Trashmagination is located in Reston, Virginia and the most exciting maker event each spring is the Nova Mini Maker Faire.
This year, I decided to take a break and experience as an attendee. It takes weeks of preparation for such an event, and my business Press the Go Button was very busy this spring, so I’m glad I made this decision. I was surprised when a stranger saw me walking through the faire and said, “Where is Trashmagination? My daughter and I have been looking all over for you!” which was very sweet.
Here are my favorite items at this year’s faire:
Evolution Glass – Artist Bill Hess has spent 20 years perfecting a way to make glass countertops from recycled glass. The resulting swirls embedded in glass are incredibly beautiful. His company is in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Black Rabbit Rugs by Michael J. Heilman – So you know I love hooking rugs, part of my Nova Scotian heritage. I was astonished to see how Michael rapidly hooks rugs using a tool called a shuttle hook. He turns a crank and the tool punches loops through the fabric at an even pace. He could make a rug in a tenth of the time it takes me to hook one from strips of wool. And it was fun to watch him moving the tool rapidly across the surface. Michael teaches rug hooking at the Art League School in Alexandria.
Printed Wood Block Quiltlets by Artistic Artifacts – A shop in Alexandria had a very creative wood block activity that was attracting a crowd. The ink dried in minutes. I emailed the shop after to get the type of ink they were using. They wrote:
“PROFab Textile Paints, which are available in Opaque, Transparent and Pearlescent – They are applied in such a thin layer to the block with a sponge, they dry very quickly, usually just in minutes. In addition to their permanence on fabric when heat set, the consistency of these paints make them ideal for block printing–they have an almost pudding-like thickness. Any craft acrylic will work for printing, but some tend to be waterier than others, and that consistency can affect applying it to the block for a crisp print. We would certainly encourage you to experiment!”
This is definitely a project I want to try soon! And I enjoyed the rough stitching they added to give the pieces even more character.
Playing Card Houses by Andy Rudin – This was a true find of Trashmagination awesomeness! This local hobbyist built small houses from balsa wood (clementine boxes) and then covered them with playing card shingles. What a great project!
Soft Circuits Petting Zoo by Sally Byers, the Threadwitch – While not made from recycled materials, I did admire the craftsmanship and creativity of the clothing here.
You can’t tell in the photo, but the lights were turning on and off, twinkling. I believe these are controlled through a basic circuit board, programmed sometimes to turn on and off in a pattern.
Chenille Quilting Demonstration – I would like to make a quilt using this technique, which involves sewing in straight lines over many layers of soft fabric (like a flannel) and then cutting between those lines. After washing the quilt, the layers fluff up and make something that feels like chenille. So soft!
And of course, I visited Asma Chaudhary, who I met at my first Nova Maker Faire, and who I love to follow on social media for a daily pick-me-up. Once again, she was inspiring people with her projects that involve wrapping items in colorful yarn. Her smile can light up a whole Maker Faire.
It was a great Maker Faire. Congrats to Nova Labs and its partners for making another incredible event!