Category Archives: Maker

Meet Think|Haus, Hamilton’s first makerspace


Makerspaces form an important part of maker culture. They give many people access to a variety of tools, space to work on projects and, most importantly, a crowd of people to share knowledge and ideas with.

think|haus has been filling this role for Hamilton since 2009. Its tools include a laser cutter, an array of soldering irons, and a CNC mill, while its membership includes programmers, artists, engineers, and even a lawyer. Today, Hamilton’s maker scene has grown beyond just one space, but think|haus is still a great part of it. Of course they’ll be at the Hamilton Mini Maker Faire, but if you can’t wait that long, they’re open to the public every Tuesday evening.

FWOOMP! Meet Site3 Fire Arts

Site3 Fire Arts' Charcade at Burning Man 2013

Site3 Fire Arts’ Charcade at Burning Man 2013

Site3 Fire Arts is an enthusiastic collective of designers, programmers, fabricators, artists, and makers. Their giant interactive fire-shooting contraptions have appeared at Burning Man and other events all over North America. Past projects include Super Street Fire, a live-action fiery reimagining of the arcade game Street Fighter, and Riskee Ball, a bank of ten oversized skee ball machines that respond to good aim with a blast of fire. After a winter spent planning, presenting workshops, and building, they’re now ready to bring several Burning Man-bound projects out for their first public appearance. We’re pleased to be able to help them show off their fire projects. See the future with Francis the Fantastic! Test your strength on Hell Blazer and be rewarded with a blast of flame! Come out to the Faire and play with fire.

Meet Kevin Browne

Kevin Browne

Another Mohawk professor will be joining us to speak at the Faire. Kevin Browne teaches in the Computer Science &
Information Technology programs while simultaneously completing his PhD in computer science at McMaster University. Outside of those, he founded Software Hamilton, where he reports on and organizes events for Hamilton’s tech and startup communities. He is passionate about education technology and its potential to improve educational, social and economic outcomes for individuals and society.

To that end, Kevin will be talking about an iPad application built to improve literacy skills for adult learners and the results of a study using the application.  He’ll cover what led him to build this application, and why we need to start making more inclusive educational technology.

Meet Robert Gerritsen!

Robert J Gerritsen is a Certified Engineering Technologist with a diploma from Mohawk College in Mechanical Engineering Design and an MBA from California Coast University.  Currently a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Mohawk College, Robert has spent 26 years working in industry primarily in the areas of machine design, automation and product design & development.

Robert is an expert in the tools and techniques required to create and deliver innovative designs, products and solutions using virtual & rapid prototyping. Robert will share details about Mohawk’s exciting new Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre (AMRC) on our Woodshed Stage, June 21 at the Steam Museum.  Save the date!


Meet Silvie Varone

Silvie Varone is a professional maker. She has been for 25 years and is still going because, really at this point, what else would she do? She began her making career as a prop builder where her work has been seen in theatres throughout Toronto and around the world. Her making expertise has led her to building hero props and special effects for commercials as well as becoming an accomplished upholsterer.  Throughout her career Silvie has developed a desire to gut houses and rebuild them. Building a plumb wall is truly a great joy for her. In 2013 Silvie opened her own studio where she designs and builds custom furniture. Currently she is working on developing products for the homewith the end game of one day owning  her own retail space.


Meet Steve Mazza

Time to feature another of the amazing speakers that will be appearing at the Faire on the Wood Shed Stage. Steve Mazza is an artist who was born in Hamilton, left, came back, and has since been operating here for over 15 years. In that time, he has been nominated for Hamilton Artist of the Year three times, and has been voted “Best Local Artist” and “Greatest Artist in Hamilton” in two separate years.

Steve has always been a sculptor, with many of his works having been made in clay. He’s also turned his talents toward making theatre props and sets. But in the past few years, he’s embraced the flexibility of digital sculpting, and uses 3D printing to make those sculptures real. Come meet Steve and you can learn about how he leverages technology to create fantastical works of art.


Meet David Hoekstra, “Salvager Dali”

The “Wood Shed” Main Stage at the Museum of Steam & Technology will be host to some amazing speakers.  Today we feature one of our favourites: David Hoekstra

David is a freelance theatre props master and builder, whose work has been seen throughout Toronto over the last 25 years. David has also designed and built a variety of domestic objects including lamps, clocks, CD racks, shelving to mention a few. Sometimes known as “Salvager Dali”, many of David’s creations are based on found materials and scrap yard items. The recurring design theme has an art deco flavour and is heavy on geometric pattern repetition.

Well known for his 350 vintage electric toasters (perhaps the largest collection in Canada), David’s latest obsessions are restoring vintage stage lights and building ray guns, something he finds surprising that it has taken him so long to realize. David is looking forward to retiring in 2035, hopefully sooner.

hoekstra raygun

Hamilton Maker Showcase

Over the next few weeks, we are going to be showcasing some of the amazing makers who will join us at Hamilton’s first Maker Faire in June. We are super excited to showcase the wealth of creative talent this city has to offer. Stay tuned for more bios and project highlights, and join us at the Museum of Steam & Technology on June 21 to hear them live and be inspired!