Archive for ‘DIY’

March 4, 2012

3D Printer Build – Part 1

by hstrykdiy

Just a little update from MakeHaven – The 3D Printer build is underway. In one day they got pretty far with the build, you can read the full post here by MakeHaven member John Scrudato. They have almost finished frame of the printer (a Reprap Prusa Mendel) and all 3 axes are working great. Next step is to build the extruder and attach the motors. As John writes, “Then we can connect a PC and start printing some plastic!”

February 29, 2012

MakeHaven – A New Maker Space in New Haven

by hstrykdiy

I’m excited to announce that New Haven, CT has its own maker space and I am an official member! We’re called MakeHaven and we’re just starting out, so we’re in the process of getting furniture, growing our inventory and planning our mission and goals for the year. This Saturday we will be meeting to start making a 3D printer. (I will probably be spending my time documenting the process and working on some sewing.) So far, a majority of the members are into computing, coding and circuit bending. I plan on rounding out the space with my various crafting skills. We had a mini introduction to soldering this Tuesday and I did my first ever soldering. (I think, when it comes to burning hot object near my hands, I will stick to my trusty hot glue gun.) It’s been very exciting to be a part of this space from the very start. We were discussing all the possibilities for projects we could work on together. I was happy to find that not only are they up for some crafting, but home brewing, cooking (the space has an old kitchen!) and everything and anything to do with DIY. We have a great group of members who are passionate about DIY and I feel so lucky to continue on where our class left off and have a space so close to home! I hope to post our progress here on the DIYCultures blog. Classmates, if you are looking for an escape from the big city and looking to craft and solder, just let me know!

February 29, 2012

DIY Times

by hstrykdiy


“The DIY Times is great zine series all about people with a DIY attitude to life, whether that’s printing t-shirts, making tables or running a music festival. They have about 20 pages in each zine with a screen printed cover. DIY Times is by NO GUTS NO GLORY is a community based collective of creative people from around the UK, established in November 2009 by Nathan Blaker based in Exeter UK.”

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January 26, 2012

Art Hack Day

by Nick Brewer

This seems like a really fun event for makers and artists alike in the NYC area. They are also promoting participation by putting the hacks online during the event.

Art Hack Day is an event dedicated to cracking open the process of art-making, with special reverence toward open-source technologies. Between January 26 – January 28, artists and collaborators will inhabit 319 Scholes to create and explore the participatory nature of technology, bringing together hackers whose medium is art and artists whose medium is technology. The event will be streamed to online audiences, who will be encouraged to participate through various platforms to be listed soon on the website. Visitors are invited to engage and interact with the projects online throughout the hack, as well as join the teams on Saturday night for a closing exhibition, live performances, and a massive party.

– Hacking begins Thurs Jan 26, 7pm –
– Live-streaming tour of the event Friday Jan 27 3pm –
– Exhibition open to the public Sat Jan 28 7pm –
– Live performances & party open to the public Sat Jan 28 9pm –
– @319 Scholes St, Brooklyn (3 blocks off Montrose stop on the L) –

January 23, 2012

DIY Days

by Nick Brewer

Saturday, March 03, 2012 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

DIY Days is a traveling incubator of creative entrepreneurs. The daylongevent consists of talks, workshops, intimate chats, and networking focusedon new models of funding, storytelling, distribution, and discovery.DIY Days have been held in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, New York,and Philadelphia. In 2011, it went global, with events in Barcelona, London,Singapore, Seoul, and Hong Kong.

For more information visit

January 23, 2012

WorkBook Project

by Nick Brewer

The WorkBook Project (WBP) is for those who want to be creative in the digital age. The WBP, through its website, R&D projects such as festival From Here to Awesome and roving conference DIY Days, provides insight into the process of funding, creating, distributing and sustaining as a creator of media (film, games, music, design, software).

December 18, 2011

No Beard? No Problem!

by rygielia



I’ve been noticing these beard hats here and there on the internet and a few sites have begun selling them… but I figure the only thing cooler than having one of these would be making it on your own and saving some cash in the process. After a bit of digging, I’ve found some instructions on how to crochet one of these bad boys.

