Aspiring young designers win VIP Fab Lab experience

Posted on: 21 August 2015

Creative youngsters across Devon have seen their designs come to life during a VIP session at Fab Lab Devon.

Devon County Council held a competition to encourage students of all ages to discover what the digital fabrication workshop at Exeter Library has to offer, and the winners are delighted with their experience.

Couture Milliner Rivka Jacobs with  Nika Vouk-KrywkoFourteen year old Nika Vouk-Krywko from Kingsbridge designed her own headdress and won a VIP session with local Couture Milliner Rivka Jacobs to see it turned into the real thing.

She said:

“I got the inspiration for my design from doing a couple of projects at school like punk designs during the centuries.

“I heard about the competition from my teacher and we all did it as part of our homework.

“I entered because I wanted to see my design come to life. I am very happy with my finished project.”

Nika wants to be a fashion designer so the Fab Lab gave her the left over material, veiling, beads and thermoplastic to take home from her VIP session so she can continue to hone her skills.

Nika Vouk-Krywko making hat with couture milliner Rivka Jacobs_2

Couture Milliner Rivka Jacobs said: “It was very nice to meet Nika and help her bring her design to life in the Fab Lab.

“To create her hat we used the laser cutter to cut the flame and petal shapes. The laser cutter is great because it lets you cut uniform shapes quickly and precisely. We then made the flower and flames using needle and thread, the rest of creating the design was millenary and sewing, both hand and machine.

“We also used thermoplastic to make rigid curly ribbon.

“Working with Nika was great because she has good sewing skills and an understanding of technique. I chose Nika’s design based on her great use of colour and her understanding of millinery. I think it’s a design my customers might buy and looks like something you would see at Ascot.”

Jenna Satterly_1Twelve year old Jenna Satterly from Exeter designed her own necklace and won a VIP session with local textile designer Francesca Lindsay-White to see it turned into the real thing.

She said:

“I created my design because I’m British and it’s good to like where you come from and I chose an English rose with a heart to show I love Britain.

“I entered because I like designing things and doing craft. I love my pendant it’s very unique and no one else will have one so I can be very proud of it.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to Fran for making it happen and bringing my design to life.”

Jenna Satterly with textile designer Francesca Lindsay-White

Textile designer Francesca Lindsay-White said: “It’s been great fun working on Jenna’s design and interesting working from someone else’s concept.

“Finding out the best way to bring her design to life in the Fab Lab has been interesting. We’ve engraved and cut acrylic, including silvered acrylic, used jewellery wire and electro fashion components including sew-able LEDs, conductive thread and tiny batteries.

“It’s been lots of fun combining jewellery design and electronics.”

Fran is in the process of setting up an Etsy shop called Franklestitch so watch this space.

Nomi Makin outside Exeter Library with her skateboard_2Twelve year old Nomi Makin from Braunton designed her own skateboard deck and won a VIP session with local skateboard designer Hecs Decks to see it turned into the real thing.

She said:

“The idea for my design is just my style of drawing. I do quite a lot of drawings like this – zentangle patterns and surf board designs.

“I’m really happy with my board and I’ll use it because I do skate, but I don’t want to ruin it so I’ll probably just cruise on it but not try any tricks.

“The session at Fab Lab Devon was great. I learnt how to use the laser cutter, put my board together and put trucks on. It would be really cool to be a skateboard designer.”

Nomi Makin with skateboard designer Hecs Decks at the Fab Lab in ExeterSkateboard Designer Hecs Decks said:

“Using Fab Lab technology I’ve been able to show Nomi how her design has come to life.
“First, we converted her graphic into a digital chrome black and white image and loaded it on to the laser cutter. We then watched as her design was etched onto the sheet of wood which was to be used as the bottom of the board.

“The whole skate deck is made up of eight layers of wood which you glue, mould and press to make the shape of the skateboard. You then cut out the shape, sand the edges and spray finish.

“It has been really good fun working with such a creative student like Nomi. Nomi’s winning design works well with the Hecs Decks style.”

To see other boards by Hecs Decks, visit

For more information, including tips from the experts, visit Fab Lab Devon’s website.

Fab Lab Devon is the first ‘Fab Lab’ ever to open in a UK public library. It is on the ground floor of Exeter Library in the room adjacent to the new Business and Information Hub, which provides business information and intellectual property (IP) support for local businesses. This complimentary set up enables users to develop or refine a product or object from first idea to a formed and working prototype.  Advice and further business support is also available to help develop the business proposal to ensure a route to market.

Devon County Council has invested £90,000 capital funds in the Fab Lab, with up to a further £30,000 of investment from the ACE Bridge Challenge Fund run by the Real Ideas Organisation and £30k from the Digital Makers Fund (run by Nesta and Nominet Trust, in partnership with Autodesk).

fablab exeter

What is a Fab Lab?

The Fab Lab, or fabrication laboratory, is a low-cost digital workshop equipped with laser-cutters, 3D printers and scanners, Computer Numerical Control (computer controlled) router, 3D milling machines, electronics bench and programming and design tools.

It’s an open access, not-for-profit, community resource where users can invent and make just about anything.

The equipment enables users to develop or refine a product or object from first idea to a formed and working prototype.

There are over 200 Fab Labs around the world, open to local inventors, artists, small businesses, entrepreneurs, students and community users.

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