I consider myself very lucky to have found a like-minded group of creatives that I also consider to be close friends. A little while back, I joined the group make:Tulsa which is a group of about 15 people with active, creative businesses. We support each other, get involved in community events, volunteer together, host classes and so, so much more. At least once a month we gather to discuss a whole range of topics and lately we've been meeting at the jaw-droppingly amazing Fab Lab!
Fab Lab is a worldwide organization that began at MIT and had its first locations pop up in third-world countries where the community was given the tools to create what was needed to make their towns thrive. All of the locations are connected so what you design at one Fab Lab can be made at any Fab Lab anywhere in the world.
So what makes a Fab Lab special? Their state-of-the-art equipment accessible to anyone. Ever hear of a 3-D printer? They've got that. Have designs for something floating around in your head? If you can draw a straight line, you can build it at a Fab Lab. I've seen so many things here that I can't even begin to explain but I know that the way I view the impossible has changed!
For our November make:Tulsa meeting, Fab Lab taught us how to make rubber stamps with our logos! I brought my most simple logo, designed by the talented Pop Prints and often seen here, for my stamp. Each of us was given a laptop for the evening, taught the basic steps for manipulating the image to prepare it for the stamps and was then directed to one of the magical machines! (Since my brain can't comprehend all that they are capable of at Fab Lab, I've decided it's all due to magic ;)
After our images were ready to go, we were sent to this stinky machine (seriously, burned rubber stanks!) and took our turns getting our logos etched in rubber!
It was quite fascinating to watch.
And a few of the finished products! We had such a good time with this activity and I know many of us plan to go back and make more!
And that 3-D printer I mentioned? This (thing?) was made in it! You can make ANYTHING in it. ANY.THING. Ask them to show you the working, movable wrench they made in it. My brain just can't comprehend it all!
And this large guy, not made in the 3-D printer but made in the Shop Bot, another crazy machine that intimidates me ;) It was also responsible for the Christmas Tree seen in the first photo. Rumor has it that Fab Lab will be raffling off a custom-made 'tricked out craft table' at Alliday made by the Shop Bot! I plan on entering that drawing a million and one times.
So have I used my stamp yet? You betcha ;) In fact, the mister and I stamped our hearts out the following night. Don't be surprised if you end up with one of these cards in your mailbox soon! The colors weren't chosen for Christmas but rather because my favorite color is green and the mister's is red!
If you're in Tulsa (or in any of the other 150 cities that a Fab Lab is in) and find yourself near 7th & Lewis, I encourage you to stop in, take a tour and learn how you can make whatever you've dreamed of!