Check it out here:

December 18, 2011

‘The new domesticity: Fun, empowering or a step back for American women?’

by hstrykdiy

The new domesticity: Fun, empowering or a step back for American women?

An interesting article from the Washington Post about surge in interest in DIY and crafting.

At one level, this stuff is just plain fun. “Sometimes a can of jam is just a can of jam,” as Freud (never) said. Our tech-saturated generation craves creative hands-on activities, and nostalgic hobbies such as canning, knitting and baking fit the bill. We’ve realized that just because something was historically devalued as “women’s work,” that doesn’t mean we have to shun it to be taken seriously in the world.

December 8, 2011

Buy Nothing Christmas Alternatives

by hstrykdiy

For the first issue of ‘Counter Craft’ I will be including a page of alternative gift ideas. What are some of your favorite alternative gift ideas? They can include buying local, craft ideas, anything you can come up with!
Post here or at the ‘counter craft’ blog.
ALSO I am accepting ideas for craftivist projects in solidarity with the Occupy movement!

Buy Nothing

a page from Crafti-ZINE Edition 01 made by The Wellington Craftivism Collective

December 2, 2011

Apartment Gardening

by stephaniecorleto

While the system of hydropnic apartment gardening made from discarded plastic bottles is amazing (and something I am intend on trying!), what stuck with me was how she described our dependence on systems. This drive for autonomy and self reliance sparks all DIY initiatives:

I like many of you am one of the two billion people on earth who live in cities. And there are days when I feel how much I rely on other people for pretty much everything in my life, and some days that can even be a little scary.

-Britta Riley

But autonom and self-reliance do not mean alone. With the “R&D-I-Y”  – research and development your self. DIY does not have to be singular, as our class has been throwing around it is ‘Do-It-Together.”

November 26, 2011

flood hacks

by noah

Thai Flood Hacks is a tumblr dedicated to the documentation of social creativity following 2011’s monsoon season in Thailand and the resulting floods [wiki]. Additionally, the site catalogues creative flood adaptations in other cities as well. Within this image archive are snorkeling motorcycles, plenty of tall “freak” bikes, animal life vests and several boats which all have unique methods for steering or “motor power”. Tall bikes and boats may not seem like a spectacular feat when combating a flooded locale, but the social involvement in these materials is represented by how handmade these solutions are. Boats are made from discarded tires, mattresses, pieces of wood, or recyclables, caravans are built out of bikes to carry numerous people on one body-powered vehicle, and in the wake of disaster this blog dedicates its energy to depicting this situation as a creative dreamland [if it weren’t previously a home]. Definitely worth spending a few minutes browsing through when you have a chance… and I thought my basement in Bushwick had some sweet tricks.

November 18, 2011

Occupy London takes over UBS abandoned building

by hstrykdiy

I thought this action was a beautiful way to reclaim an abandoned space – especially one owned by a financial giant. I felt this action bridged together the Occupy movement with ideas we have talked about in class – one that immediately comes to mind is Trade School. This action (if it’s allowed to continue) could potentially help to invalidate arguments against the movement (i.e, they aren’t being productive, they are “lazy”).

via Telegraph UK

The building they have taken over at Crown Place belongs to, but is not occupied by, UBS and no business transactions take place there.

The activists plan to set up a “bank of ideas” there tomorrow and open the disused offices and meeting rooms to “those who have lost their nurseries, community centres and youth clubs due to savage Government spending cuts”.

A programme of events has been drawn up, including talks from Palestinian activists and comedy by Josie Long, they said.

…Occupy London supporter Jack Holburn said: “While over 9,000 families were kicked out of their homes in the last three months for failing to keep up mortgage payments – mostly due to the recession caused by the banks – UBS and other financial giants are sitting on massive abandoned properties.

“As banks repossess families’ homes, empty bank property needs to be repossessed by the public.

“Yesterday we learned that the Government has failed to create public value out of banking failure. We can do better. We hope this is the first in a wave of ‘public repossessions’ of property belonging to the companies that crashed the global economy.”

