Ed note: Nova Labs will now be publishing a monthly newsletter – while it is being emailed to Members and Associates, select content will be shared on the NL blog.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
The Nova Labs Newsletter has a fresh look and feel! You are holding in your hands the results of a team effort of volunteers sharing their talents to make the monthly communication more accessible and beautiful. The February edition highlights the beauty and innovation the arts community brings to the makerspace with contributions of expertise, tools, and events!
We are pleased to share that the New Year started off with Nova Labs passing the annual fire safety inspection – an effort led by the metal shop stewards. The metal shop will soon house a new TIG welder, a Everlast PowerPro 256Si, replacing the one on loan.
The board is prioritizing the refresh of some critical functions, like membership (in progress) and events (kicking off shortly). Members take the lead through policy working groups to formalize a framework for operations. In the spirit of trying out new ways to foster innovation, a seed grant initiative is introduced.
In a shuffle of board officer roles, Michael Fraser was elected treasurer and Jim has shifted to other contributions on the board. Jim and Michael have been preparing for a smooth transition. Thank you Jim for your many years of dedicated service in this critical role. Michael, welcome and thank you for generously sharing your talents!
Lieselot Hosted Chinese Dignitaries
In December 2016, Lieselot hosted delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The group, which included delegates from MIIT, central and provincial government agencies, academia, and industry, were in DC to learn about the latest developments in IoT and smart manufacturing technologies. They were very interested in Nova Labs as a maker space to empower the community and inspire innovation.
After a presentation describing the diversity of maker spaces and the entrepreneurial nature of our community, the group took a tour of the space. They were fascinated by the range of objects that can be created at Nova Labs, and asked what government can do to allow spaces like Nova Labs to exist and flourish.
With this visit, we were able to, once again, share the joy of making with the world.
Seed Grant Program
Nova Labs has started a Seed Grant Program to enable Makers to accelerate their creative and innovative efforts. How often have you felt that your projects are blocked by lack of access to tools or funding? To encourage on-going creativity and innovation, we offer up to five Associate memberships to the Labs for a period of six months each to provide access to tools, workspace and a supporting environment of like-minded Makers. In addition, we will award up to $1,500 in one-time grants (1 – $500, 2 – $250, and 5 – $100).
What Do I Have To Deliver?
In exchange for the membership or grant, the awardees would provide a half page written update each two months showing progress on their projects and identifying any barriers. In addition, they would make a 5 minute presentation to the Nova Labs Board after 6 months, write a blog entry with help from our editor about their project and lessons learned, and teach at least one free workshop or class on the subject to help spread the lessons learned. We can provide some level of support to help awardees structure such a workshop or class.
Visit the following link for more information (detailed instructions are at the bottom of the Meetup description): https://www.meetup.com/NOVA-Makers/events/236933549/
Nova Labs as a makerspace is all about learning, creating, teaching, sharing and being a community. We also support entrepreneurs with a variety of interests and skills. While many of our featured projects and groups are very hi-tech and machine oriented we also encourage and include makers who focus on more traditional and often low tech making. On the journey to Making everyone is on their own path and each one of us got started somewhere. Let us introduce you to Crafters Cove!
These days Crafters Cove is fairly well established with a reasonable set of tools and a growing inventory for the membership at large to explore. It didn’t start out with much and in fact in NL 1.0 we had no dedicated crafting or art tools and only a glimmer of what the future could hold.
In Nova Labs’ current location we hoped to have space for art, crafting, and a place for tools, etc. The Board of Directors voted in Summer of 2015 to have a section set aside for crafting, textiles and arts. Crafters Cove became official and had a name as well as a location in the Orange Bay. The foundation pieces were the Creative Tools Cabinet, the CNC Embroidery machine, and the Supply cabinet.
Crafters Cove features:
Classes are run to help you learn Silhouette Cameos, Sewing Machine Basics, and other topics as time and instructors permits.
Crafters Cove – A History
“A feature – not a bug!”
Crafting has been around since Nova Labs’ early days, with Erica teaching a soap making class in April of 2012. Then a sewing machine class was held in NL 1.0 by one of the founding members Alice Chang, she was into tech security, all things making and that included arts and crafts. Travis, Nikolai, Michael Q (all founders) and Carrie were also interested in EVERYTHING – including the arts and the technical side of crafting.
Carrie taught some jewelry classes and Mary Dotson had a costuming meetup a couple of times. There was also a few poly clay nights. Suddenly we had requests for textile groups and other types of “crafts” and some interest from various artists who wanted to be members and use the tools but didn’t feel right vibe.
So Mary and Carrie were asked to and I quote – COME UP WITH SOMETHING, for the crafters and art types. So, after a bit of brainstorming, we formed (MC & AL) Makers Circle & Art Lab.
Soon our meetings were held every other Fridays. Drawing a diverse group of makers, which continues to grow today, many of them come every Friday, and others use the space throughout the week as their schedule permits.
A description of MC & AL can be found on the nova-labs.org wiki , or a on their meetup events which usually occur on Fridays. It is often lightly referred to as Craft Night, but it involves so much more than glitter and glue. Not that you can’t find that too occasionally.
MC & AL decided that we should have crafting tools available, and set out to make that happen. It all started with a “free” cabinet off CL, which several MC & AL people helped to refurbish into the Creative Tools Cabinet which can be found in Crafters Cove.
After the Board announced Crafters Cove would be located in Orange Bay during the Members Meeting, Carrie was declared the Crafters Cove Steward by Brian Jacoby. After a while she roped Jeff C into being her co-host for MC & AL nights, and act as backup for Crafters Cove matters.
Once the Creative Tools Cabinet was moved over (a gift from MC & AL) and the CNC Embroidery Ultramatic was put in place we had a general footprint for the Crafters Cove. This was quickly followed by the Supply and Fodder cabinet being added. More tools and equipment showed up thanks to generous donations. Additional shelves for storage and a work desk which is a work in progress.
We now have a pretty cool set of tools and even more artistic and crafting minded makers / entrepreneurs who have become associates and members. Artists and crafters are not confined to Crafters Cove, there is a wood shop, laser cutter, vacuum former, CAD lab, metal shop, and electronics bench. There are lots of people to bounce ideas off of and get feedback and informal help from as well. Cross crafting of skills makes for better makers!
Currently Nova Labs has a few sewing machines and a couple of Silhouette CNC crafting machines as well as wide variety of sewing, crafting and art tools. A more comprehensive list is being worked on but you can view the list of available tools in the binder located in the Crafters Cove, and which will be on the wiki sometime in the next month or two.
We acquired the CNCs for the Silhouette station late spring of 2016 and Jeff was gracious enough to develop the class for teaching and sign off on the Cameo Cutters.
Most recently Jeff has been working hard to get the CNC Embroidery machine back online. We received year end donations of two sergers and a quilters sewing machine. Coming in February we should have modifications finished to the crafting / desk, which will include a cart for jewelry tools.
Adjacent to Crafters Cove is also a Graphic Arts Station that has a heat press and large vinyl cutter. Which Andrew Albosta and Brian Folsum have been busy with and which ties in with art, design and crafting quite nicely. Way to go guys!
Nova Labs is offering Summer Camps for Teen Makers and Youth Robotics!