Author Archives: megadolen

What does art make you?

New Picture (3)“Art Makes Us” – What ran through your mind when you heard this?

Benjamin Low, who will be taking part in this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF) with his friends Jacky Boen, Mithru Vigneshwara, Mui Rui Yi and Zac Ong, ex-classmates from LASALLE, introduced their team as “Art Makes Us”. When asked more about the team name, Benjamin shared that they coined this name during their studies of “Interactive Art” when they had to make use of coding or electronics in creating their projects. The name represents their collective interest in creating artwork and how they leveraged on their respective strengths in art direction, coding, hardware and sound/visual design.

This would be Benjamin’s second time at SMMF and it is wonderful that he has decided to bring his friends on board. Benjamin shared that his technical and arts academic background has cultivated his interest in doing projects that are multidisciplinary in nature. Indeed, his team’s showcase of “The Synesthete’s Music Machine”, a toy sound machine is exemplary of a multidisciplinary project and truly reflective of the spirit of their team. It translates images into sound, which is inspired by the idea of a synesthete – a person who is able to “hear” colours through an involuntary association of certain colours with certain sound, caused by a neurologically-based condition. Through his participation this year, he would like visitors to have fun experimenting with the sound toy.  Curious about this amazing machine? Don’t miss checking out the “Art Makes Us” booth this weekend at Senja-Cashew CC!

Benjamin learnt about the SMMF through word of mouth. One aspect of the SMMF that he finds appealing is the community based nature of it as people get together to share their common interests. He hopes that the SMMF will encourage more people to get creative with their minds and hands, and more importantly, to have fun!

 

We are researchers but we are makers too!

At the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) booth, you will probably find some really interesting tools and toys, things that are used in actual research in a Research Institute, but designed and built by the researchers themselves!

Dr. Nick Lewty (3rd from left) and Prof. Christian Kurtsiefer (extreme right)

Dr. Nick Lewty (3rd from left) and Prof. Christian Kurtsiefer (extreme right)

Last year, the CQT team had a blast at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire connecting with an interested audience, such that they are back for more this year. The team is eager to showcase the tools they built to aid in their research work in the lab.

In a way, the message I received through the interview is “We are researchers but we are makers too!”, and that researchers and makers share certain similar traits and skills, whereby research skills could be cultivated and developed through the process of making. Whoever you are, this is a chance to speak with real scientists and find out how they also DIY!

Interested to find out what the CQT booth will showcase? Here is a sneak preview:- Levitating magnets and home built lasers!

So, wait no further and come by the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this weekend at Senja-Cashew CC!

 

Introducing the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2)

The Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) is back at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF)! As the first organisation in the history of the SMMF to curate an integrated booth (SMMF12), SL2 has never fail to amaze us. It has set high standards to upkeep (See SMMF13) but we believe they will continue to thrill the visitors at this third run of the SMMF. This year, SL2 will take the entire ground foyer level at the Senja-Cashew CC, right in front of the CC General Office and the entrance to the swimming complex. Let’s look at what they have in store for us.

Theme Introduction

It is obvious that SL2 has devoted much effort in putting their show together again, from gathering the makers to conceptuliazing this year’s theme, Sustainable Village. Considering that the SMMF is to be held at the Bukit Panjang heartlands, SL2 decided to relive the kampung spirit of building, repairing and bonding, and to allow the older residents to bond with the younger generation through traditional building and repairing work. There will also be interesting modernization of activities with the aid of technology, enticing the young and encouraging the old to bond meaningfully too! Read their project and maker introduction to get a better sense of what their integrated booth will have to offer you. Some are really humourous!

Project and Maker Introduction

New Picture (3)Project Title: A Darn Good Mending Cafe
Description: Are your jeans worn out? Do your socks have holes? Are your cargos torn? They all DESERVE a second chance! Learn mending techniques such as weaving, patching and even traditional sashiko to give them a second chance. Participants can bring their own socks, jeans or trousers, and mend them on the spot!

