Laser cut acrylic "Maker" necklace, laser-cut acrylic jewelry.

MakeXpression at Oakland First Fridays

Over the past 6 months, we collaborated with local artist and co-founder of The Spooky Haus, Miriam Levenson, to create a collection of wearable art that embodies Ace Makerspace’s core values— diversity, community, inquiry, growth, and action—and celebrates the diverse identities held by makers in the Ace Community!

This work made possible through The Blue Heart Creator’s Fund, disrupts exclusionary cultural narratives around who can be considered a maker, and explores the idea that identity isn’t given, it’s made. To celebrate the completion of the project and to share it with our East Bay community we brought the exhibition to the last Oakland First Fridays of the year!

Person smiles with shadow box full of pink laser-cut acrylic jewelry.
Folks stopped by the booth to look at the exhibit, buy their favorite pieces, and meet the artist, Miriam (above).
Shadow boxes with laser-cut acrylic jewelry.
The finished MakeXpression collection mounted in shadow boxes at the Ace First Friday Booth. These designs were inspired by the Ace Community who shared words and thoughts representing the diverse identities they hold for the project.
Necklace display, laser-cut acrylic jewelry.
Miriam explicitly created this collection using only Ace Makerspace tools, and beginner-friendly acrylics to encourage makers of all skill levels to experiment with lesser known materials for Laser-cutting (like the neon and glitter acrylics pictured above), and to explore new pathways and methods on their maker journey. Through this participatory design process and choice of materials, Miriam foregrounds agency in a makerspace context and exemplifies the Ace Vision: Making is for Everyone!
Person in pink shirt, looking at exhibit.
Ace Member, Margret, takes in the finished exhibit.
Person smiling in pink "Ace" shirt and "Freak" necklace.
Ace Communications Associate, Jacky, one of the collaborators on this project, models a necklace from the collection.
Booth with display items, lights.
The MakeXpression exhibit in the glow of the Ace Oakland First Fridays Booth.