Maketopolis "Out of the workshop and into the world" Wed, 27 May 2015 20:35:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Maker Profile: Tinker Cosplay Sat, 02 May 2015 03:02:35 +0000 Maketopolis is out of the workshop and into the world tomorrow, May 2nd. One of the many attractions this year is the costume makers and cosplayers who will dress up for the love of bringing their fictional heroes from television and comic to life for others to enjoy. Gilbert and Gabriel Espino are brothers who share the love of creating costumes based on their favorite pop culture characters. Their creations have been winning prizes at local competitions for years now.

You may have seen them strutting their creations at the 2014 Tucson ComicCon, where they won first and second place in advanced competitions. Or perhaps you saw them at the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention at Old Tucson Studios where their Frankenstein’s Monster costume won second place. They’ve also sat on panels at Tucson ComicCon and the first annual TAPE convention where they discussed their techniques for costume and prop creation. The two enjoy costume design so much they’ve even started their own group, Tinker Cosplay.

“I choose the name tinker because we tinker with different techniques and materials,” says Gilbert.

For videos of the Espino Brothers’ various costumes, check out their YouTube channel.

Expect to see the brothers touring around in full cosplay mode when Maketopolis is out of the workshop and into the world on May 2.

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Maker Profile: Tucson Games and Gadgets Wed, 29 Apr 2015 02:24:16 +0000 Maketopolis 2015 and KMKR Radio Benefit is right around the corner. Another presenter this year is Tucson Games and Gadgets, which sells board games, card games, dice game miniatures and pop culture merchandise at 2900 East Broadway Blvd.

TG&G’s Mark Kadow says his biggest influences are the role-playing games companies Fantasy Flight Games and Alderac Entertainment Group. His hope at Maketopolis: “making fun become the norm!”.

In the near future, Kadow hopes to expand Tucson Games and Gadgets to more stores across town.

Maketopolis is out of the workshop and into the world on Saturday, May 2nd.

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Musician Profile: John White Thu, 23 Apr 2015 04:52:31 +0000 John White will bring his guitar and singing skills to this year’s Maketopolis.

In addition to the guitar, John also plays the banjo. He’s played in Boston and Chicago and closer to home at Phoenix and 4th Ave. He counts among his influences old time music, swing and blues.

White is also a music teacher. He has taught privately on and off since 1992. At Maketopolis he hopes to have fun, meet people and maybe grab a paying gig. So if you like John’s music, ask him for his business card. He may also bring his drum set and high hit for kids to play on as part of an impromptu duet.

White is currently working on finishing up two recordings: one of older songs (for which the copyrights have thankfully lapsed) and an album of original music.

You can listen to John White’s music on MySpace, SoundCloud and YouTube.

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Maker Profile: Jocelynne Weathers & Lady-in-Waiting Fashions Tue, 21 Apr 2015 23:46:43 +0000 The Victorian era is a major influence on the steampunk style; a subgenre of science fiction that incorporates the aesthetics of nineteenth century steam engine technology. The tophats, monocles and walking canes all bring to mind that time of British prosperity and romanticist influence. But probably no other fashion piece recalls the age of Queen Victoria’s reign better than the corset: that familiar women’s garment worn to create a pleasing hourglass figure.

The corset has been a staple of fashion for centuries and its influence continues today in steampunk. During Maketopolis on May 2nd, Jocelynne Weathers of Lady-In-Waiting Fashions and the Tucson Steampunk Society will construct a Victorian corset live from start to finish while answering questions about costume making, corsetry and the steampunk style.

Jocelynne’s work had been displayed at The Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention, TusCon Science Fiction Convention, Gaslight Gathering, The Steampunk Symposium on the Queen Mary, Aetherfest, and The Phoenix Comicon. She also helped build all of the costumes for Madam Askew.

“As a designer, I’m personally influenced by Charles Worth, a nineteenth century dress designer, nineteenth century militaria and costuming from the golden age of Hollywood,” Weathers says.

Jocelynne’s hopes for Maketopolis are two-fold. She wants to inspire others to learn not only the art of sewing but also to dive into costume making and cosplay. She also wants to dispel the urban legends and mystery surrounding corsetry and costume making. Jocelynne adds, “I hope that I can make costume making more accessible to newcomers.”

You can see more of Jocelynne’s work on the Lady-In-Waiting Fashions Facebook page.

Maketopolis is out of the workshop and into the world on May 2.

I hope that I can make costume making more accessible to newcomers.

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Maker Profile: David Forbes & Cathode Corner Mon, 20 Apr 2015 00:41:05 +0000 Local teacher and maker David Forbes will present his varied gadgets at Maketopolis on May 2nd. David displays his creations and hack tutorials on his website, Cathode Corner.

David's "Loud Bike"

David’s “Loud Bike”.

Among Forbes’s builds are his notorious Loud Bike, which you may have heard if you’ve been anywhere near downtown in the past few years. It’s a leopard-print bicycle with a 300W sound system integrated to the back. This bike has traveled all over the place, even making it to Burning Man on occasion.

The Nixie Watch by David Forbes.

The Nixie Watch by David Forbes.

You can also expect David to showcase his ultra-geeky Nixie Watch, a wristwatch that sports a two digit display using the classic retro display technology known as the “Nixie tube“.

The device even caught the attention of Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak:

“I would have loved to have invented that.”

David says that he enjoys putting two words together and then building the resulting thing. He’s influenced by the culture found at Burning Man (David is a regular Burner) and retro electronics.