Team Members:
WonderSASHIKO Agy
- Agatha Lee (aka Agy) is a fabric hacker / upcycler and an advocate of sustainable fashion, including the upcycling of post-consumer garments and textile waste. When she is not hacking her clothes or experimenting with sewable electronics, she is busy sharing tips on her blog, Green Issues by Agy, and at workshops.

SuperPATCHER Amy -  Amy Koh is an avid maker, dabbling in woodwork and sewing.

SpideyWEAVER Raye -  Raye Padit is an aspiring fashion designer who aims to lessen the production of virgin textile, and create more awareness to individuals about how we can contribute to promoting sustainable fashion.

New Picture (4)Project title : Hangover Herbs
Description: You want to grow some herbs but lack the space. We know how that feels. Hangover Herbs is an inverted growing technique suitable for small spaces. With a simple container, we will show you how to turn it into an upside down planter you can hang at home. Good for the earth, Hangover Herbs are made from upcycled containers. Ignite the urban gardener in you and get your hands dirty. Come along, no green thumbs needed just your DIY spirit.

Team Members:
Apoorva Madhusudan, Vatsal Sanghavi and Nova Nelson (Project Lead, cultivatecentral.com). After much tinkering we’ve come up with a fun DIY activity to help you grow some herbs…upside down!

New Picture (5)Project Title: The Amazing Pinhole Photography Portrait Project!
Description: Have your portrait taken by the simplest of cameras, and go home with the original and unique print of it. In these days where taking a picture is as easy as whipping a handphone out, we are going back to the basics of photography, using only the simplest of materials, making every single photograph a treasure. Our cameras are made of recycled material and create an image unique anything you get using a modern camera. Bring a box, or any object, and challenge us to help you make a camera from it, then have your portrait taken with it! . Or if you want a certain outcome, choose from our range of cameras to have your portrait taken and developed in under 5 minutes.

Team Leader: Isabelle Desjeux;
Team Members:  Din Chan and Farah Sanwari:
Isabelle has been running a pin-hole camera project, introducing dozens of children and grown-ups to the magic of making their own camera and taking special pictures with them.

Din has been part of the journey, taking part in workshops and helping out in the trouble-shooting sessions.

Farah has made her own camera and understands the principle of pinhole photography, and is now happy to share the knowledge. The developing box is designed by Isabelle and fabricated by Sathi and Farah.

New PictureProject Title: Vacuum Forming Method
Description: Vacuum forming is a technique that is used to shape a variety of plastics where a flat sheet of plastic is heated until soft and malleable and then pulled by a vacuum machine over an object or mould and sucked tightly around it. When the plastic cools, it hardens in its new shape. Examples of things you can make with this method include toy cars, packaging trays, masks, decorations and theatre props!

Project In-charge: Sathiya Moorthi Sathi

New Picture (6)Project title: Mech Pong
Description: We wanted to create something interactive for Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014. A “toy” that everyone could play and enjoy. There’s nothing better than to remake a classic arcade game: Pong.

Pong was a very popular computer game back in the 70’s, its simple and very entertaining. We then decided to build a mechanised version of it.

The project scope really allowed the team to be exposed to the digital fabrication process; 3D Printing customized plastic parts, Laser Cutting acrylics and CNCing plywoods.

It took the team about 3 weeks to fabricate the different parts and about a week to solder the electronics and complete the firmware programming (using the super popular arduino IDE).

Team Members:
David Teo, Kenneth Jon. Aditya Kapoor

New Picture (7)Project Title: Bicycle Energy Generator – Hand phone Charging Station
Description: Do you suffer from hypertension, depression and high blood pressure after seeing your electricity bills? Are you thinking how you could lower down those illnesses while toning your saggy legs into sizzling ones just by charging your phone?

Well, think no further. You don’t have to buy equipment worth hundreds or even thousands or dollars. Just built one, Using Household materials.

The Bicycle Energy Generator uses simple recycled materials such as a bicycle, wires, a power bank and a dynamo. Assemble these components together and you’ll have your own handphone charging station in your home.

Visit our Hand phone Charging Station & we’ll show you how….

