Motor City Rides

Dec 9, 2009 at 12:00 am

Just within the last few years there's been a countrywide explosion in the crafting movement. Your typical craft fair offers everything from T-shirts to posters to housewares to accessories that are way cooler than anything you're going to find at Urban Outfitters. Imagine if the aesthetics of the DIY indie-music scene and Martha Stewart had a love child and you would get an idea of the crafting sensibility.

Generally speaking, the crafting scene tends to skew a little bit toward women, so it only seems to make sense that a somewhat more "male" counterpart of the crafting movement would spring up. Welcome to the other side of the creative coin — "making."

 The making scene (in part named after the seminal magazine Make) has exploded from 10 national organizations a year ago to more than 120 this year. Cross the dudes of MythBusters with the crafting movement and you've got "making."

Nick Britsky and Russ Wolfe opened the i3 Detroit workshop last spring to provide a space for people to get in touch with their inner mad scientist. Just a stone's throw from downtown Royal Oak, you'll find makers running the gamut from metal fabricators to fashionistas there on any given day. That's right, Nick and Russ are just as likely to bling some clothes with LEDs as they are to bust out the power tools.

Arguably their most amazing creation yet is their cupcake car. Inspired by some cupcake cars they saw in California, Nick and Russ chopped off the front half of a bike, added a few car batteries, an electric motor, lights and a horn to make one sweet, smile-inducing cupcake car. "We've got it up to 13 mph so far," grins Nick. "I'm afraid to run it at full power though, it will pop a wheelie on you. I love it. It cost me less than a grand to make, but if you want to get one from the Neiman Marcus catalog it costs $25,000."

You can find out more about i3 Detroit at