MakerBoutique: a showcase for uOttawa creators

Posted on Monday, December 2, 2019

A few objects sold in the MakerBoutique.

A few of the items available through the MakerBoutique when the platform was launched on November 28, 2019. Photos: Mélanie Gosselin, visual arts and music student

By Johanne Adam

Is there a link between chemical and environmental toxicology and the game of cribbage? Most people wouldn’t think so.

However, Faculty of Science student Cole Fischer found a way to link these two dissimilar topics.

Fischer studies chemical and environmental toxicology. Lately, he has been using the laser cutters in the uOttawa Richard L’Abbé Makerspace to turn geographical data into maps, which he then transforms into game boards, mostly for cribbage.

And with the launch of the MakerBoutique, this student can now market and sell his creations.

Cole Fisher

Cole Fischer, chemical and environmental toxicology student.

“I’ve always wanted to commercialize my game boards, but until now, I’ve only given them as gifts. I’m hoping I can sell a few so I can get a little bit of disposable income to fund my degree.” — Cole Fischer

MakerBoutique is both a web platform and a showcase within the Makerspace workshop. It allows students, employees, and professors to sell items they’ve made using the tools at their disposal throughout campus.

And since the Makerspace workshop is open to the general public every Sunday, the wares in this new boutique can be viewed by people outside the University. The general public is also invited to use the space and display their own creations.

Whether the items are made using the 3D printers, laser cutters and other leading-edge machines at the STEM Complex, or in the University’s woodworking, metalwork, sculpture or even photography workshops, all are eligible for display once chosen by the MakerBoutique selection committee.

Liana Mile

Liana Miles, Fine Arts student.

The goal of this initiative? To foster entrepreneurship and encourage both internal and external members of the University community to bring their ideas to life.

Liana Miles, a first year Bachelor of Fine Arts student, uses the plaster room in the Arts building to create sculptures.

“I’ve always thought of maybe starting a business with my art, but never went through with it. So I think this is a great opportunity.” — Liana Miles

Unique items made by members of the University community

The MakerBoutique is the brainchild of Chantal Rodier, Artist-in-Residence at the Faculty of Engineering. “I was so impressed by the quality of some of the items made in our workshops that I wanted to help their creators showcase them,” she said.

Chantal Rodier

Chantal Rodier, Artist-in-Residence at the Faculty of Engineering.

In time, Chantal Rodier would like to turn the MakerBoutique into the go-to place to purchase gifts for invited dignitaries, lecturers, and other visitors to campus.

“These are excellent opportunities to offer unique objects made by members of the uOttawa community,” said Chantal Rodier.

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