Project team: Ridwan, a social & green tech enthusiast who dreams of seeing a world without any carbon emission or pollution, believes we are the stewards of the planet and it’s resources. We’ve not seen it in that light, overall, and have lost track of the fact that it is nature’s services that sustain us. Without a healthy planet, we cannot live, grow, love.
See Tho has many hidden talents. Apart from jewelry making craft, he has also excellent woods crafting skills. Last but not least, he possesses ideas that are ahead of our time.

The electronics whiz, Baoshi has solutions to almost anything related to electronics. With a keen eye for details and a room which is akin to an electronics departmental store, Baoshi developed the Bicycle Energy generator’s statistics board using Arduino technology.

A lead maker in the previous Makers faire, cheerful and bubbly Astrid has With wealth of expereince in designing electronic components.Evidently, Astrid assisted in the development of of the electronics components of the Bicycle Energy Generator.

New Picture (8)Project title : Community Builders
Description: During the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, the community builders will engage the residents at Bukit Panjang to get their hands ‘dirty’ and to build furniture together. We aim to help foster strong bonds and cultivate a DIY culture. Through this process, we wish to teach and bring together the young and the old generations to understand more about each other through making.

Project team: Poh Hong is a self taught woodcraftsman, and his love for wood challenge him to work on several interesting projects. He has also since set up a business along with his partner in doing interesting wood projects (www.designed.sg)

Cleo, Rianto, Charmaine, Seri are fellow learners hoping to know more about woodworking and be good at them!

Priyanka’s Quilling Passion

I sense a lot of passion when interviewing Ms Priyanka Gupta Sarvaiya about her quilling endeavour.

Priyanka quillingPriyanka from “Just Love Crafts” is a professional paper artist who works extensively with paper quilling, a craft which is very endearing to her. At the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF), Priyanka will showcase a wide selection of products and designs made with the art of paper quilling, such as tea light candle holders, photoframes, wall plaques, miniatures, shadow boxes, wall clocks and so forth. Through her participation at the event, Priyanka wishes to get more people acquainted with the potential of this craft which she said is fairly simple to learn. While she is already conducting regular quilling workshops, she felt that there are many who still do not know about this, hence motivating her to proactively create a greater level of awareness. To promote this craft, Priyanka has set up a meet-up group for quillers in Singapore and she was happy that non-quillers had turned up to find out more about it and even managed to leave with handmade items within a short span of 2 hours. Interested to join the meet-up? Check out more information here.

Views about the maker movement in Singapore

Priyanka has strong views about the maker movement. She felt that people of all age groups and background should be encouraged to learn something new. From Priyanka’s point of view, hands-on activities are not only enriching and therapeutic, but might even become a means of living for some. She hopes that people would be able to see it from a wider perspective and also take a collaborative approach in the process of making as it will both enrich themselves and the society, for example by recycling/upcycling resources and promoting local made products.

Having missed out on last year’s SMMF while travelling, Priyanka expressed excitement to participate both as a maker and as an attendee this year, with the objective of spreading the awareness of quilling to more people.

If you are interested to find out more about the craft of quilling, come by Priyanka’s maker booth at the Senja-Cashew CC this weekend or attend her workshops which will be conducted at 4.45pm – 5.15pm on both days. More about Priyanka can also be found at her “Just Love Crafts” blog and Facebook Page.

Introducing Singapore Polytechnic (SP) Integrated booth

This year, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) will be participating in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF) with an integrated booth to showcase their diverse variety of makers. Below is a summary of our interview with the six featured makers, and an introduction provided by Dr Yeo Wee Kiang, Maker Coach, Singapore Polytechnic, who conducted a workshop at last year’s SMMF.

Introduction

SPlogo(Colour)Makers from Singapore Polytechnic (SP) have been actively participating in their own capacities at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire since its first run. This year, SP is proud to participate as Team SP in one integrated booth which showcases the diverse capabilities and innovative talents from our various academic schools and student clubs. SP firmly believes that making is an important part of education today. We are actively promoting the maker movement within SP.

