Tag Archives: self-reliance

Parachute Factory and Skill Exchange

21 Feb

Skill Exchange at Parachute FactorySkill Exchange at Parachute Factory
While in New Mexico last week I had the opportunity to visit Parachute Factory, a studio/makerspace I was introduced to through a series of emails with one of its founders, Mariano Ulibarri. Mariano reached out to me after seeing a Skill Exchange poster, photographed by a friend visiting the bay area. We exchanged emails about our work, which eventually lead to an invitation to speak at NMHU, where Mariano is a graduate student in the Media Arts department. The aim of Parachute Factory is to foster collaboration between designers, tinkerers, ranchers, and educators in rural Las Vegas. The minds behind Parachute Factory are up to a lot of playful and tech-based projects these days, including hacker scout workshops for kids and adult workshops.

Skill Exchange at Parachute Factory
Skill Exchange at Parachute FactorySkill Exchange at Parachute Factory
After visiting Parachute Factory,  I am excited to see what continues to grow there in the coming months. Mariano and I have even discussed the possibility of a Skill Exchange + Parachute Factory collaboration here in the Bay Area sometime later this year (!!!) If you are curious about this innovative makerspace, you should visit parachutefactory.org and follow Mariano on twitter @marianoulibarri.

What I’m working on

8 Feb

The week has flown by again, and yet I don’t feel quite caught up. It was a productive week however. There was a lot of client work, and I wrapped up the final touches on a new web design project that is being coded by a little css-code-fairy,  as we speak. The project will be live by next week, just in time for me to pack my bags, and fly to New Mexico for a whirlwind tour-lecture-Skill Exchange-work trip. I’ll be visiting Santa Fe and Las Vegas, checking out Parachute Factory, and hopefully working through a long list of recommendations from the lovely lady behind Stitch and Hammer.

Early next week I’ll be sharing our very first Skill Exchange video, a video project that has been months in the making. With help from many friends and contributors, I am excited to finally share it.  If one more day of teasing this video release is just too much for you, just sign up for the Skill Exchange newsletter.  Newsletter subscribers are going to get a sneak peek of the video a day earlier than the rest, in addition to other perks like early ticket releases, and adorably brief messages from Skill Exchange. I kid, but mostly, I promise not to send more than a handful of newsletters, every few months.

And, last but not least, I’ve got something to admit. Over the weekend I got a lesson in fish– which is a good thing, considering how much I have been enjoying our seafood CSA with Sirenseasa. We received a beautiful catch of herring, a fish I have never cooked, prepared, or even eaten. The fish were whole, and it meant in order to taste these little beauties, I had to learn how to scale a fish, clean a fish, and fillet a fish. I was eager. I was excited and nervous too. Intern left the house (partly to do laundry, and maybe also partly to escape this scary new fish-skill). I watched some videos online, I got my apron on, and got to it. Scaling fish? Not bad. Gutting, and cleaning my first fish ever? Not bad either. Filleting was hard, and something I am certain more practice would improve.

Here is the part that is hard to admit: I didn’t like the herring. We grilled it very simply… and I just didn’t like it. I love fish! I want to love herring! but not yet, I’m clearly not ready. I’m told it is a hard fish to love, if you’re not familiar with the oily, fishy flavor, and I want to try again… but I feel a little defeated. I’m glad I learned the skills to deal with a whole fish… but I wanted the reward of a delicious fish dinner too. So here you go, failures happen in our kitchen all the time, I am admitting it just this once.  [Edit: and also this other one time]

Skill Exchange in 2013

11 Jan

In case you missed it earlier in the week, I sent out the first Skill Exchange newsletter of the year with a few bits of news. Click here if you’d like to read the newsletter. Most of the big workshop news, including a new series is scheduled for the spring, however I hope to share a few exciting pieces of news in the coming weeks!

Skill Exchange part 4

19 Sep

Our final day of workshops at StoreFrontLab began with Sean Timberlake of Punk Domestics, along with Tattini from El Rio. The pair made two versions of piadina, a traditional Italian flatbread. After Sean’s workshop we moved directly into a cheese workshop with Sophie Mosgrove of Salumeria, followed by a workshop on contemporary letterpress by James Tucker of The Aesthetic Union.

L1030857photo (2)
In the afternoon we were joined by Photographer Margo Moritz, who lead a lesson on manual photography. Finally, to end the series Dave Nelson of PUBLIC Bikes joined us for a crash course in bike maintenance. Also,  my camera battery died, and we had to rely on Instagram to document the final workshops of the day.

photo (1)

If you missed any of the workshops, or would like to see all the photos from the pop-up, check out this set on flickr.

Skill Exchange part 3

18 Sep

Saturday’s workshops started at 10AM, with freshly brewed coffee from Ritual Coffee, and a discussion with Thomas Kriese of The Urban Chicken Network. After our conversation about backyard chickens, we moved into a workshop on the basics of lamp wiring, lead by self-taught lamp maker David Hard. Following David, Pastoral Plate joined us to give a demonstration on how to cut a whole chicken into 8 pieces, then how to carve a roast chicken. We sampled roast chicken and hot chicken stock as Jonathan Lewis explained the process of getting the most nutrition and meals out of a whole chicken.
In the afternoon, we were joined by Sharon and Alisha Ardiana of Ragazza Pizzeria, to learn how to make mozzarella. Sharon surprised everyone by bringing supplies for everyone to pull their own mozzarella, and by the end of the workshop we had enough mozzarella for a feast, plus some to take home. Our final workshop of the evening was with Tammy Tan of Spice Hound, who offered a tasting and conversation on the history and variety of artisan salts.


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