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MakeFest returns to the museum on 19–20 August. In this post, a few of the makers tell us about what they have in store for the weekend.

MakeFest, our annual celebration of DIY making, crafting and coding, returns this weekend (19–20 August)! The museum will be overrun by tinkerers and artists looking to help visitors have a go at making for themselves.

This year will feature everything from battle robots made of rubbish and a mind-controlled hand, through to light-up soft toys and a one-man-band wheelchair. Here’s a few more of the makers talking about what they have in store for MakeFest 2017:

Stitching Science

Stitching Science

Lorna Tittle

I’m not a scientist, but I love learning about science. When I read that the human body is 70% water, I struggled to be convinced, so I decided to translate the numbers into something that I could see and touch. The result was a velvet patchwork quilt that illustrates the proportions of the atomic elements that make up a human body.  I then did the same for a tree, for comparison. This has led me to explore other scientific and mathematical concepts using textile crafts, including Pythagoras’s Theorem, graphene structures, Penrose tiles and Platonic solids. I’m bringing examples of my work to MakeFest and giving people the chance to have a go at patchwork themselves.



Gemma Latham

PatternCraft is an analogue to a digital punchcard reader, and teaches the fundamentals of programming and encoding data through the write-once medium of a physical punched card. Created by digital artist Gemma May Latham and STEM ambassador David Whale in 2015, PatternCraft has been demonstrated and tested by thousands of families across the country at Maker Faires and STEAM events. Featured in the Raspberry Pi blog and coined as ‘coding with hammers’, 2017 sees the launch of a new peaceful version, whilst retaining the hole punching fun. Join us to explore how punchcards can be used to program Minecraft, create secret messages and even compose music.

Cornbrook Collective logo

Cornbrook Creative Showcase

Lewis Sykes

Cornbrook Creative is a federation of artists, makers and creative technologists based in Talbot Mill, Manchester. Our artistic work integrates both contemporary fabrication processes and traditional techniques across a range of disciplines within digital, visual and sonic arts, sculpture and electro-mechanical engineering.

For MakeFest 2017 we’ll be showcasing a current ‘work in progress’ for our ‘Sonic Pixels’ mini-commission for Manchester Science Festival—a regular grid of 25 speakers driven by the BBC micro:bit that will allow us to draw, paint and animate with sound. We’ll also offer a drop-in workshop for anyone interested in getting their micro:bits communicating with each other via radio.

I (Lewis) will be demonstrating my ‘Augmented Tonoscope’—a hands-on audiovisual instrument/mobile lab that turns sound into visible geometric patterns. Steampunk-inspired maker Grahame Jebb will showcase some of the various projects that have occupied his fevered brain all these years. Visitors will also be able to try their hand and take away examples of some of Grahame’s traditional fabrication techniques, including colouring linocut leather badges, plaiting rings of patterned braid into bangles, letter-stamping personalised leather wrist bands, and embossing designs into pewter.

To see the whole list of who’ll be there and what you can have a go at, click here.

Try everything, make something, and get your geek on at MakeFest 2017.

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