For example, Makerspace@SP has been set up in SP Library to promote curiosity-driven tinkering. In addition, an institution level facility the FabLab@SP has been setup and provides the technical expertise, trainings, tools, and machineries necessary for digital fabrication, and rapid prototyping. The Singapore Mini Maker Faire provides an excellent platform for makers from SP to connect with creative talents from the local Maker community and vice versa.

Jolyon P. Caplin (Big on the Mind but Light on the Pocket)

Jolyon with his Jolyonophone

Jolyon with his Jolyonophone

Jolyon is a familiar face at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire. For past visitors of the event, you might remember him for the Jolyonophone1, reason for the constant crowd at his maker booth at SMMF 2012, or for the colourful light displays at his Science-Art Fusion maker booth last year. This year, Jolyon who is a lecturer at SP’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, is returning with “Big on the Mind but Light on the Pocket” and he promises devices that will both be interactive and entertaining.

When asked about his thoughts on the Singapore maker scene, he noted that it is a good sign to see many maker events and facilities appearing, with good take-up as well. However, he felt that more people need to build the confidence to become really involved. This is something he felt could be improved. Do you agree with this?

His advice for interested makers-to-be would be to simply plunge in, find a more experienced maker first to see how things are done and build up the confidence, before dropping by a hardware shop to browse around and get ideas.

When asked about his challenges in making, Jolyon conceded that time is his biggest problem, as it would take a full 4 hours to really complete a project. I recalled him mentioning time as a challenge last year as well, and I believe this is a problem that many makers would have as well. Yet, despite so, Jolyon has still made it to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire with a variety of new showcases each year. Isn’t that a great example for all?

Tan Kok How (Dancing Robot)

Next, we would like to introduce Mr Tan Kok How from the SP Robotics Innovation Technology Enterprise (SP-RITE, a Student Club). Mr Tan will be showcasing a bioloid robot programmed to dance!

New Picture

We asked Mr Tan to share his making journey and he told us the story of how he started with LEGO bricks from a tender age of 7 and progressed into robotics by the time he reached Secondary School. Joining the Robotics Club then provided him the chance to explore various types of robots and participate in competitions. It also opened the way for him to build robots out of LEGO Mindstorms and learn about simple electronics. Mr Tan shared that budget is his biggest challenge in his making journey because it is not easy to build a robot without sufficient funding. This has however brought the maker spirit out of him, when he innovated with the use of self-fabricated parts and parts from obsolete robots. Challenges always bring out the best in people, isn’t it?

When asked on his advice for budding makers, this was what he said:-

‘Life is full of mysteries and surprises. You must have that motivation and vision in whatever that you are doing in order for you to start and even more to continue. Also, willingness plays an important role. You are going to make something new or innovate something that is already out there. You will need a strong will in trying as “failing to try is trying to fail”.’

Liew Hui Sing (Development of the intermeshing Tandem Configuration VTOL UAV (Vertical Take-off and landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) System)

liew hui sing1 small

Mr Liew with his students and their “makes”

Next, we would like to introduce Mr Liew Hui Sing from the SP School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, who would be showcasing an intermeshing rotorblade helicopter. Want to see a flying machine at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire? Look out for Mr Liew’s booth.

Mr Liew shared with us that he began liking airplanes since he received his first foam airplane from his parents at about 8 years old. Since then, he had enjoyed making his own airplane out of any scrap materials he could find, until he became of age to join the Singapore Youth Flying Club Aero-modelling Club to learn how to build flying aircraft models. He continued to pursue his degree in Aerospace Engineering, worked in the aerospace industries and finally became a lecturer and course chair at SP to pass on his love for aeronautical engineering to the next generation.

Because of his love for aeronautics, things he has made naturally revolved around this theme, for example UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Propulsion Systems like Rockets and Engines, and Motion Simulator System to give people the experience of flight. Interested to know more about what he has made? Do drop by his booth and speak with him!

Mr Liew also have some advice for those who are interested to pick up engineering. He felt that “it is about following your passion even though engineering necessitates doing the less glamourous work like ‘putting your hand in grease’”.

