Maker Social – details announced!

We’ve teamed up with the lovely folk at Dorkbot to bring you a great social the night before the Faire…


Join us for a special evening – Understory’s James Wheale, cook, storyteller and maker will be screening a rough cut of his crowd-funded Chocolamentary in the iconic Planetarium. Hear about his journey to a remote Peruvian valley using drones and human ingenuity to harvest the rarest cacao in the world! The screening will be followed by a Q&A with James, a chance to play in the brand new Tinkering Space and have a natter over a drink.

Friday 2nd September 2016    7-9pm

Over 16s only

Full details and tickets can be found on Eventbrite

Tickets now on sale!

You can now buy tickets for this year’s Bristol Mini Maker Faire for the appropriately diminutive price of just £3 via Eventbrite.

Head to to grab your tickets now. Also, keep your eyes peeled for details of this year’s workshops coming real soon.

Mini Maker Faire visitor doing some giant knitting

Something make-y this way comes…!

The Bristol Mini Maker Faire is back with added bells, whistles, and of course LEDs!

For newbies, the event is a family-friendly showcase of all kinds of fun, inventive, playful and creative people, projects and things. It’s a celebration of the Maker Movement and everyone out there tinkering, taking things apart and putting them back together in a more interesting way.

Bristol Mini Maker Faire is a chance for people to be inspired, meet like-minded souls and for everyone to discuss and share what they’ve learned while beavering away in their bedrooms, sheds and workshops.

At-Bristol_Tinkering5_credit Joe Meredith

Since 2013 there have been two awesome Mini Maker Faire events with hundreds of curious and excited visitors. Here’s a quick glimpse of what happened last year –

Our call for makers has now closed, but if you have any queries or want to join in as a maker volunteer to help out in the event please contact:

This year we have even more creative people ready to show off their latest projects ranging from cyber cat flaps to giant eyeballs.

Some of the confirmed Makers at this year’s event include a chance to:

  • Peek inside programmable robot heads with OhBot
  • Get inventing with the Daft Ideas Machine
  • Make your own on-the-spot story with Improvised Comics
  • Meet local creative talent from illustrator Fiona Clabon to jewellery maker Liah Malik
  • Dance to not one but two manic music-making machines – including one that plays a different tune for every square foot on the planet!

Plus, you can have a go at all kinds of interactive activities and workshops from spoon carving and weaving to balloon car making and coding.

More details – including how to book your tickets – are coming soon…watch this space!

Call to Makers – 48hr extension!

Happy Friday!

We know what it’s like… you’ve been meaning to send us your application form but life and making projects just keep getting in the way and blimey riley… It’s already Friday!

Well we’re a lovely lot down here at #BMMF16 and have extended our Call to Makers until midnight on Sunday 31st July. 

There’s now really no excuse not to join us with your project. Check out our Makers FAQs if you have any last-minute doubts.

Tickets for the event for normal punters coming soon…

We’ve had some really great ideas and projects submitted and can’t wait to invite you all down on the harbourside to join us!


Image credit: Joe Meredith


All the fun of the Faire

Unsure what the vibe is like at a Maker Faire? Why not watch this lovely round up of last year’s event.

Need more persuasion to come and join in with the Greatest Show (and Tell) in the South West?  If you’re a maker or creative and unsure if it’s your bag then have a read of our Makers FAQs. We hope they’ll swing it.

Get your forms in – This year’s CALL TO MAKERS closes 29th July 2016


Hiyaaaa… We’re BACK!

We’re excited to announce that Bristol Mini Maker Faire 2016 is GO!




The Greatest Show (and Tell) in the South West will be returning to At-Bristol Science Centre at the end of the summer and can’t wait to see all your lovely faces.

To gather these faces together WE NEED YOU!

Are you a maker? Do you have a project to showcase and learning you’d like to share? Do you have a mate who’s made a cool thing that should really show it off a bit more? Tell them about us.

We’re a bit last minute so please help us spread the word. The deadline for applications is Friday 29th July 2016. 

To find out more have a look at our INFO FOR MAKERS

Meet the Maker no.2: Is Martin Running? (aka Beth Cotterell & Dave Kimber)

Makers Beth and Dave have been tinkering at home for several years and we’ve invited them along to the Bristol Mini Maker Faire 2015 to showcase some of their work.

One project they will definitely be discussing is their latest make, Is Martin Running?, which aims to have their pet hamster tweet every time he runs on his wheel. Simple, funny and effective – like so many of our favourite makes!

We asked Beth to explain more about their work…

I guess the first question should be… Is Martin Running?
Not currently, no. Right now he’s asleep in his little house, dreaming about whatever it is hamsters dream about, probably sunflower seeds.

Can you introduce yourselves and tell us what you do when you’re not making?
Our names are Beth Cotterell and Dave Kimber. I am a science communicator and right now I work as part of the amazing Live Science Team in At-Bristol, Dave is a computer programmer who works for a software company right next door.


What is it that you make?
Dave and I like to build things that make our lives easier and our flat cooler. We have a voice-activated fire place (a screen wedged in the grate, hooked up to a netbook), which can either show a crackling blaze or a live feed from the International Space Station. The app controlling this screen can also show a graph comparing our weights, as a bit of friendly competition is a great incentive for us to get off the sofa.

