brighton mini maker faire 2013

The main hall at BMMF

This years Brighton Mini Maker Faire was the third held at Brighton Dome run by Mike Pountney, Andrew Sleigh and Ant Miller and others. Arriving on Friday night after a longish drive down in the hack-van we were able to unload kit and help move some of the decoration around.

The van gets a livery

I managed to get a visit in to Brighton’s Hackspace called BuildBrighton (often misheard as Bill Bryson) where I met up with old Bristol Hackspace chum Barney (@Barnoid). The Brighton Hackspace (as I think of it) is well kitted out with two good A4 size laser cutters and a plethora of tools and workspace. It has excellent electronics benches and a superb kitchen setup. Mike (@MikePea) was working on a pinball table project that he and Matt Edwards had conceived using Arduino and an old playing top off eBay. Mike had the table running at the MMF with no breakages the whole day. This was my first visit to BuildBrighton though I’d been to the town in 2011 and 2012 for the earlier two Mini Maker Faires. The group has their open night on a Thursday and I’d encourage any locals who have somehow stumbled over this blog but have yet to visit the space to go along immediately (assuming it’s Thursday night).

BuildBrighton’s Mike P working on the pinball machine

I was “live” interviewed by Rowan Stansfield (one woman PR machine @RowStar) who as usual was covering the social media for the event. Weirdly I appeared in the little film about the Brighton Mini Maker Faire last year and got asked by the director/cameraman to speak again. I wonder if my words will be used this year too?

Martin Raynsford draws a crowd

I partnered up with fellow laser cutting enthusiast Martin Raynsford, who’d have no problem filling a table on his own with excellent work from his 365 blog. I took up a good portion of our one table with my heatpress and vinyl cutter, making t-shirts “live” for punters. One lady asked me to make a tshirt for the band she “manages” called the Vespbrettas who play 60s covers (I assume) in the Sussex area, you can find their Facebook page here. After having a look at their vespa-lambretta logo mash up, Gillian and I were able to knock a tshirt out in almost no time at all. I sold quite a few DO NOT BE ON FIRE tshirts too. Amazingly I somehow manage to sell a Nottingham Hackspace tshirt to London Hackspace founder Jonty Wareing

the BIG map

In addition to Martin and me showing off laser cut things we took the UK Hackspace Foundation’s “Big Map” and lots of Hackspace bookmarks. People really seem to like seeing the spaces all laid out on a big map and it certainly is a talking point. One thing people often say is “there aren’t many spaces in the north” or “there aren’t many spaces in Scotland” I wonder if that is true or if we just don’t know about them.

Very cool idea… sign post. this seagull… much smaller than laser years

Later that day we all went out for a few pints. Always a good time to exchange views and find out what’s on people minds or happening in the makerverse. Jonty was all talk of EMF 2014 and how they are still hunting a venue. When it became time for Gill and me to leave our way was blocked by an angry looking Martin and Jonty, we were forced to have another pint!

Martin and Jonty say non-shall-pass. I think they regretted it in the morning though.

Sunday was workshops. Martin ran 2 useless machine build workshops and I helped where I could with that. Jude Pullen did a 2d to 3d design thing with (I assume) pepakura. I kind of wish I’d gone to it. Gill and I stayed in Brighton till the Monday though we were disappointed that the great BBQ and party we seemingly missed last year wasn’t on this year and found ourselves at a loose end on Sunday evening though we were pretty tired from the weekend. Thankfully staying till Monday paid off as we were able to meet up with Andrew Sleigh who is one of the main organisers of Brighton Mini Maker Faire and an old friend from trips to Southwold. We met up at a cafe and I was able to capture some audio from him which I am attempting to turn into a podcast so watch this space.

Martin runs his useless machine workshop