Tag Archives: Meet the Maker

19 Jul 2019

Three turtles a-stitching @DublinMaker

Cesaro Star design by Jens Mönig

On Saturday July 20th, Richard Millwood is hosting a TurtleStitch booth at Dublin Maker. He will be ably assisted by John Hegarty and Mags Amond. All three are active members of CESI. TurtleStitch, the brainchild of Austrian Andrea Stalder-Mayer, allows users to direct a modern embroidery machine to output designs which have been coded on a computer. Programmed designs can be shared and remixed among the worldwide TurtleStitch community. John is network manager and Computer Science teacher at Clongowes Wood College, Richard is a CS researcher at Trinity College Dublin, and Mags is a retired teacher currently doing PhD research on TeachMeet. Here’s what each says about their involvement with TurtleStitch …

Richard :: I first started learning about the Turtle Graphics microworld and the Logo language in the eighties. I found it a powerful way to introduce the key elements of programming in a way that could lean on the imagination and experience of student’s own bodily movement to debug their attempts to program. Bugs (errors) in the program you made were opportunities for review, improvement and above all learning. Turtlestitch has been a revelation in refreshing interest in this approach. Providing such delightful outcomes has been an enormous asset, but also reviving an interest in art, embroidery and mathematics. Much of the work I have made is a re-implementation of artists such as  Vera Molnár and computer scientists / mathematicians such as Harold Abelson, Andrea A. DiSessa, but some is the fulfilment of youthful artistic tendencies revisited in later life! Learning about the crafts of embroidery and programming, whilst engaging with these powerful creative drivers is hard to beat! Examples shown here are from the TurtleStitch screen, showing thread in black, stitch points in blue and jump stitches in red.

John :: I can’t remember my first encounter with Logo, a programming language designed in 1967 by Wally Feurzeig, Seymour Papert, and Cynthia Solomon but safe to say it was a long long time ago. I suspect it was at a session with Dr. Elizabeth Oldham of TCD back in the 80’s. Over the decades, yes unfortunately I can measure in decades, my encounters with teaching/learning programming regularly tap that original wellspring. Logo begat Scratch which begat Snap! which in turn, among other gems like Snap4Arduino, BeetleBlocks and NetsBlox, begat TurtleStitch.

I’m always on the lookout for ways to engage my students with programming and in recent years the area of physical computing has become so much more accessible with the development of low-cost sensors, the availability of cheaper more powerful microprocessors like the Arduino range and more recently the very low-floor / high-ceiling opportunities facilitated by the BBC micro:bit.

TurtleStitch, the result of an ongoing collaboration between Andrea Mayr-Stalder and Michael Aschauer, offers a very different entry point to the world of programming and physical computing, one that appeals to the artist/maker in us. With a few blocks of Logo Turtle Graphics style code outputted to an embroidery machine, it enables the production of something beautiful and meaningful to the creator. Smiling students leaving the class holding the piece of embroidery created by them using their code is something that might be hard to put an objective measure on but any teacher will tell you it is priceless in their world.

In my school we are at the early stages of developing a maker space and the investment in an embroidery machine at the tail end of last term will I hope be the first of a number of tools we will make available to students. A maker space will be an inspiring resource for the Junior Certificate coding and Leaving Certificate Computer Science classes without a doubt but it should also facilitate crossover curriculum activities with other subjects, particularly in the areas of Art and Science and hopefully others as well – time will tell.

Mags :: My delight in being part of the TurtleStitch world is that it marries two things I like – textiles and computers. The extra variables – fabric, threads, stitch types – allow one design to have more than one output. Watching the reactions of families who see it for the first time is an extra treat. The opportunities offered for cross-curricular work are exciting – there is mathematics, art, graphic design, textiles and more in this. On top of that, this new generation of sewing machines are beautifully engineered and a treat to use. And on top of that, the worldwide TurtleStitch community is filled with generous supportive creative folk who are a joy to be with. And on top of that again, it makes me smile, after decades spent among women (my mother, my aunties, my friends – fiendish seamstresses all) with sewing machines, to see the ‘bro’s buying and deploying sewing machines  🙂

Don’t forget to check out Mags’s blog https://magsamond.com/

Richard, John, and Mags look forward to meeting with all and sundry at Dublin Maker.

Various samplers of TurtleStitch designs from members of the community (apart from the butterfly and the text which are from the machines own patterns)
19 Jul 2019

Dublin Linux Community

Around 2015, after several failed attempts to get a Linux User Group going in Dublin – coffee in the Science Gallery only goes so far – I stumbled upon a pre-built LUG that had been started right under my nose. I quickly sent a message pestering Rigel, the then organiser, to please let me help out. I’d stack chairs. I’d pour coffee. Whatever you need. Without a word of warning he made me a full admin of the Meetup page and launched into telling me about the upcoming event he had planned in Dogpatch Labs. I ate pizza. I looked confused during a Rust talk. It was amazing.

