Josephine Lee - "Challenging yourself to stand outside your comfort zone"

Greetings, my name is Josephine Lee. I primarily create installation, sculpture, printed matter, and performance. My conceptual practice is informed by my research interest in traditional material craft processes in relation to historical North American migration patterns of immigrant communities and the role of the place and the home. Through my work, I like to play with improbable gestures (i.e., breaking a wall with sound, making a leaf fall from thin air, etc) in order to reveal moments of violence, resistance, trauma, and potential. My aim is to traverse the width of a particular moment and place in time as an antecedent to a deeper examination of the inadequacy of representation, the complications of overlapping racial histories, and the complexity of unfolding spaces of unknowing and unlearning.  

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The month of March flew by in a hurry, and between finishing up my degree at UBC, interviewing for master’s programs, working, and spending time familiarizing myself with the spaces and tools of Makerlabs, I feel as though there is still so much to be worked on before I can feel that I am fully flexing the potentials of this residency. I think that is how it goes for most things; the first few weeks of learning something new or being in a different place is mostly about challenging yourself to stand outside your comfort zone and to grow.

  Test carving basswood

Test carving basswood

This month has certainly been an education; from the workshops on using the Laser cutter, CNC Router, Woodshop, and Metal lab, to the impromptu discussions with members about tools and techniques, to the calm weekend mornings punctuated by the whirring of saw blades and weaving looms, Makerlabs seems to be in perpetual motion, which in a way influences my own body into action and inspiration.

  Prototype of a leaf shooter, installation

Prototype of a leaf shooter, installation

Through the coming month of April, I will write about works that I am currently fixed on. Or perhaps more broadly, the thoughts have been percolating in my noodle in relation to the works I am creating. A number of these projects will still require a few more workshops (i.e., 3D printing, Woodshop 102 and Lathe, etc) before I feel that they are ready, so I am looking forward to seeing what is possible and what else might develop in the coming weeks.

  Prototype plaster cast for a sound installation

Prototype plaster cast for a sound installation

Tierney Milne - "A Dream Come True"

Hello! I'm Tierney Milne and I am an interdisciplinary artist here in Vancouver. I work full-time as a freelancer on a broad range of creative projects- anything from murals and fine art to animation and installations. The residency at Makerlabs is a complete dream come true for me as I've always wanted to build more ambitious projects but never felt like I could overcome my intimidation of the tools to go into Makerlabs solo. The idea of a program that builds-in support and walks women through everything they need to know and also gives you a space to work has been pretty life-changing for me, even in the course of a month.

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Not only does being surrounded by multi-disciplinary creatives give you a daily inspiration jolt, it's extra energizing to be surrounded by female makers with big dreams and even bigger motivation to realize them. To hear their stories and passions, and be able to talk about mine with them and feel supported is a really special thing (especially after working in hermit-mode at home for so long).

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My main focus in the remaining time of the Residency learning to feel comfortable using the CNC and laser cutter, and use those skills to create larger installations and props for some self-initiated photo projects. So far, I have been cutting, prepping, and assembling multiple wood- and mirror-based extruded art pieces to get some confidence in the skills, but I can't wait to push it further :).

Welcome To Our Blog

Hi All , 

My name is Hanna Benihoud and I am a maker. As a community manager at MakerLabs I noticed a lack of women in our makerspace, and I wanted to do something about it. First, we hosted a Women’s Maker Meetup on January, 31st 2018. Over sixty-five women turned up to the inaugural event, and it was amazing to feel the energy in the room! There was a lot of passion for making, and we began to get a little more understanding of what was holding women back. 

Three things stood out: 

Number 1: You can’t be what you can’t see.

Walking into workshops and not seeing women around make these spaces intimidating. There is a feeling of all eyes being on you, and that's a lot of pressure when just want to get on with your work. Two things on this point: first, the only way to change that is by continuing to enter these spaces until women become the norm. The second point is that men want women in these spaces too! Every male member within MakerLabs has been supportive and encouraging in our mission. There is enough testosterone in a woodshop already! 

Number 2: The fear of getting it wrong. 

Women seem less confident in just having a go. This is something I can really sympathize with. We already have to be better to get the same respect as men, so the idea of walking into a male space and doing something badly is not an easy task. I get it. But I’ll let you into a secret…. SO MANY MEN HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE DOING! They just look like they do because it’s a man, holding a saw, he must know what he's doing, right? Wrong! Go into workshops, make mistakes, produce rubbish work, cut stuff up for no reason! It’s all part of the learning and you will get better. Everyone is figuring it out. 

Number 3: You have so many ideas you don’t know where to start. 

In a place like MakerLabs, the possibilities are endless and that can be overwhelming. My advice would be to pick one gateway project and make yourself accountable. Pick something that is achievable & give yourself a timeline so you actually do it. Perhaps you could make someone a birthday present, or tell the internet your making plans. I want to learn how to use the CNC router and I have approximately 1652 ideas of how to use it. So I have decided to make a sign for the residency program (achievable). I will have it made by the next meet up April 4th (timeline). And I've told you what I’m doing, so now I have to do it (accountable).

To help with the issues above, we've started a residency specifically for women, along with this blog which is dedicated to women who make. Every month, our residents from the Tools For Women residency will contribute to this blog, and our hope is that it will inspire women to make more.

I'm proud to introduce our first four fantastic women: Tierney, Niki, Josephine, and Roxanne. 

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Join us on our next meet up on April 4th, 2018 and see what our residents have been up to. We will also be joined by the amazing Kate Duncan. More information on the event can be found here.