Michael Spicer (Spatial Controlled musical instrument)

sonicEscapadeEnabledPerformance

A performance using the spatial controlled musical instruments

Mr Michael Spicer is from the SP School of Digital Media and Infocomm Technology and he would showcase a project that adapts various spatial controllers to become semi intelligent musical instruments. Mr Spicer shared that he enjoyed building things and music since young and it naturally led to him creating various electronic music systems, using available resources. He usually build interactive music performance systems that tend to have large software component, but sometimes consists of a combination of sound generators and signal processors in novel combinations.

Mr Spicer advises new makers to start small and have fun, and to start with modifying something that exists as it would be an easier first project. He also reminded that things would never work right the first time, and noted that creating something is an exploratory activity, hence if you create exactly what you set out to do, you have probably overlooked an opportunity.

Isn’t that so true? Therefore it is important to keep the right spirit and attitude in the process of making and creating things!

SP Design School – Diploma in Interior Design [ SUPERSURFACE. ]

Janice - NLB_Bras Basah1

Students’ exhibition at a library

Next, we would like to introduce the Year 1 students from the SP School of Design – Diploma in Interior Design and their showcase of [ SUPERSURFACE. ], an ergonomics design project which was planned and carried out in collaboration with their lecturers Mr Muzammil Aziz, Mr Ivan Ho, Mr Foo Yoong Sheng, Ms Fiona Ho, Mr Tony Tan and Ms Janice Tan.

The design process comprises of four main stages where the students had to collect data, analyse, make prototypes and finally fabricate. The project which started as a study of human ergonomics ran for slightly more than three months.

On the maker scene in Singapore, Mr Muzammil and Ms Tan observed that there is now additional government support in terms of funding and initiatives, hence beneficial to the community of makers. However more publicity and outreach could be done to gain more traction both locally and internationally.

To young makers, their advice is to have passion, determination and perservance, as these are the factors that will bring one far.

Teo Shin Jen (Assorted Electronics and Digital Fabrication Projects)

Last but not least, the final maker from SP would be Mr Teo Shin Jen who is a lecturer at SP’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He also happened to be the first person interviewed for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire when it first started in 2012. In that blog post, we saw Shin Jen’s “see-say-do-it” spirit and his passion to use what he makes to inspire his students’ interest in learning programming, electronics, and computer engineering. This year, we see Shin Jen returning to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire again with his band of merry makers from SP Makers’ Club and the community members of FabLab@SP after his stint in UCL Computer Science Department, and Institute of Making, London last year.

Shin Jen’s focus is still the same and we applaud his efforts for making learning more applied. His emphasis, which I thought was notable, is that a maker should not concentrate on just making in solidarity, but involve the community around him or her (students in his case) to “DIT: Do It Together” by making things together. Here is a photo of Shin Jen’s class on making solar cooker for the children of SP’s staff.

Shin Jen’s workshop with 3 children working on the solar cooker outdoors

Shin Jen’s workshop with 3 children working on the solar cooker outdoors

1 The Jolyonophone is currently on display at Science Centre Singapore, Quirky Science Exhibition

An inspiring tale of lifelong learning

Unlike many who shared stories of childhood inspirations, Mr Davy Young tells us a different tale, one that can inspire lifelong learning.

IMG_0277smallMr Young is a ceramic artist in his late 60s and he picked up pottery as a hobby when he was in his mid-50s in preparation for his retirement, attending basic courses in ceramic arts at a Community Centre. As Mr Young is a nature lover (having spent his childhood in the countryside), his ceramic art tends to incorporate texture formed by tree-bark and tropical leaves. In 2003, Mr Young was inspired by beautiful ceramic leaves made by British artist Ms Judy Brown, whose artwork was featured in a magazine. Mr Young corresponded with Ms Brown who shared some basic steps on leaf-making. From then on, Mr Young devoted much of his spare time exploring techniques to perfect his skills in leaf-making, developing his own artwork style in the process. He proudly shared that each leaf is unique because they were made using impressions of a freshly-plucked leaf, and they were both ornamental and functional.