A few weeks go by and another willing victim, Mr Conor Murphy steps into the fray. He gets the same rapid-fire promotion and we get to work churning out events. The idea was to go for volume over substance. Reserve a table in Costa or a nook in the Long Stone. Nothing too fancy. Just make it regular. The formula seemed to work. We got regulars coming back week after week. One of those regulars was Suspect No. 3 – Mike. A true diehard of the meetups it was a no-brainer making him another organiser. We have since added a 4th, Camila, whose positivity is infectious.

We focus on creating accessible and inclusive events that encourage people with any skill level in Linux or computing to come along and learn more. The worst that will happen is too many people will try to teach you things.

– Shane Kitt Co- Organiser https://dublinlinux.org/

18 Jul 2019

DIY 3D Printing, Props, Costumes – Robert Le Roux

I am exhibiting my two scratch built 3D printers built with the tiniest of budgets, all the frame components were cut by hand and the various electronics used were ordered from China. Both capable of print qualities that rival many kit 3D printers and a print volume larger than printers that cost several hundreds. I will also be exhibiting a robotic arm made from printer parts that may or may not be finished, as well as my Prize winning hand made Samurai Armour and other props. 

18 Jul 2019

Anyone 4 Science

Anyone 4 Science is an educational organisation providing fun hands-on science engineering and maths activities. We believe that it is important for progress into the future that everyone understands how things work. We promote “simple science” where we use regularly available household items to make sophisticated things. For example elastic bands make accurate weighing scales, wooden planks great lifting devices.

At Dublin Maker we are going to use 3 readily available items – a beaker, some table salt and some ice, to make a freezer. You can test it to see if it works by using it to turn your own ice cream mix into ice cream. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating!

18 Jul 2019

Wia – Build your own IoT Projects with the Dot One

At Wia, we’re all about helping people and businesses build smart, connected electronics. We understand the importance of being a maker and the value of learning, building, and exploring with technology. That’s why we want to let anyone and everyone start building their own IoT projects, even if they’ve never had any experience in this area before.

We designed the Dot One to be the starting point for anyone who wants to learn electronics, explore the world of engineering, and become a maker.

The Dot One with a Button Module

The Dot One is an Internet of Things Development Board that pairs with different plug and play modules like a temperature sensor, a button, or an infrared sensor to hear, feel, and sense the world around you and collect data.

The Dot One is preconfigured to the Wia platform so you can easily start building something fun and useful – no experience required! You can use our drag-and-drop blocks to simply put the instructions in place and the code is automatically generated for you.

To show off what you can build with the Dot One, we’ve put together a few cool projects that we’ll be letting makers create the code for and try-out. Here’s a sneak peek at some of them:

We’ve been working on the Official Dot One Car which is triggered by the press of an Internet-Connected button. The Dot One is encased in the body of the lego which is sitting on top of a modified toy car. In there we also have a 9V battery for power and a relay to turn the car’s motor on & off.

We’ve also been making an IoT Door. Powered by the Dot One and a servo module, the door opens and closes based on a custom trigger.

Can you guess what these other projects do?

Drop by the Wia Stand at Dublin Maker to find out if you’re right!

Visit our website you want to know more about the Dot One IoT Maker Board
Or you can order your own board & modules on the Wia Store
We can’t wait to see you all this Saturday!

17 Jul 2019

Team Maynooth / DCU

This team is a combined from people at Dublin City University and Maynooth University along with guest makers (Andrew!). We are showcasing and experimenting with computers, sound and music including highlighting earliest speech synthesis technologies versus current deep learning, artificial intelligence approaches to complex sound generation. We examine the mathematical underpinnings of rhythm and sound, demonstrate low level sound synthesis and describe how modern AI can auto-compose and provide assistance in the creative process.  We might also do some live hacking with our maker neighbours if they are up for it!

Further exploring the links between movement, sound and action, Andrew will be getting into the swing of things with some real time feedback applications. The team comprises Joe Timoney, Thomas Lépine, Senem Aktas, Ceren Kahraman, Tomas Ward, Andrew Fleury, Alexandre Juppet and Nicolas Knell. 

17 Jul 2019

Precious Plastic Dublin

Precious Plastic is an initiative that was started in the Netherlands in 2013 by Dave Hakkens, with the goal of empowering people to turn everyday plastic waste into valuable products. This has been achieved by making designs for various recycling machines available on an “open source” basis, alongside a supportive online community of makers. Today,  Precious Plastic groups have become established all over the world.

We all know about the scourge of waste plastic and the environmental damage caused, yet many people don’t know the full story of plastic recycling in Ireland, or what they can practically do about it. For example, which plastics can be (economically) recycled, which get dumped or incinerated and what resources are used to ship plastic waste to the point of recycling?