We also build a lot of toys; we strip down any junk electronics that we find for parts and turn them into walking, flying, driving robots. We mainly use microcontrollers from the Arduino family to make our rough little creatures and our creations include a friendly, waving desk-buddy and a scared little mousey robot who runs away from movement and loud noises. Between us, we’ve had a go at blacksmithing, video game design, 3D printing and we’ve even made the occasional Android app.

How did you first get started?
Both of us have always loved dismantling electronic toys to see what makes them tick, and in some cases even putting them back together again. Ever since cheaply available microcontrollers like the Arduino appeared, and with them a huge online community of support for people who want to learn more, we’ve been able to turn our interest into a full-blown hobby and start to make our own creations from scratch. We bought some LEDs, servos and sensors, took a week off work and got our first few projects under our belts.

Tell us about a recent project?
We entered an antweight Robot Wars competition held at the University of Bristol this year with our circular saw-wielding robot, Buzz Killington. He weighed less than 150 grams, with an aluminium body, two speedy wheels and a deadly spinning blade at the front. We used a model aircraft motor which could spin up to 20,000 rotations per minute and deal out some serious damage to the other tiny robots! Unfortunately, we were so focused on mounting the blade on flat, that we ended up off-centre on the motor. When we turned on the blade to fight, he shook himself to bits before he could get stuck into the opponent!

What’s are your top 3 ‘makes’ of all time?
Cherry Bakewells, Roombas and the Hoover Dam!

What can people expect to find at a Maker Faire?
A giant show and tell. All the projects that have been hidden away in garages, basements and bedrooms will come blinking out into the light of day for everyone to enjoy. Many projects are just for fun with very little commercial potential, however some things on display you could be seeing in a few years time in the shops with a hefty price tag on!

And finally, can you give us a project we could start this evening…?
Make a Minecraft Creeper.
Get your biggest rectangular box and stick on some creeper-skin patterned paper. Draw the face on with black marker and cut out some feet from the flaps at the bottom. Now leave it in a prominent place and wait for a loved one to return home, or if its big enough, wait inside it and jump out hissing!

Thanks Beth & Dave! Can’t wait to hear all about Martin’s progress and much more this Saturday.

For more Minecraft-y activities click here and to book your free ticket to Bristol Mini Maker Faire 2015 head to our Eventbrite page.

Shonkbot Workshop – BOOK in advance!


Kick off your Maker Faire experience by making your very own Shonkbot – a low-cost robot that you can program to draw, move and sing sweet beeping tunes to you.

The lovely folk at Bristol Hackspace will be running two workshops on the day -suitable for over 12s as we’ll be using hot tools. Grown-ups also welcome.

Thanks to our sponsors Rapid Electronics we can now offer this workshop at half the normal price!

10:30-11:30 – Book your space here

14:00 – 15:00 – Sign up on the day of the event

For Shonkbot workshops a cost of £5 will be payable on the day to cover material costs and adoption of your shonkbot.

Access to the rest of the Bristol Mini Maker Faire is FREE

Register your attendance at the rest of the faire here.


*MAKERS SOCIAL* Dorkbot Special! – Speakers confirmed

We’ve teamed up with  Dorkbot & At-Bristol Science Centre to put on a special event for the makers who are showing their projects and sharing their stories… And to tempt you all here the night before to start set-up we’ve pulled out all the stops to bring you two great talks from John Higgs and Shardcore.

Dorkbot will be moved from its regular spot to At-Bristol on Friday 21st at 7.30pm (the night before the Maker Faire if anyone is travelling down).


The Talks


“Authors Vs Algorithms” – John Higgs

John will talk about Apophenia – the ability to find patterns and links – and why he believes that human and algorithmic pattern recognition is complimentary – and the value of using expanded datasets to create new stories with meaning.

“Adventures in algo-culture” – Shardcore

Shard will talk about his experiments making worrying and confusing bots that live on the internet and then watching people interact with them.

About The Speakers


John Higgs is an author, journalist and biographer of both The KLF – the Acid House pioneers who burned a million pounds – and Timothy Leary, the Harvard psychologist once dubbed “America’s most dangerous man” by Richard Nixon for his championing of the use of psychedelic drugs.

John’s work explores the more obscure corners of cultural history, like magic, ‘ideaspace’ and rave culture, to construct new narratives around the innovations that powered the 20th century. His next book, Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century, provides an alternative perspective into recent history, by examining the radical artists, genius scientists and maverick pioneers who made it happen.

Shardcore (aka Eric Drass) is an artist and curator who works in a range of media, from painting to generative experiments that live on the net.

Exploring identity, consciousness, artificial intelligence and big data, his works are frequently reported and cited online by the likes of BoingBoing, b3ta, Imperica and Huffpost Tech.

Remember, 7.30pm, Friday 21st August, At-Bristol.  There may be drink and nibbles if you get there early enough…



Attendance at Bristol Mini Maker Faire 2015 is free, but to gauge numbers and make sure we have enough materials for everyone to take part in the various interactive activities we are encouraging people to book via Eventbrite.

If the event is much busier than we expected, we may prioritise those who have registered their attendance on Eventbrite, although registration is not a guarantee of entry at busy times.

For more information see the details on our Eventbrite listing here.