Members of Milwaukee Makerspace, led by artist Kathy Cannistra, were bummed that they could not take their installation to Burning Man this year due to the event being canceled (like all other large-scale events this year) but they thought they could still put it on display while also helping draw some attention to Hales Corners’ restaurant Clifford’s Supper Club, which is owned by Kathy’s father.
A team of ten makers, friends, and family members helped build “Atomic Forest”. Between painting, sanding, soldering wires and custom-fabricating the metal components, the team estimates they spent 2,600 hours on the project. The sculptures debuted at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin in fall of 2019. After the exhibit closed, the giant flowers went into storage, and with Burning Man canceled, had nowhere to go, so Kathy thought that sharing the art with the community by putting them up at Clifford’s Supper Club would be a great way to provide an outdoor seating area allowing patrons to eat outside or simply enjoy the artwork.
The “stalk” of each flower rises from the center of a large table that also covers the underlying support structure. The “petals” are LED lights encased by white tubing looped back on itself. Each flower can run different colors and patterns, and grow dimmer as the evening winds down. Barriers separate the “garden” from the parking lot.
Within days of the flowers going up, the Hales Corners Village Trustees held an emergency vote by phone to have the installation removed. With so many restaurants struggling to survive, Kathy hoped that her art could offer a solution and some solace to the neighborhood and those looking to eat outdoors, but it looks like the city is not on-board with a temporary art exhibit meant to help a local restaurant that has served the community for over 60 years.
If you’re as upset about the Village Trustees decision as we are, please express your support for keeping the temporary installation up for the summer. Visit Support LED Artwork at Cliffords on Facebook and leave a comment.
Julie and Carl of Scoops Ice Cream & Candies of Kenosha, approached new Makerspace member, Brandon Minga, with their project. They were given recommendations from other projects he’s done in the are including Mike’s Chicken & Donuts and the Modern Apothecary. Scoops was looking to enhance and draw more attention to their new location with a large exterior sign. Going through the concept and design process Minga quickly decided that the sign design was also going to become their new logo. Once the final design was rendered he quickly learned how to CNC a template to hand plasma trace the design out of sheet metal. The middle of the sign was also hand cut, roll bent and broke to match the bubbly ice cream cone shape. With a little help from friends a the Makerspace, he ground down welds and drilled 44 holes for the light bulbs. After all the holes were drilled Minga fit the sign with sockets, wired up the sockets and tested the electrical. Working with Prodigy Sign in Kenosha he also coordinated the hanging of the sign.
Oh Yeah! We’re doing it again! Join us on the evening of Friday, June 2nd, 2017 for Bay View Gallery Night! We’ll be open from 5pm to 10pm and have plenty of things our members have made to show you, and if you’ve never been here before, stop by and take a tour and find out what we’re all about!
For the last few months Kayla has been working on casting a pile of ingots for Maker Faire Milwaukee. These ingots are made from scrap metal donated to the Milwaukee Makerspace by its members. Everything from Kayla’s personal favorite, hard drive casings, to parts of tools and engines. Its really cool to see her take trash and turn it into treasure in the form of aluminum bars.
Be sure to watch for Kayla at Maker Faire Milwaukee pouring hot metal and helping people make stuff September 24th-25th at Wisconsin State Faire Park.
Over the last few weeks the Maker Faire team has been hard at work making some new signs to hang in the exhibit hall. These signs are 10 x 5 feet and will make finding your way around much easier. The logos are first traced on vinyl sheets and then carefully cut out.
After the stencils are cut they are laid out on the fabric banner for painting. It can be a challenge to get the curved lines of these very large logos to lay flat. Kim, Mike, Kathy, and Pete have been doing a great job. This project has been a labor of love for Kim who designed these signs and has seen them from drawing to fabrication.
Be sure to look for these signs and lots of others this month at the largest free Maker Faire in the US right here in Milwaukee at Wisconsin State Faire Park. For more information about Maker Faire Milwaukee and all the amazing makers that will be there click here.