By: Jamie Kratz Gullickson
Makers – Learn, Tinker, Share
We are all familiar with the concept of Do-it-yourself (DIY). If you have sewn your own clothing, repaired your own leaking faucet, built your own backyard shed, grown your own veggies or concocted your own home brew, you are a do-it-yourselfer. Creating and doing for yourself saves money, allows personal certainty in the quality of the product, and gives a sense of satisfaction. Makers embrace DIY not only as stand-alone projects, but with an ideology rooted in learning, tinkering and sharing. Makers are men and women, young and old, novices and experts, entrepreneurs and artists.
Makers love to learn. Makers take on a DIY project not just because there is a leaky faucet that needs fixing but because it is interesting, it is fun, and it is something new to add to their jack-of-all-trades skill set. They love to gather resources and materials from a variety of sources – both typical and less so. While makers often have formal learning in their background, they focus on and utilize all resources to get the job done, relying on books, instructional videos, trade and scientific journals. Web meet-ups get makers in touch with project-specific knowledge both near and far, temporally and geographically. Makers understand that intergenerational learning is beneficial and without prejudice seek input from children, grandparents and colleagues. They also embrace inclusivity because it fosters novel approaches. Every skill set is valued. Imagine what a veteran knitter and an expert in wearable LEDs might create!
Makers love to tinker. No maker is content just reading about a project or seeing others do it. A maker has a core need to get their hands dirty. The sheer joy of creating drives them from one project to the next. Instruction sheets and LEGO kits are not good enough for makers. They love to hack – to try new angles, to iterate. Failure is not a dirty word to them, it’s just another step in getting the very best results for their project. Experimenting with and discovering novel approaches brings them joy. Think Edison and his light bulb filaments.
Makers love to share. Since makers come in both the introverted and extroverted variety, sharing looks different based on a maker’s personality. For the introverted maker, this might mean writing code or forking a project and posting the results to GetHub. For the extroverted maker, this might mean putting together a team and competing in a robot-building contest. Whether working alone or on a team, introverted or extroverted, makers don’t just make for themselves. They make for the betterment of their communities. Makers buck the word “mine” and are often at the forefront of innovative licensing like creative commons and open source to promote rapid and distributed idea development.
Makers enjoy a boatload of benefits including a connection with the physical world in our ever-increasing digital age, creating novel approaches and products for personal and community use, stronger networks and communities through collaboration and sharing, a better environment through recycling and upcycling, as well as developing self-reliance and personal sustainability.
Interested in learning more? Our family will be facilitating Makers Monthly with the Beaver Dam Area Arts Association. Beginning April 8th, we will gather the second Wednesday of each month from 3:30-5:30 at the Seippel Center. Makers Monthly will be an opportunity for people of all ages to learn from each other, tinker on projects together and share the successes and failures of what they are creating in a relaxed and supportive environment. Collaborative projects, demonstrations, and topics will be determined by the group. Bring your ideas!
Our family’s recent maker projects:
Virtual reality headset
Homemade potato box
3D printer cast off art
Constructing and hosting a Little Free Library
Constructing and hosting a Little Free Gallery
Halloween props and cosplay
3D printed hanging pots
Lunchbox guitar amp
Boogie Board Cozies
Power Wheels racing circuit project
Custom hanging lamp mounts
Algorithm for 3D printing your DNA
Algorithm for 3D printing your Minecraft builds
Software for remote Nerf gun firing
Upcycled karaoke hacked to run Linux
Electronic musical instruments
Spend Spring Break at the Seippel Arts Center!
From March 22nd-March 28th Beaver Dam Area Arts Association will host its annual Week of Art with multiple classes held every day for all ages and skill levels. Along with five permanent classes and groups, thirteen new classes will be offered including the Makers Monthly group, which will be added to the permanent roster beginning April 8th. There are several programs to help nurture the creative energy of toddlers to teens; whether it’s sculpting clay, tie-dying or exploring artists in the art appreciation class with Tami DeLisle, they are guaranteed to have fun and leave with a completed project. For adults, now is the perfect time to learn some new techniques using your digital camera with Joel Nisleit or relax with a glass of wine (using the wine glasses that you painted on Wednesday) and paint your own masterpiece in our Wine & Paint class with Shannon Ashcroft. Or really relax and explore the color of your aura to further understand your creative gifts with Julie Hogan on Saturday and stay to make mandalas with Jeanette Clawson. There is truly something for everyone! The majority of classes are either low cost or free with all materials included. Class sizes are limited and pre-registration by March 20th is required, so sign up today! More information and class descriptions can be found at bdaaa.org or by calling 920-885-3635.
SUNDAY, MARCH 22ND
12-4 PM BEGINNER GOURD CLASS with SHANNON ASHCROFT
MONDAY, MARCH 23RD
BEGINNING AT 10AM IN HALF-HOUR INCREMENTS: ONE ON ONE TATTING with GARY STEELE
6-8 PM CREATIVE WRITING
6-8 PM VIKING KNIT JEWELRY MAKING with KELLY WELZ
TUESDAY, MARCH 24TH
12-3 PM LANDSCAPE PAINTING with ROD HILL
5-8 PM PHOTOGRAPHY with JOEL NISLEIT
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25TH
12-2 PM CLAY OWL SCULPTURE with CAITLYN ASHCROFT
3:30-5 PM MAKERS MONTHLY with JASON GULLICKSON and JAMIE KRATZ GULLICKSON
6:30-8:30 PM STEMWARE PAINTING with TAMI DeLISLE
THURSDAY, MARCH 26TH
9 AM – 12PM WATERCOLOR TECHNIQUES with JUDY BEYER
1-2 PM for AGES 6-11 and 2-3PM for AGES 12+ HOME SCHOOL ART CLASS with TAMI DeLISLE
6-8 PM FILM CRITIQUE GROUP
FRIDAY, MARCH 27TH
11 AM –12 PM (AGES 2-5) MOMMY & ME ART CLASS with TAMI DeLISLE
1-3 PM TIE DYE with TAMI DeLISLE
4-6 PM PAINTED SCARVES with TAMI DeLISLE
6-9 PM WINE AND PAINT with SHANNON ASHCROFT
SATURDAY, MARCH 28TH
10 AM – 12 PM “THE COLORS OF ENERGY” with JULIE HOGAN
1-3 PM MANDALA MAKING with JEANETTE CLAWSON