New This Year: Speakers Series

By partnering with Washtenaw Community College this year, we have access to a broader range of spaces for our Makers. Those spaces include classrooms, computers labs, and (next year) an auditorium. This means we can offer a broader range of educational opportunities for participants this year.

We’ve invited five groups to speak more in depth about their work with time for questions and answers (twenty minute presentations). You can come in, take a look at their work, listen to what they have to say, and possibly learn a bit more about what they do than you might if you were just passing by their booth.

We’ll have signs up at the Faire directing you to these fine folks’ talks. Many of them also have booths so you can follow up if you are particularly interested in their work.

We hope you’ll enjoy this new feature of the Mini Maker Faire! For a full list of speakers and their talks, check below the jump.

  1. 12:00 pm: Tom Root: Why to Start–or Support–Your Local Makespace
  2. 12:40 pm – Matthew Shlian: Paper Engineering
  3. 1:20 pm – Bound Edition: A New Book Arts Maker Space
  4. 2:00 pm – ATC: Creating Sustainable Technologies for Low Income People Worldwide
  5. 2:40 pm – Jason Ferguson: Rudimentary Precision

12:00 pm

Speaker:  Tom Root
Title:  Why to Start–or Support–Your Local Makespace

What’s a makerspace?  Who do they serve?  Why are they important?  How do you start one, or support one you’ve already got?

Tom’s Bio:  Tom Root is co-owner of Maker Works, a makerspace in Ann Arbor, a managing partner in Zingerman’s Mail Order, and a former certified business counselor for the State of Michigan.


Speaker: Matt Shlian, Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Michigan and Designer

Title: Post Paper Engineering

Description: Matt Shlian presents his work from both an artistic and scientific approach

Matt’s Bio: Matthew Shlian is an artist, paper engineer, teacher and collaborator. After graduating from Alfred University in 2002, Matthew spent three years working as a paper engineer in the field of commercial design. There he made movable paper contraptions, from popup books to greeting cards to artist books and kinetic sculptures. In 2006 he received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Currently he operates a design studio in Ann Arbor Michigan, teaches Foundations and Paper Engineering at the University of Michigan and works as a visiting research scholar at the University’s Material Science department. Contact:


Speakers: Barbara Brown, Tom Veling, Laura Earle, Founders of Bound Edition

Title: A New Book Arts Maker Space

Description: Overview of the community resources we offer for book and paper arts.

Barbara Brown’s Bio: Barbara Brown began her artistic sojourn many years ago while working with textiles. This eventually became a bridge to her career as a paper and book artist. Her pieces are often collaborations with poets: for her, there is a certain alchemy that occurs when three dimensional imagery is combined with text. Barbara has been an artist member of WSG Gallery since 2004 and curates Beyond Words: A Celebration of Book Arts each year. She has had work in book shows around the country and in special collections at the University of Michigan Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, the University of Michigan School of Art and Design Library, and the Library of Michigan in Lansing. She is on the faculty of The Hollanders School of Book and Paper Arts in Ann Arbor where she has also been a guiding member of four summer residencies, the Rudolf Steiner High School of Ann Arbor, and, most recently, an adjunct instructor at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. She was the recipient of the 3rd Annual Kerrytown Community Book Award given at the 2008 Kerrytown BookFest.

Laura Earle’s Bio: A designer at heart, Laura Earle loves creating in both both two- and threedimensions, embracing the maker movement with gusto. Following a successful career in the 90s as creative director for Meader & Meader, a marketing and design firm specializing in printed business to business corporate communication, Laura chose to make time for raising her children. Throughout those years, she explored many creative avenues, developing interests in photography, textiles, watercolor, ceramics and bookbinding, while continuing to freelance and teach along the way. Now she enjoys collaborating with her youngest, designing everything from custom furniture to robots. Always enamored with the printing industry, Laura was drawn to preserve and promote some legacy of the region’s vibrant history. She is proud to contribute to boundedition and its efforts to inspire the community to excel in the book and paper arts and trades. Laura received her bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication Design and Industrial Design from Purdue University. Contact:


Speaker: Jeff Benko, Appropriate Technology Collaborative’s Board of Directors

Title: ATC – Creating Sustainable Technologies for Low Income People Worldwide

Description: The Appropriate Technology Collaborative (ATC) designs, develops, demonstrates and distributes affordable technological solutions that empower people and promote dignity. We’ll showcase projects such as a solar power refrigerator and a woven windmill along with our current effort of “Solar and Circuits” which teaches the fundamentals of circuits and solar energy to allow people in less economically developed countries to start their own solar energy businesses.

Jeff’s bio: Jeff has served on the ATC Board of Directors for the past four years following his passion of using technology to improve lives. Professionally, he assists design engineers from major manufacturing companies in utilizing computational fluid dynamics in their fluid and thermal analysis so they can design better products quicker and less expensively. Contact:


Speaker: Jason Ferguson, Assistant Professor at Eastern Michigan University

Title: Rudimentary Precision

Description: A selection of artworks created within the last few years will be discussed. This body of work uses research, rudimentary technology, and the (mis)application of scientific protocol to investigate philosophical questions of existence.

Jason’s bio: Jason J Ferguson is a large-scale object maker interested in highlighting the unique relationship between art, science, and experience. His work spans multiple medi and juxtaposes seemingly unrelated subjects to create compelling imagery in the form of performance, video, and sculptural objects. Ferguson has exhibited his work nationally and internationally including exhibitions at Kunst in Kolderveen, the Netherlands; Directors Lounge, Berlin Germany; International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago, IL; Bric Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Gallery Four, Baltimore, MD; and the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Art

Department of Eastern Michigan University where he teaches sculpture and 3D Design. Contact: / Jason[at]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s