David has shown off the creations of Cathode Corner at the Maker Faires in Detroit and the Bay Area. Right now he has many other projects in the works like an LCD video dress and his Etch-a-Sketch wristwatch.

You can see more of David’s builds, hacks and hair-brained randomness at his website,

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Musician Profile: Doctor Sleep Sat, 18 Apr 2015 02:20:43 +0000

I’m really excited to play in front of a diverse audience and for people who are interested in DIY.  When I started Doctor Sleep one of my goals was to use equipment that is inexpensive and accessible.  My entire setup costs less than a laptop.

Music is a major component of Maketopolis 2015. And music made by unconventional, hacked-together means is a perfect fit for a maker fair.

Millennial makers may be familiar with circuit bending or nerdcore music. For those of you who aren’t, circuit benders alter the internal electronics of musical and sound producing children’s toys to produce new, wild sounds for use in making music. Nerdcore is an interesting subgenre that takes nerdy themes (often retro 80s and 90s video games) and lyrics that speak to geek culture and combine them with pop or rap music.

The musical project known as Doctor Sleep is a welcome addition to Maketopolis. Musician Max Gorbman uses custom hardware he built himself to make digital electronica. He sets lyrics to the bleeps and bloops of classic retro gaming consoles to connect with the audience.

“When I started Doctor Sleep one of my goals was to use equipment that is inexpensive and accessible.  My entire setup costs less than a laptop,” Gorbman explains. “I think that electronic music can be difficult for marginalized people to get into because of the expense involved in electronic instruments, software, etc. And building your own gear is a way to get around that.  There are increasingly more ways to do this and I hope to show that it is possible to make electronic music without a laptop or expensive hardware.”

Max utilizes DIY synthesizers and a MIDI-to-Game Boy interface he built himself to make vocal-oriented pop music that is friendly to all ages.

Gorbman has played shows mostly in the Pacific Northeast where he is from. He also performed at The Shout Back! Festival, Fierce Fest and Queer Rock Camp,  but has also rocked audiences locally at Maker House and Boxing Gym.

This Summer, Gorbman plans to record new material for a full length album which will be released this Fall.

Look for Doctor Sleep to perform live at Maketopolis 2015 with a 25 minute set.

Find out more about Doctor Sleep and listen to or download some tracks on his Bandcamp page.

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Maker Profile: Southern Arizona Model Engineers Fri, 17 Apr 2015 03:03:31 +0000 One of the many clubs appearing at 2015’s Maketopolis is the Southern Arizona Model Engineers (SAME), a group of about 70 members with a common fascination with technology from modern day astronomy to steam engines of yesteryear. Their interests span a large range from stonework and steam boats to Erector set restoration and watch making. SAME member William May says, “No matter what the area of technology, one or more of our members probably have an interest in it.”

The club just celebrated its 25 anniversary in 2014. You may have seen them on display at the Tubac Antique Car Show or during the Engineers Week at the University of Arizona.

“Our hope is to influence others to build projects that they are really interested in, and expand the skill-sets of our members, into doing things they never thought they could do before,” May says.

He also takes note of a very common theme in the maker community: that “it is possible to do an amazing number of things that are generally considered difficult or impossible for the individual to accomplish.” Indeed. Mays adds, “Our influences are the brilliant and creative engineering minds that have come before us, and left examples of their skills all over the world. ”

May’s group will have an expansive showing at Maketopolis 2015 with displays including jewelry making, steam and gas engines, mold making, foundry work, handmade instruments and more. Expect to see a model steam locomotive as well!

Catch the Southern Arizona Model Engineers and many other inspiring shows at Maketopolis 2015 starting at noon on May 2nd.

It is possible to do an amazing number of things that are generally considered difficult or impossible for the individual to accomplish.

Check out the gallery below to get an idea of what you will find at the Southern Arizona Model Engineers’s exhibit:
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Concert Tickets on sale NOW! Wed, 15 Apr 2015 21:59:40 +0000 You can now purchase your ticket for the KMKR Radio Benefit, taking place right after Maketopolis, online right now! Just click the “Radio Fundraiser” button on the right to purchase or click here.

Music will be a part of the entire Maketopolis fair, but start at 6pm the transition from fair to full-on concert blowout begins. The music and dance really kicks in at 7pm with music running till midnight!

Our roster of local bands is continuing to grow, so check back often.

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Maketopolis is Back in 2015 Fri, 27 Mar 2015 04:50:55 +0000 MAKETOPOLIS-KMKR_logoMaketopolis is coming back! Tucson’s fair for makers will return for the 2nd Annual Maketopolis on May 2, 2015. The fair will take place at Xerocraft Hackerspace and the Franklin Dock.

In addition to the maker fair, there will be a benefit fundraiser for the construction of KMKR-FM, K-Maker Radio! You see, Xerocraft was recently awarded a permit from the FCC to construct a Low-Power FM radio station.

Stay tuned to for more updates coming soon!

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Greetings from the Gentleman Robot Sun, 29 Sep 2013 08:14:32 +0000 The Gentleman Robot sends his kind regards!

The Gentleman is the creation of Sabrina and John Floyd, who, along with Mark Weller and Paul Martell, are the owners of the Steampunk Artisan group, The Foundry.

Members of the Foundry specialize in collaborative projects as well as creating their own character driven props and costumes.  When they aren’t creating new Steampunk builds in their home workshops, Foundry members share their knowledge and skills with the Steampunk community across Arizona.

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