Sometime after Mr Young retired from the workforce in 2010, he was encouraged by his potter friends to consider selling his artwork on the market. Encouraged by his friends’ support, he began to take part in art markets and approach some retail shops to carry this artwork. His artwork has since been carried by the gift shop at The Botanic Gardens and a shop at Haji Lane under the label “Leaves with Memories”.

Mr Young’s story is a good reminder to us that it is never too late to learn. We hope this story inspires you and that you will share this admirable spirit with those you know.

Come by Senja-Cashew CC this weekend to check out Mr Young’s work pieces at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire! He will also be giving a “one-session only” demo on ceramic leaf-making on 27 July, Sunday from 2.45 – 3.15pm.  See you there.

(Sponsor’s Blog) Evernote Maker Series: Building a Half Pipe Skateboard Ramp

(Cross-posted from Evernote Blog)

In celebration of our participation at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, this week we’ll be publishing a series of blog post telling awesome Maker stories building and making stuff using Evernote.

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Ever since his parents put up a ramp for he and his brother to skate on when they were just kids, Troy Malone, General Manager for Evernote in APAC has always tried to make sure he had a small half pipe wherever he lived. A half pipe was more than a place where Troy skated and had fun. It was a place that has captured the memories of many wonderful afternoons.

Now that he can skate with all three of his kids, it’s even more of a blast as he sees them learn and get better. Building a half pipe from scratch is definitely not an easy task. From doing research to the actual making, lots of time and effort is needed.

Follow Troy’s journey below to see how he uses Evernote to simplify the making process.

No-Fuss Researching

Clip Away

Researching for a project as huge as this is not an easy feat. There is information scattered everywhere on the web; articles ranging from just a paragraph to pages long, different methods with various difficulty levels and material lists with all sorts of tools he has never heard of. At times, it is tough for Troy to just look through all the web materials, let alone decide on the best method and material list. Troy uses the Evernote Web Clipper to clip online articles for a later read when time allows. Besides, with the smart search function, Troy is able to search within documents, articles and pictures to quickly pull out articles he has previously clipped when needed.

Bringing Your Shopping Lists with You

Troy uses Evernote to store the list of materials that is needed and pulls them out whenever he needs to refer to it. He is able to type the list up on his computer when he is home, and then access it from his phone when he is at the store. This allows him the flexibilty to pick up materials from wherever he is or whenever he passes by a hardware store.

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Checked!

Since the materials cannot be found in a central area, Troy visits many places to source for materials, and this cannot be done in a single day. Troy creates a check-list to ensure that he never misses out any tools or accidentally purchase two of the same item. This helps Troy clear his head as he no longer needs to rack his brains to think of what he has bought or has missed.

Building of the Half Pipe

Saving Blueprints

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Troy saves all his blueprints and plans on his computer and syncs them for easy access from his phone. He follows instructions from the materials he finds online to make the correct transitions. He checks off each step on his list when completed to determine his progress.

Remembering Everything

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Troy also enjoys taking photos, from the beginning till the end of the project. He captures most of his pictures on his phone and then saves them into Evernote to be synced to his computer. This helps Troy ensure that the memories of building the half pipe with his children are never lost.

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“Fix it, Give it” – A project by the Singapore Academy of Young Engineers and Scientists (SAYES)

Good Karma ToyThe Singapore Academy of Young Engineers and Scientists (SAYES) will be embarking on a “Fix It, Give It” project to collect unwanted toys and work with volunteers to give the toys a new lease of life. The toys will be donated to one of the children’s home in Singapore.

A collection box will be set up at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire at Senja-Cashew CC (at the registration booth). If you have mechanical or electronic toys which are spoiled and you would like to contribute them towards this meaningful cause, SAYES would like to appeal to you to bring them down to us this weekend. A very big THANK YOU to you in advance!

If you have any enquiries about the project, please email to sayes@science.edu.sg.

Introducing Dr James Grieve and the Singapore Homebrew Club

Next, we would like to introduce Dr James Grieve, a maker from an interesting hobby group, The Singapore Homebrew Club. At the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, James intends to share with visitors an overview of the homebrewing experience here in Singapore, the challenges faced and the technological solutions that members of the group came up with to overcome those challenges.

