Review photos. Get better.

3rdThur at George Briggs Media-055

Alex Marshall of George Briggs Media generously hosted our monthly 3rdThur photo review last night.  I gotta say this was the best venue yet since we started doing this back in March. Massive thanks, dude.  We had the biggest turnout yet with about 23 people attending, some new photogs, and a great mix of work.

Want in? All you gotta do is submit a photo. And then, as always, show up.

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FLASH traffic—walk-thru in the venue

FLASH walkthru-006

The FLASH photo shindig coming Jan 23 is going to be freakin’ awesome.  Am I biased? Hell ya, I am! The FLASH crew got into The Tannery Event Centre yesterday to test-drive the display and flow of the upcoming show (rhyme!) This photo doesn’t quite capture it, but the projected images are huge. Billboard-sized really. It’s an amazing effect.

We need your help with 3 things. Yeah, you!
1. Buy a ticket right now, please.
2. Submit a photo, also now.
3. Tell three friends about the show.

We’ve got kick-ass photog Barbara Davidson coming from L.A. to talk about her work, three featured local photogs showing, and a whack of the best images submitted by you. Pull the trigger right now on tickets and get this event in your calendar. Space is limited and the tickets will sell out.

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Hub Haps #012-merry making

Hub makery-002

Yanish Jutton holds some Communitech makery that is part of a project conceived by Sam Trieu. Make all the things, Hubsters!

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Demystifying the made world


This is not the hyperdrive on the Millennium Falcon. It’s the pump/motor/transmission on my washing machine. I got the shouted call from the basement last Sunday akin to “Houston, we have a problem” except worse: “Water on the floor, machine sounds like screws in a blender!”

A couple of reasons prompted me to write about this inflection point. The first is my on-going advisory efforts around the UW maker study I wrote about back in March. What are the social effects of enabling people with hands-on skills and tools? The second is an invitation to contribute to a February makerly workshop with the GreenHouse crew at St Paul’s College at UW. Approaches to prototyping with students.

Endeavours in the make-o-sphere often require unlearning of models and behaviour that block exploration and Getting Shit Done. Consumer-cultured responses to a broken washing machine might include (a) “I could never understand what’s going on inside this shiny white box” (b) “I might *really* break it if I get in there” (c) “I don’t have time to fix this myself” (d) “I could get hurt if I crack this thing open” and so on.

I’ll offer an observation that Gus made back when we were creating kwartzlab: it is a made world. Almost everything we see is made by people and also repaired by people. It is not alien technology. When we fear what’s inside the box, we prematurely abort exploration and our makerly muscles atrophy. Some of the mental blocks noted above do have a degree of truth, but we can’t let them prevent us from being capable, resilient, resourceful, and curious actors in the world.

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FLASH traffic—posters up

FLASH poster-125045-2

Just pinned up this FLASH poster, fresh from the presses at Cober Solutions down on Strasburg Road in Kitchener. We needed some posters/postcards/stickers to help spread the word on FLASH and Tony reached out to Karl Allen-Muncey at Cober who generously helped us out. Merci beaucoup!

We need your help too: spread the word on FLASH, buy tickets, submit your best photo.

And show up. Friday January 23. Get that in your calendar right now.


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1shot-The car is king on Columbia Street

Columbia St W at Erbsville Rd-131

Students skirt a muddy bog into traffic where a sidewalk was to be built. In 2007. Now with the latest fixup completion date in 2017, this 150m gap for pedestrians and cyclists presents a daily gamble on the 2km route to Sir John A MacDonald high school.

Make this better.

On Columbia Street West at Ervsbille Road, this is Waterloo.


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1shot #204-The Canadian groove

UTW 004

I got a really strong stained glass vibe watching these skating shadows flicker across the ice last night. Winter isn’t really white: it is all the colours.

On King Street, this is Uptown Waterloo.


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Hoover & Wiebe are Compressed Company

David_Hoover_and_Darryl_Wiebe_Compressed_Company 029

My good friend David Hoover reached out last week to tell me about a small art show he and his collaborator Darryl Wiebe were putting together. Together they form the collective Compressed Company. That show is running tonight until 11pm down on Borden Ave. Brohemus and I stopped in this afternoon to have a look. Above is a fragment of a collaborative piece. And it was my immediate favourite.

The TL;DR: if you dig any of the work in this post, reach out to Dave and Darryl at and stay tuned for some very cool upcoming projects from these guys.

A completely reasonable number of pics follow…

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Kessler and Chen telling it long-form

Kessler and Chen - After Hours exhibit 009

I hit the City of Waterloo Museum for the first time yesterday to see a show very close to my maker/photographer/storyteller heart. My friends Sunshine Chen and Karl Kessler started capturing local stories of disappearing trades and the makers that work them in 2008 to form a body of fifty vignettes. The show is called OVERTIME and features only a fraction of these very important captures. Excellent photography, excellent story, great presentation. This show runs through the end of January. Go see it.

A few pics…

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DIY laptop sleeve

Laptop case 006

Yes friends, there’s still a lot of “make” in makebright.

As I’ve become more nomadic pursuing makebright full-time as a business, I end up hauling a bunch of my gear around on a daily basis. To maintain a reasonably-sized camera bag, I’ve had to naked-carry my laptop. I can jam the power supply, mouse, etc. into the bag, but the laptop has been in hand since August. This worked more or less until the fall rain and late fall sleet/snow. I wanted a minimal laptop sleeve that was water-resistant and not-black, so I decided to make one…

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