Meet the Makers – Shane Thelen

Tell us about yourself?
I’ve always loved designing “things”.  Sometimes practical, sometimes fanciful, I have always enjoyed putting pencil to paper and coming up with ideas, solutions, and dreams.

What are you showing at the Maker Faire?
For the Maker Faire, I’ll be showing my Gothic Arch Triptych, designed for Silversark’s Sanctuary Fashion Show and I’ll be vending my Art Boxes, Victorian and Art-Deco style periodic tables, as well as some simple LED lamp kits with distinctly geeky themes and, hopefully, some new (and old) laser-cut pins.

2014-07-25 21.56.32

2014-07-25 21.58.19

Why is making important to you?
The art of “making” is not just a revolution in how we do things.  It’s a revolution in how we think about doing things. I’ve learned to design for processes like laser cutting and CNC routing.  I’ve learned that all these ideas in my head can be made into physical, real-world objects!  This was a revelation to me.  People can dabble in learning new skills and refining old ones.  We can take R&D out of million-dollar research labs and bring it straight to the community. With access to expensive machines and operations, people can take full advantage of technology that they might never be able to afford or accommodate in their backyard shed or apartment.

What was the first thing that you made?
Since joining the Milwaukee Makerspace, the very first thing I made was a set of hooks to hang some troublesome embroidery hoops on to get them off of a desk that otherwise could have been in use.  The first personal project was a set of columns with planters as capitals, so I can train plants around them.  I still haven’t finished that one, but I’ve moved on to (and finished!) dozens of others.

Given an unlimited budget, what would you make?
With an unlimited budget, I have a project in mind….It’s an art installation that would take up quite a bit of space but would include salvaged brick, metal pipes, and a series of poems printed on plaques, hidden around a brick wall with ivy growing all around it and the pipes in question.  I have the vision of it in my head, so who knows? Maybe I’ll get the opportunity to make it one day…