Precious Plastic Dublin is a volunteer collective working on practical solutions to plastic waste and pollution in Dublin. As part of the ‘Precious Plastic’ global movement, we aim to bring plastic recycling closer to the local community, enabling the public to transform their own plastic waste, while demonstrating the potential value of plastic waste.

Our aim is to establish a Precious Plastic workshop in Dublin and to make it accessible to the local community, to educate people regarding how plastics can be recycled and to facilitate and inspire them to make their own valuable products from recycled plastics.

Come and meet us as the Dublin Maker event on Saturday 20th July 2019 in Merrion Square, from 10am to 6pm, to learn more about what we’re doing and the exciting possibilities for plastic recycling in Dublin.

16 Jul 2019

Artisee Café by Rachana Agrawal

Artisee Cafe is a hub of unlimited creativity with anything and everything possible.  As a common practice, art & craft is perceived as either passion or profession. However, it is scientifically proven that creativity enhances one’s ability to learn and perform.  

I founded Artisee Cafe with a vision to cultivate creativity in a person. To achieve that, I organized various theme-based art & craft workshops in schools and organisations for all age groups. My workshops are based on a belief that creativity can be at its best even with simple everyday material and without any fancy stuff. My choice of theme for any workshop has been gradually changing from time to time and based on the need of the creator.

14 Jul 2019


It is said that living in a city and working full time can make being a maker difficult, impossible even, lack of space, lack of time or lack of resources can all limit your creativity and make Making unrealistic.

I respectfully disagree with that assertion, working full time in investments and living in a small apartment in Dublin City I produce a litany of props and elaborate costumes from my favourite video games in my spare bedroom! You don’t require a workshop, top of the line tools or all the hours in the day to create something spectacular, you simply need to tailor your Making to your project.

Starting out in Making from a young age building war gaming terrain and suits of wooden armour I lost touch with the craft in university. When attending Dublin Comic con last year, I was inspired by the incredible cosplays on display. So I decided to jump back into the maker community and it fundamentally changed my life. I began to build a Steampunk Plague Doctor for an upcoming convention and developed a passion for adding ever greater amounts of detail to a build. I learned how to work with foam as well as leather working, sewing and pattern making.

Then once I had my plague doctor completed I needed more ! And as such I followed it up soon after with my second build an armoured Nuka Cola Sole Survivor from Fallout 4, where I taught myself 3D printing and how to work with thermoplastics, sewing and electronics.

My most recent build is a Spartan Ranger from the Metro 2033 series, featuring original soviet parts and programmable electronics.  This has been a long 6 month project but I have enjoyed every step of the process! Making over the past year has taught me so much and I continue to learn new and exciting things, my upcoming project, Project Magos, is teaching me robotics and mechanical drive trains.

My stall at Dublin Maker will show you how most props can be made out of everyday items, that upcycling can make massive projects manageable and that you can build massive characters on a realistic budget with limited tools.

Check out Crafty Nathan’s Creations https://www.instagram.com/craftynathanscreations/

12 Jul 2019

Revived Yarn – Makers for Charity

Did you know that there were 10,264 people homeless in the week of February 18th-24th 2019 across Ireland? Dublin area is severely affected by the issue, with more than 150 people sleeping rough and hundreds of families living in hotels, hubs, queuing for food and primary needs, with their children along, as reported by Focus Ireland.

Revived Yarn will showcase at Dublin Maker a selection of our handmade garments and a Yarn Art Exhibition about homelessness in Ireland. We will collect donations of handmade (knitted/crocheted/sewn) hats and scarves, which will be donated at the end of the day to the Inner City Helping Homeless, in support of their campaign #RaiseTheRoof and #HomesForAll. At 2pm there will be a free event to knit and crochet together quick items, such as mittens or chunky hats, so that we can add more to the donations for the ICHH!

The idea of Revived Yarn is born in 2017 to provide a sustainable way to warm people affected by homelessness and poverty while creating a tightly knitted community.

Our volunteers meet up in social events; here we relax, chat, knit, crochet and discuss about new ideas. The yarn leftovers that we receive as donations are packaged in kits containing a pattern with instructions to make a precious handmade garment, which can be picked up for free at these events.

Revived Yarn donate the finished items directly in Grafton Street, from October to April, in partnership with the group Homeless Street Cafè. Donations are delivered also to other charities, such as Inner City Helping Homeless and The Capuchin Centre.

Revived Yarn is a non-profit community, that operates exclusively through donations of materials and services and through the support of fellow communities and partners: Give Your Skills, The Constant Knitter, Third Space Cafè, SOUP Dublin, Homeless Street Cafè, Dublin Knit Collective, Dublin Drunken Knitwits, MACRO Community Resource Centre, Zero Waste Ireland, Dublin Volunteering Centre.

Revived Yarn was winning project at the social contest SOUP in November 2017 and is currently looking for volunteers.

If you want to be a crafter, donate or get more info, please get in touch at revivedyarn@gmail.com!