Meet the Makers – Karen Corbeill

Karen Corbeill

Tell us about yourself.
I am a maker of many things, including a makerspace. I love learning new things and strive to continue learning more and more ways to make. I like to weld and make costumes and make flowers and stars out of a bunch of different materials. I’ve been involved in the Power Racing Series since the first race at Maker Faire Detroit in 2010 and have acted as trophy designer, vehicle welder/engineer, pit crew, driver, and event organizer. After being a member of hackerspace, i3Detroit for three years with a short stint as president, I moved to Madison, WI. That summer I co-founded MadCity Makers, an adult maker group that met in libraries and hosted workshops. The following spring, MadCity Makers became the Bodgery and we opened our doors in June 2014 inside the warehouse space of Evolution Arts Collective. This past June, we moved from our original 900 sq ft facility into a shiny, new 3400 sq ft facility where we continue to add tools and attract community members. For the past two years I have been running workshops and summer camps at the Madison Public Library and for MSCR teaching kids about making through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). I love teaching and helping to further the maker movement. And I always have a flower in my hair.

What are you presenting at Maker Faire Milwaukee?
I am presenting my makerspace, the Bodgery. At the Bodgery booth, I will be showing off various projects I have made over the years including a necklace made from a bowling ball, various welded nail art pieces, crocheted snuggle monsters, and more. For the Bodgery’s grand re-opening this summer, I helped made two maker themed carnival games, a Tesla coil-steampunk ring toss and the air-powered Rocket Shot game. The games will be at the booth for passers-by to play.

Karen Corbeill

Why is making important to you?
Making is cathartic. The feeling of seeing something amazing that you created with your own hands is unparalleled. The future of our world is in the hands of inventors and engineers. A major part of that is making. I want to do what I can to get more people, adults and children alike, making and thinking and reinventing their world in hopes of making it better.

Karen Corbeill

What was the first thing you remember making?
I had a sculpture class in high school where the assignment was a found-object sculpture. Somewhere, out of the blue, I got the idea to make a turkey out of kitchenware. The body was made of a large pot with an overturned bowl and a steamer on top. The head was a baster bulb on a springy egg beater with a melon baller for eyes and juicer for a beak. Three spatulas made up each wing and a spread of wood spoons the tail. Plastic serving sporks were the feet.

What have you made that you are most proud of?
My Powerwheels car and the Bodgery.

Karen Corbeill

Given an unlimited budget, what would you make?
I would probably make some giant metal sculpture with stars and moons that had interactive lights all over it, maybe where you could throw your hand to trigger a shooting star effect.