Bricks Cascade Workshop

WBI attendees at Bricks Cascade 2020 by Will Nickelson

Another Bricks Cascade Women’s Brick Initiative workshop is in the bag! 25+attendees explored micro building, adding lights, creating new charms and talking all kinds of photography. Once again the three hours passed quickly as we shared information and made new connections.

Before we broke into smaller groups Alice shared a power point presentation that reviewed our previous years highlights and areas of concern regarding the LEGO group. It was great to have Signe, Head of Community Growth from LEGO in our audience. She will be able to take these insights back to LEGO HQ.

Build

The goal of this years workshop is to introduce lighting to our builds. Alice created a miniature Hobbit House and worked with Rob Klingberg from Brick Stuff to create lighting specific to this model.

The unique Hobbit House included a garden path, outdoor fireplace as well as interior furnishing such as a desk and hearth. Alice provided iPads preloaded with instructions to aid with building.

Janelle and friends enjoying the build portion of the workshop

A few intrepid souls built their models simply by looking at the model. Once the model was built, two lights were incorporated: one for the window and one sandwiched between the fireplace so it could be bi-directional. Rob was on hand to help with installations and general lighting questions.

Rob on hand to make sure everyone had a successful lighting experience.

In addition to the two light set up, attendees also received a predrilled lamp post and a lantern. These work as stand alone accessories or patterns to be duplicated at home.

Jewelry

How cool is it to learn to make jewelry from your simple LEGO bricks?? I love that JacQueline Sanchez is willing to bring her immense talents to our workshops. JacQ is an award winning jeweler who manages to combine silver and diamonds with plastic. To be able to learn her secrets is a real gift! JacQ also brings a unique energy and consummate professionalism to our workshops as anyone who has participated at her table can attest.

This year Jacq choose to have everyone create a charm necklace and a pair of earrings. To create the charm necklace each participant was given a hammer, camera and gem which make up our logo. JacQ then showed them how to drill into the parts and insert the findings with pliers. Everyone learned what a struggle it is to drill into small plastic pieces straight. Im pretty sure everyone who participated has a better idea what goes into JacQ’s amazing LEGO jewelry creations after giving it a try themselves!

Image by Will Nickelson

In addition to the charm necklace attendees were invited to create a pair of earrings with a colored gem of their choice. Using the same techniques learned from making the charms and sterling ear wires, they created LEGO to wear! Our goal is to give our attendees the confidence that comes with learning a new skill. With the information shared by JacQ, and a quick trip to Home Depot or Michaels, anyone can continue on this creative path at home.

Dots

When LEGO reached out to ask if we wanted to play with the new theme: Dots. The answering was a resounding YES! I knew that I wanted to take these boxes to the workshop and see what everyone thought about this new product. I know I was intrigued, but would the serious builders be interested? Megan manned the DOTS table and played with all who where interested.

These are the boxes everyone really wanted to buy! – Image by Alice Finch

The boxes of DOTS that arrived from Billun are not available for sale. After seeing the multiple trays of small tiles and plates, there was much disappointment expressed at this fact. I think we all agreed that if these large sample kits were made available for sale they would be a huge success! There was nothing more inspiring than multi colored tiles and plates neatly organized begging to be played with!

Participants spent time at the table with the sample kits making their own creations. There was a lot of interest in the new 9×9 heart piece and a new piece that’s used to hold the photographs. 

Photography

Unlike past workshops, there was not much interest in the photography table. I don’t know if our attendees aren’t interested in photography or that there was so much going on at the other tables that people ran out of time and energy.

I brought a snow and spring set up for attendees to use to photograph their latest build. In addition there was a lighted Patroneus, cafe, lamppost , misc lighted accessories and a carriage to play with. I wanted to show the versatility of Rob’s products to inspire creativity in both personal MOCs and photography. But mostly what I did was field general photo questions about light boxes, build photography and forced perspective photography.

Set up! – image by Alice Finch
Ali loves to play at the photo table!

I will be looking at reworking the photography area to better serve the needs of our members. So if you have any ideas about what you would like to see, please let me know below.

In Conclusion

While three hours might seem like a long time for a workshop, we used up every minute! Like all of our workshops we will tweak this one before the next event. All of us here at WBI are committed to creating a warm and welcoming experience for our members and allies. If you have any comments about this workshop, please leave them below. We’re open to suggestions, so let us know what you want to see next!

Thank you to everyone who attended this workshop and to our family and friends who support us as we plan and execute our crazy idea. And thank you Signe and The LEGO Group for all your support!

~ Shelly

The LEGO Group provided polybags for attendees, minifigures for the photo booth and sets that we pre-lit for your inspiration and play.

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