Dr James Grieve. The Singapore Homebrew Club. The Brew

James is a Scientist at the Centre for Quantum Technologies. He shared that at work, he mixes high powered laser systems with single-photon counting experiments. After work, he messes up his apartment brewing beer and wine, as well as playing with more unusual fermentations like kefir, kombucha and yoghurt cultures. He joined the Singapore Homebrew Club sometime in 2013.

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A “brew in a bag” (BIAB) mashing set-up, with a bimetalic dial thermometer used to check the mash temperature. The BIAB technique is a convenient way for homebrewers to get started with mashing as it needs minimal equipment — just a large pot, a decent hob or wok burner and a suitable mesh bag.

James shared that the Singapore Homebrew Club is a relatively young club which was formed in September 2012 by Mr Neo Say Wee (man behind www.homebrew.com.sg). It is a club where like-minded brewers gather to share their successes and improve their art. The club’s original handful of members have now grown to more than 80, with their regular monthly meet-ups swelling to over 40 participants. During the gatherings, the members will bring along their brew (prepared earlier according to the theme of that gathering). They will conduct a blind tasting of these beers and review them through written feedback. Each month, there will be around 8 – 12 types of brew prepared by the members who attend the session. James also shared that the members of the club are welcoming and have not turned away any brew before. So, if you are a keen home brewer, check out their club!

When asked whether there had been any brew that excited the club, James mentioned that there had been several showcase of memorable beers in the past, but it’s often the unusual ones that stand out the most. He recalled a “sour beer” which was brewed by one of the Club members for their monthly meet-up. This style of beer, originally produced from Belgium, had apparently gained popularity worldwide and a club member accidentally brewed a version of it (fermented at room temperature with a variety of yeasts (and bacteria) from unusual sources, even some wild ones) and it took the member just a few weeks! James noted that this was pretty unusual because the brew usually require a prolonged aging period for the flavours to meld and for it to be palatable. Sounds like this is a lot of experimental fun!

Apart from the more formal tasting session, the club also hold talks and more social events at time, eg. barbecues or brew-alongs. Beyond the club gatherings, members also enter their beers into the locally run iBrew Challenge each year! However, the current challenge of the club would be to find suitable meet-up places for the growing club. Well, I guess that might be a happy problem!

Participation at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire

As some of the club’s members are active in the local Maker community, and were due to participate in SMMF via the CQT stall, the idea of introducing homebrew brewed (pun intended!).

The team hopes to give people an insight into the work that goes into producing the world’s most popular fermented beverage, and perhaps also to pass on their enthusiasm in homebrew. At their booth, the Homebrew club members will run an ongoing demonstration of “yeast starters” – a process whereby you grow up a large population of yeast cells to pitch into your fermenter — onto their home-made magnetic stir plates. If logistics allow, they also plan to do a couple of “mini mashes” to show how they extract fermentable sugars from malted grains, and have brewers to talk about hacking kitchen appliances, adapting and splicing recipes, yeast ranching and other techniques they have tried.

Curious to learn about the Singapore Homebrew Club? Come by the Singapore Mini Maker Faire on 26 & 27 July or check out their website http://www.meetup.com/Singapore-Homebrew/

Shi En, a student maker from SUTD

Shi En, a student from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), will be taking part as a maker in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire for the first time this year and he shared with us how he actually got started.

He shared that he enjoys 3D printing, electronics, robotics, and the use of machines, and he picked up these hobbies about 2 years ago. The following are some projects he had made since then. Interesting, aren’t they?

An angrShi Eny bird:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g5rJyWopmw

8x8x8 led cube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTD9yQ7yu48

Light dance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRaF-TAy54M

Shi En first attended the Faire last year as a visitor. Earlier this year, he responded to our call for makers for lead-up events and took part at our first pop-up event at Tampines Central CC to teach participants about paper circuits. By participating as a maker this year, he wishes to inspire others to start their own projects and also get to know other makers in the maker movement.

That’s the spirit, Shi En, and we hope you get to inspire many through this weekend’s event!