2018 was an exceptionally fun and busy year for Tam Makers, the community makerspace which Geo Monley and I co-founded a couple years ago!
We welcomed new teachers, including our first student teacher. We created an award-winning art float for social change with over a hundred volunteers. We started a teen maker club and other activities for high school students. Our community members amazed us with cool new projects.
Here are just a few highlights of what happened this year at Tam Makers, with photos and shout-outs to community members who made them happen. If you live in the Bay Area and would like to join the fun, sign up for our new classes and workshops for adults and teens in 2019.
We’d like to thank all of our community members who made Tam Makers so special this past year! Your energy keeps our shop alive with activity and it brings us great joy to work and play with all of you. Happy New Year!
January 2018 – New Teachers and Classes
Several of our community makers took on new roles as regular instructors at Tam Makers. Furniture maker Pierina Dell’Avo led our You Can Build It workshops. Creative director Chris Krueger taught CNC Router classes at Tam Makers and made many improvements to our makerspace this year.
February 2018 – Community Table and Benches
A group of volunteers organized by Julia Dorn built this picnic table and benches, and set them up by Tam High School’s music building. This was just one of the community projects that took place at Tam Makers this year. See photos of our latest projects in our Tam Makers album.
March 2018 – Creating an Art Float for Social Change
In spring 2018, we created an Art Float for Social Change, to inspire people to participate in democracy. This community art project was built by a team of over a hundred volunteers, led by Fabrice Florin and Geo Monley at Tam Makers. We are grateful to them all — and to Tam High School for hosting this project and presenting it at the student center on Earth Day. To see how we created this float, view our project slides and photo album, as well as this Independent Journal article.
April 2018 – New Shop Tools
This spring, the Tam shop acquired new equipment for machining metal and plastic. Students used these Sherline milling machines and lathes to make a variety of parts, such as marble mazes and these handmade joints for our Art Float. See more photos in our Tam Makers album.
May 2018 – Art Float at Memorial Day Parade
The Art Float for Social Change made its debut at the Memorial Day Parade in Mill Valley. Our unique parade float featured Mother Earth and a circle of waving hands, spinning on a carousel of art pulled by a giant feathered serpent. Dozens of volunteers marched with us and our partners at Good Earth, MVCAN, Pataphysical Studios and the Youth Poster Contest. We received the Best Community Spirit Award for this collective art project, which invited people to vote and create a better world! To see the Art Float in action, watch this video and event photos.
June 2018 – New Student Projects
Tam High students created a variety of cool projects this year at Tam Makers, under the guidance of Geo Monley. Rebecca designed a beautiful bowl on Adobe Illustrator and cut it out on the laser cutter. Will designed and built this practical desk out of incense cedar and epoxy resin. To learn how to create projects like these, sign up for one of our classes for adults and teens.
July 2018 – Art Float on Fourth of July
People loved our Art Float at the Fourth of July Parade! We strolled down the streets of Larkspur and Corte Madera, showing off our giant earth and dragon of change to inspire thousands of spectators. Tam High student Emma Spike and the Freedom Singers performed classic protest songs on our float podium. Folks sang along, cheered us and responded to our call to “vote, speak up — and be the change!” See more parade pictures in this Art Float media page and in this photo album.
August 2018 – Planning Our Next Steps
To plan our next steps for Tam Makers, our core team held a retrospective this summer, with Chris Krueger, Fabrice Florin, Geo Monley and Meryl Rubinstein (shown from left to right on the photo above). They are holding the First Prize trophy we won for our Art Float at this year’s Fourth of July Parade in Corte Madera.
September 2018 – Our First Student Teacher
Tam High student Niles Wertz became our first teenage instructor this fall, with his ‘Introduction to Wood Turning’ class. An experienced wood turner, he showed adults how to make objects such as wooden pens, mallets, candlesticks, spinning tops, and bowls. He sells his own creations at local arts and craft shows, such as the Mill Valley Fall Arts show, where the photo above was taken.
October 2018 – Teen Maker Club
This fall, we started the Teen Maker Club, a new weekly afternoon workshop for students ages 12 – 17. As a result, many young makers have started to use the shop to create their own projects after school. They get to learn laser cutting, 3D printing, electronics, robotics, woodworking and more in activities supervised by Tam Makers director Geo Monley.
November 2018 – Automata Workshop
Last November, we led a fun workshop on how to create automata — or kinetic sculptures. Geo Monley hosted a group of North Bay Maker Educators, who learned how to make their automata move round-and-round, side-to-side or up-and-down. They designed their own animatronics, such as this animated cat, using bamboo sticks attached to foam cams, sliding through 3D-printed guides in their wooden boxes. We hope Marin students will enjoy creating their own automata as much as their teachers did! See also our short video, photos and lesson plan.
December 2018 – Meet our Community
Meet some of the folks who make our Tam Makers community so special! The week before Christmas, a few of the regulars joined open shop sessions to build projects that made us happy. For us, the best holiday gift of all was the act of creation, in the company of like minds.
We’re a community of makers and artists who like to build things together and learn from each other. To meet some of our makers, visit our community page. To learn about our activities, visit our classes page. And to stay in touch, sign up for our newsletter.
Happy New Year from all of us at Tam Makers!
This page was created by Fabrice Florin and originally published here on the Tam Makers site.