Nova Labs was at its best at the recent Cupid’s Arts and Crafts Fair. When I walked in, metal shop steward Mike Hogarty had a laptop open with Solidworks and shared a design he was working with his daughter, Alana, for an affordable Valentine’s fidget. I am proud to hang from my key ring the prototype of a cool fidget that found its way into dozens of homes just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Nova Labs’ strength is in diversity. Newcomer Basim Alkaim, a skilled artisan, volunteered at Cupid’s Arts and Crafts Fair and again at the February Member Meeting, sharing a Middle Eastern specialty dish alongside sliders and pizza. The familiar fragrance of biryani caught the attention of the minutes-taker, Raji Madhuvana. As the membership wrestled with policy, Raji diligently took notes. In spite of the nuances of membership at Nova Labs (and the impassioned discussion that took place), Raji was inspired to become a member herself. What was clear is the passion and value membership brings. That is the heart of what Nova Labs and this effort is about — building a welcoming space where people want to belong and contribute talents.
Even as the membership has divergent views on the path forward with membership policy, the ongoing dialogue around membership is an opportunity to embrace what makes Nova Labs special. These steps take us closer to a stronger community that is true to our core values. The Board is looking forward to continuing to engage and strengthen membership.
As we continue the policy discussion, the work on rebranding is coming to a close. A survey went out in the last newsletter, yielding 79 responses. The top choices were: Gear, Needle and Thread, Electronics, and Question and Answer. There will be follow up with a cross-section of membership to tweak the design and to ensure there is representation across interest areas.
Lastly, Maker Faire NoVa will be here in just a few weeks! Many hands are contributing as preparations are wrapped up before this signature annual event. We are especially thrilled to welcome celebrity Theo Nazz, from “Forged with Fire”, demonstrating alongside members from our latest interest group, blacksmithing. I’ll see everyone at the Maker Faire NoVa!
Read on to see a recap of the Cupid’s Arts and Crafts Fair, and more info on Maker Faire NoVa!
I had a great time showing visitors how a spinning wheel works, how drop spindles allow you to accomplish the same thing by hand, and how wool that isn’t as great for spinning can still be used for needle felting to create objects and art. My booth contained hand dyed upcycled clothing, hand knit and crocheted accessories, hand dyed yarns and fibers, drop spindle kits, hand carded batts, and needle felting kits. I just started this adventure as 57 Chapters in June of last year.
I also received a lovely piece of artwork from one of the young children that enjoyed the crafts area during the fair.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: 2017 Maker Faire NoVa
Maker Faire NoVa will be here before we know it on Sunday, March 19th! As the fourth annual event of successively larger and more diverse makers and attendees, we’ve graduated to a ‘community’ faire this year and have dropped the ‘mini’ in our name. Maker Faire NoVa remains one of the best opportunities for Nova Labs to do a broad maker-themed event for the public.
We are the host makerspace and organizer of this Maker Faire. The organizing committee is composed of local community leaders and some Nova Labs members, and meets year-round to develop and plan the event. The list of other sponsors who provide money, volunteers and/or services can be found here: http://nova.makerfaire.com/sponsors.
It takes an army of volunteers to staff and operate Maker Faire NoVa, including set-up on Saturday, March 18th and running the Faire on Sunday, March 19th. We need your help and there are many different ways you can volunteer to make this a success including staffing the Nova Labs Learn to Solder stations. For more information, please visit http://nova.makerfaire.com/volunteer/.
The Faire is fun for all ages; kids love it. You’ll never see such a dazzling array of projects and demonstrations. Many Nova Labs makers participate in the Maker Faire. Theo Nazz, a recent winner of “Forged with Fire” will exhibit along with Nova Labs blacksmiths. For a detailed list of participant makers, see http://nova.makerfaire.com/makers-exhibits.
A new program this year is the Maker Educator Meetup for maker educators of all kinds to learn and share with each other. It will take place from 10:00-12:30. For more information and to register, http://nova.makerfaire.com/attend/makered/.
Buy tickets now: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/maker-faire-nova-2017-tickets-28899660663
Nova Labs is offering Summer Camps for Teen Makers and Youth Robotics!