Category Archives: Meet the Makers

Tinker, hack, and invent with Nick Britsky

Brick Challenge Game Show

Nick Britsky is the host of Brick Challenge, a LEGO-themed trivia show that first debuted in 2012. The show was a hit with visitors to Maker Faire Detroit, so we brought Nick, and his alter ego “Nick Brickly,” back to The Henry Ford this month as part of LEGO Architecture: Towering Ambition.

Make sure to check back to The Henry Ford’s blog for a preview on that month’s featured Tinker, Hack, Invent maker. Continue reading

Great balls of fire at i3 Detroit: A Maker Minutes Feature

Ferndale-based hackerspace i3 Detroit will be back at Maker Faire Detroit with a tent full of making and hacking and – from what they told me – a plan to take top prize in the Power Racing Series. Here’s a look at one Maker from the space who is combining brainwaves and great balls of fire.

Check out some of i3 Detroit’s other projects, such as the Red Bull Creation, at

Brick Challenge Game Show: A Maker Minute Feature

So, you think you’ve got some mean Lego-building skill? You better bring that and more to the Brick Challenge Game Show in Anderson Theater at Maker Faire Detroit this weekend.

Maker Nick Britsky’s alter ego “Nick Brickly” hosts the fast-paced multi-challenge game show that tests contestants’ knowledge, skill and strategy as two teams face off in the first-ever game show centered on everyone’s favorite building block.

An avid Lego collector and one of the founding members of the i3 Detroit hacker space - Nick combines Legos with making and is bringing that fun and spirit with him to Maker Faire Detroit.

The double-dare style Brick Challenge is Saturday and Sunday, with shows starting at 11:30 a.m., 12:15 , 1:00 and 1:45 p.m. in  Henry Ford Museum’s Anderson Theater. Here’s a look at a promo for the show.

Ride on – Power Racing Series: A Maker Minute Feature

What’s a little friendly competition among Makers? Some crazy hacking fun!

With a limit of $500 spent on modifying a kid’s Power Wheels car – hacker spaces race for the championship in the 2012 Power Racing Series.

The innovative racing series makes engineering entertaining and approachable. The goal of the Power Racing Series is to advance technology education and encourage people to try something new. (And have a good time, too.)

The first of this year’s series was in Kansas City – and next is right here in at Maker Faire Detroit at The Henry Ford. Who will take home the cup?

Check out some more cool video from last year’s Maker Faire Detroit race, highlights from last month’s Kansas City contest and a clip about Power Racing Series and education.


Innovative designs in neckwear: A Maker Minute Feature

Maker Bethany Shorb found her inspiration to silkscreen her original designs on neckties by accident. A little apprensive to test a design on an expensive piece of fabric, she used a thrift store tie she had on hand. She liked the results, took a photo, posted it to – a few blogs picked it up, and soon people were clamoring to know how they could get one.

She built a website in a day, and Cyberoptix TieLab was born. A Boston native, for the past 11-years Bethany has called Detroit home. She works in a large east side studio, and with a little help in packing and order processing, she still personally silkscreens every tie she sells.

At Maker Faire Detroit, Bethany will bring an array of her artistic textiles to display and sell, and she’ll have a demonstration area to let visitors get their hands dirty and experience the process of silkscreening for themselves.

Last year, Make: Magazine gave a tour of her studio and the silkscreen process. Her ties have found their way around the necks of some pretty impressive wearers.


Compuware makes the app: A Maker Minutes Feature

Get the free App for Android and Apple products here at the iTunes store.

Compuware Corp. will for the second year be the  Maker of  the Maker Faire Detroit app. Upping the technology of last year’s fun puzzle quest – this year, visitors will have the opportunity to use augmented reality technology and build a cool 3-D robot that’ll come to life as they discover and scan codes placed at various exhibits.

The app also has convenient schedule and event map components.

In the Maker Minutes video below, Tim Fisher at Compuware, demonstrates how it will work.

Students showcase their work: A Maker Minute Feature

Student’s from the International Academy of Design & Technology Detroit will showcase work at Maker Faire Detroit from the many art, design and technology-related disciplines taught at the Troy, Mich., campus.

Students who participated in the school’s National Library Week competition will display some of there clever creations requiring the use of recycled/repurposed materials – including Rupert the Robot shown above.

Students from the fashion design track will showcase some of the recycled dresses they debuted at Fashion in Detroit Week. There will be video and production displays, a video-game making display, and graphic and digital media displays, and a scale model of a park built by an interior design student. Beth Rogers, Learning Resource Center Specialist tells more about IADT’s plans in the following Maker Minute.



The joy of mechanical contraptions – A Maker Minute Feature

Take a look at some of the items that during Maker Faire Detroit will be brought to the floor of the museum from the collections at The Henry Ford. Below, senior conservator Clara Deck explains the workings of a spectacular musical mechanical contraption: The Violano Virtuouso – built in 1927.

Fly like a Towel? A Maker Minute Feature

The team at Brooklyn Aerodrome is all about getting folks making and flying. They are makers of a DIY R/C aircraft dubbed the “Towel.” An adventure that started as an art project gone bad has led them to the cover of this month’s issue of Make: magazine.

Breck Baldwin and designer and artist-in-residence Karen King pilot the program that exhibits at Maker Faires and goes out schools, businesses, camps and more. They also hold classes right in their studio in Brooklyn, New York. They take Makers flying in the park early in the morning or later in the evening. Their website and blog link to some very cool video, including aerial shots.

Breck explained, “It’s all about getting you flying airplanes that you build from pieces of junk.” Items like recycled signs, old coat hangers and cloth, etc., are some of the things he mentioned. There’s about $100 of electronics gear needed (if you buy it yourself). He said you can build it in an afternoon or two and then go fly it. He added makers will be able to “crash it a bunch, repair it, and go fly it some more.”

Brooklyn Aerodrome is one of the 400 Makers who will be at Maker Faire Detroit, July 28-29, at The Henry Ford.