able to introduce attendees to the wonders of 3D printing. She is now working with FabLab, the City of Tacoma and the Washington State History Museum to possibly co-produce the first Tacoma Mini Maker Faire in the fall.
Project Overview: Georgetown Carnival
The Georgetown Merchant's Association hosts the Georgetown Carnival each year in June. Last year Tamara helped to get Equinox Studios involved by inviting the carnival director to a planning meeting. After much discussion about how to best represent such a diverse group of artists and artisans, three interactive projects were settled upon.
Project Outcome: Georgetown Carnival
The three interactive projects were entitled 'It's a Steel', 'Splat-a-Paint', and 'Wooda Shoulda Coulda.'
- It's a Steel allowed participants to choose a piece of scrap metal and determine where it should go on the community-created sculpture. Equinox welders then attached the piece and it was the next person's turn. The steel sculpture now graces the entrance of Equinox Studios.
- Splat-a-Paint involved building 4 catapults that launched condiment-sized paper cups loaded with poster paint at blank paper attached to the wall with clamps. After each participant created their masterpiece, they were hung from clothes lines to dry.
- Wooda Shoulda Coulda allowed participants to create a wooden sculpture by choosing a board and then nailing or screwing it to a tower base with the assistance of Equinox woodworkers. The wooden sculpture now graces the Equinox Studios entrance, opposite the steel sculpture.
Participating in the Georgetown Carnival helped Equinox Studios to build a strong working relationship with the United Artists of Georgetown and the Georgetown Merchant's Association, while simultaneously providing three exciting activities - and two unique sculptures - for the community.
Project Overview: I CAN! (Interactive Community Arts Network) (Tacoma, WA)
In January of 2012, Tamara visited Freighthouse Square in Tacoma. Once a thriving hub of activity, she was disappointed to see how many of the rental spaces were vacant. Determined to help turn this around and bring new energy to a Tacoma icon, Tamara met with the property manager and together they settled on a date and time for a free public event. The idea was to pool resources with local artists and artisans and create an event that would celebrate community while providing a reason for families to return to Freighthouse Square.
Project Outcome: I CAN! (Interactive Community Arts Network) (Tacoma, WA)
I CAN! (Interactive Community Arts Network) was a huge success. Several hundred families attended the 6 hour event on March 31st. Highlights included a game of giant checkers on the permanently installed dance floor, an interactive LEGO display and build area, watercolor painting, stained glass making, crafting from recyclable household packaging, digital camera tutorials, Tarot readings, live music, spoken word and magic performances, oil painting, board games, and a visit from Tacoma Dockyard Derby Dames. Nothing was purchased or sold in the production of this amazing, grass roots community event! In the months following I CAN, Freighthouse Square attracted new merchants and the space began to thrive once again.
Project: World Maker Faire 2011
In September 2011, Tamara and her son Ryan taught 65 people to hand sew leather at World Maker Faire New York.
Project Outcome: World Maker Faire 2011
This was an important opportunity for Tamara and Ryan, because they started leatherworking together as a hobby when Ryan was only 9. At 17, he was teaching others a skill that he and his mom learned together in the corner of his room, where they joked about someday having their own little business as 'leather associates'. Tamara went on to pursue the small business idea, but her biggest regret is that she named the original business after herself and Ryan felt excluded (rightfully so!) and lost interest. By attending Maker Faire together and teaching others how to thread needles and sew using the saddle stitch, they were able to mend their relationship in regards to leatherworking.
Project Overview: Maker Faire Detroit 2011
In July 2011, Tamara loaded her suitcase with leatherworking tools and went to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI for Maker Faire Detroit.
Project Outcome: Maker Faire Detroit 2011
As part of the Brown Paper Tickets exhibitor booth, Tamara and Kelly Allen, Brown Paper Tickets Do Good Doer and Doer Team Manager, made paper masks with hundreds of children. Tamara also held hands-on leatherworking demonstrations throughout the weekend. Michael Wilson, science teacher in Ann Arbor, MI joined them at their lively booth and presented his interactive day planner idea for active school aged children to keep up with their homework and other deadlines. The booth was always busy, and they received two Editor's Choice blue ribbons from the MAKE crew for their hands-on activities!
Project Overview: Concord Attic Student Theater (CAST) at Concord International Elementary School
In May 2011, Jim Jordan, drama teacher at Concord International Elementary School, saw my masks at an art show and asked if I would be interested in working with the children of the Concord Attic Student Theater (CAST) for their upcoming production of Cinderella.
Project Outcome: Concord Attic Student Theater (CAST) at Concord International Elementary School
Working with the children of CAST, we designed and painted more than a dozen leather wearable art masks for the school's drama department. The children made the patterns and then I cut them out in leather and sculpted them. I returned with the dried masks and the children painted them and riveted straps to them. The masks now belong to the theater for future productions.
Update: March 2013. I am now working on two new designs for the theater: a Swan headdress for their upcoming production of Swan Lake, and a caterpillar/butterfly design for The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Once the prototype designs have been approved, I'll begin making the leather designs for the children to paint.