…Activist Sarah Layler said: “The bank of ideas will host a full events programme where people will be able to trade in creativity rather than cash.

“We will also make space available for those that have lost their nurseries, community centres and youth clubs to savage Government spending cuts.”

November 15, 2011

dinner & a show

by noah

Wednesday night I’m hosting a FMLY dinner & a show in Bushwick and thought it’d be so nice to extend the invitation to this blog and the class. Dinner & a Show is a series my friends and I began in Los Angeles over the summer, and it has since extended into Brooklyn, Eau Claire (Wisconsin), and hopefully beginning real soon in Philly and Boston. The driving theme is to allow aural interaction to merge with the most pleasant of senses, and develop community outside of the codified space of venues whether they be corporate sponsored or an active diy loft space. These dinners are not meant to happen solely for the sake of pleasure, but to provide a means of intimate exchange [and a cushion for gas funds] for our friends that are on tour. Some folks who have joined us along the way have been Foxes in Fiction (Toronto), Candy Claws (Colorado), Yohuna (Wisconsin), Cloud Nothings (Ohio), and so many more buds.

My friends Hear Hums are on tour, coming from Gainesville, Florida, and this seems like the most appropriate way to welcome them back to Brooklyn. Also playing is Emily Reo and the Spookfish who has been traveling through Asia & Europe for the last few years in addition to a stint as Grouper‘s choirboy for a project in Portland. Before all of the music begins I’ll also present my workshop, Writing Home, and collect the first of many rounds of postcards. Needless to say I can not wait. I’ll be cooking all vegetarian and vegan friendly foods, and invite you to bring anything that you would like as well! Here is the facebook event with all of the info you’ll need ❤

And here’s a video that my Florida FMLY put together in promotion of the new Hear Hums album… Mitch and Kenzie are honestly some of the most incredible sound-makers I've ever met and the sweetest friends one could ask for. I really hope that some of you can share this experience, it's going to be a truly unique night.

November 7, 2011

“DIY: Revolution 3.0–Beta”

by hstrykdiy

knitta tank
Writer Dennis Stevens recently wrote an article titled, “DIY: Revolution 3.0–Beta” found on American Crafts Magazine’s website. I found the article to be quite interesting, however despite Stevens’ disclaimer: “… I am not making a simple series of generalizations about generations, social movements and the experience of groups of people,” – he ends up doing exactly that. Now, to be fair – he was trying to cover a lot of territory in a relatively short article. Stevens is comparing studio craft with “diy craft”. His goal is to “place the DIY craft movement within the larger cultural context of generational movements, as these craft practitioners comprise groups whose values and aims need to be acknowledged and understood.” He had my attention through most of the article and then at the end he completely disappointed me:

…The effect is that regardless of their political ambitions, anytime someone needlepoints a pleasant-looking phrase gleefully embedded with curse words, knits a skull and crossbones or makes a cozy for a tank, these cultural statements demonstrate 1) the semiotic literacy of the generation, 2) the nostalgic irony through which this generation prefers to operate and 3) how cynicism sometimes finds its way to the surface of this creative work. Quite simply, this work makes its cultural statements indirectly and quietly. Rather than bringing revolution to the front door and kicking it open, as their parents may have hoped to do, these independent makers are using the disarming and unassuming aesthetic of diy craft’s remixed domestic creativity to make subversive statements about the world in which they live.

I have to say that in my personal opinion the acts of creating a needlepoint with curse words or knitting a skull and crossbones are completely different than making “a cozy for a tank”. The first two examples are quite passive acts and I can understand his claim that the “work makes its cultural statements indirectly and quietly”. The pink tank he is referring to is ‘Pink M.24 Chaffee‘, a piece by Danish artist Marianne Jorgensen.

via Jorgensen’s site:

The pink covering consists of more than a 4000 pink squares- 15 x 15 centimetres – knitted by volunteers from Denmark, the UK , USA and several other countries. People were invited through Cast Off Knitting Club, from friend to friend either by word of mouth or over the internet, and by a number of knitting groups made for this specific project, or other already existing knitting groups.

