Meet Suzan Hall, the School Manager of Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, and a Maker who will be joining us at Maker Faire Wellington. On November 4, she will lead the Buzzy Bug Bots and Flashy Flowers workshop, demonstrating the construction of simple circuits by making LED brooches.
Suzan describes herself as an ‘erratic, anything-that-catches-my-fancy’ type of Maker. She believes that anyone can become a Maker by learning to do things for themselves and practicing. “Recently my family decided to go plastic-free, so I found a YouTube video on how to make beeswax wraps. A friend gave me honeycomb which I melted down (and got a jar of liquid honey). I then melted the wax onto material in the oven and now have a good supply of wraps – no more plastic wraps!”
She first got involved in the Maker community in her mid-twenties, dabbling in folk art, floral decoration, mosaics and cake decoration. Most recently, Suzan has been working on simple electronic projects but is already looking forward to what’s coming next. “My next project is a rocket” she says.
When asked why she got into Making, Suzan explains, “Making is fun and educational. Learning keeps life interesting and as adults we sometimes forget to play. Making is my form of play.” In addition to following helpful YouTube videos, Suzan also enjoys doing courses and learning for the experts, absorbing their techniques and tricks before branching out with her own creativity. For her, the frustrating challenges of learning new skills is lessened when you don’t have to go at it alone.
Suzan finds inspiration in making things by hands. “There is actually something quite satisfying with making with your hands. I prefer to create beautiful things but my job has challenged me to make practical things and learn a little about the science behind the objects. I can’t wait to build a rocket.”
For other Makers out there, especially adult women above 50, Suzan advises, “Throw caution to the wind and try making new things!”
By Ariane Galope