Although the piece was placed in front of the Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center in Copenhagen, and thus an arranged, commissioned piece, I still find this to be a louder act of protest than Stevens’ so neatly wraps up as “indirect and quiet”. I feel that craftivism and DIY craft can make their statements passively, but I also believe there are makers out there making statements through their craft that are “bringing revolution to the front door and kicking it open”. I also don’t believe it’s fair to either outlet to wrap indie craft up with craftivism. Just as with any act of art placement and intent is key. Is the piece meant for personal use? Is it a guerrilla act reclaiming a public space? Is it meant to address social unrest? Is it the act of one artist or a collective? If, as Stevens writes, “these craft practitioners comprise groups whose values and aims need to be acknowledged and understood” – then I think they deserve to be free of such generalizations.

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November 7, 2011

The Knife Maker

by Nick Brewer

I found this short film about Joel Bukiewicz (and New School alum) fascinating. He had stalled in his career and turned that frustration into a successful business and a passion for a craft.

Made By Hand

November 4, 2011

Craftivism Collective: Mini protest banners

by hstrykdiy

This project was designed by the Craftivism Collective in the UK.

First, an introduction to the Craftivism Collective:
Our manifesto is: “To expose the scandal of global poverty, and human rights injustices though the power of craft and public art. This will be done through provocative, non-violent creative actions.”

Berlin July 2009

The project is simple: “The concept is to make a small unthreatening protest banner on a global justice or poverty issue that you care about. Then you put it up (with cable ties) in a relevant public space.”

This project is a simple way to occupy public spaces and keep the public aware of the ongoing protests. As advertisements interrupt our lives, invade our space, these banners hang in juxtaposition to the corporate takeover of our landscape. I feel that this project is an alternative (but not a replacement) for those (like me) who can’t spend the majority of their time at the protests. The zip ties that hang these banners are a great touch too. The zip ties have become a symbol of the hundreds of arrests that have occurred since the protests began.

November 2, 2011

What’s DIY, really people

by Ariana Stolarz

Header, as you were presenting your project yesterday, I thought about this example from The Gap. I took the picture on 10/09/11 in a store in San Francisco.

I did some quick research and found this blog post. “The perfect photo for your holiday card is just a snapshot away. Visit your local babyGap or GapKids store to take part in a D.I.Y. holiday photo shoot. You can dress your little one up in Gap’s picture-perfect collection against a custom-made backdrop. Then head back over to Tiny Prints to showcase your photo in your favorite holiday card“.

I loved Noah’s DIT (Do-It-Together) approach. Can we think about any better acronyms for these types of corporate Do-It’s?
November 2, 2011

Poetry Bombing With Agustina Woodgate

by hstrykdiy

This video was posted in April and I recently came across it again during my research. Agustina Woodgate is an Argentinian-born artist now residing in Miami, FL. For the O, Miami poetry festival Woodgate “poetry bombed” thrift stores by sewing poems into the clothes. I found this to be a lighter take on shop dropping. Both the “traditional” form of shop dropping and Woodgate’s poetry bombing create an unexpected moment for the finder. However, instead of commenting on capitalism and/or production Woodgate’s mission is to displace poetry and create an unexpected and happy moment for the finder.

October 31, 2011

Knit Wall Street

by Edmund Kasubinski

I saw a short little blurb in today’s Metro (one of the trashier free newspapers) about a woman who is knitting clothing for the protesters at Wall Street.  Knitting being a point of interest of the class, I figured I’d post a little about Marsha Spencer, known more simply as Marsha the Knitter.


Here is an “ireport” from

And there’s an interesting article on the website,, where the terms “craftivism” and “yarn bombing” are used:

Marsha the Knitter is reportedly knittin’ stuff for the cold occupiers, which is some good old homespun DIY engagement.  Perhaps if all were to knit, then the world would be a more comfortable place.


October 31, 2011

Johnny Cash Does DIY

by Edmund Kasubinski
Hear Johnny Cash sing a DIY anthem.  DIY car-makin’.