Eli Meyerhoff, 10, left, and Jacob Lee, 12, show off some early manifestations of their ideas for Brick Masters Academy’s Rockets and Space Stations summer build session July 12. The academy focuses on letting children create collaboratively on Lego build challenges. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Lego collection forms foundation for Nanaimo father’s creative venture

Children collaborate at Brick Masters Academy workshops

A passion for Lego has provided a Nanaimo father and former professional artist with a new creative outlet and a chance to teach children how to work together creatively.

Richard Hoedl has created Brick Masters Academy, a business that offers year-round Lego brick workshops designed to inspire, educate and entertain while teaching children to collaborate to solve building challenges.

Hoedl’s fixation on Lego started about a decade ago when he was given a collection of the bricks from a relative for his then-newborn son Lucas. Some of the Lego kits dated from the 1980s.

It wan’t until a few years later when Hoedl finally pulled the bricks out of storage and father and son started rooting through the collection. They started building together and supplementing the collection with purchases from garage sales and flea markets where they would sometimes find bins filled with the plastic bricks.

For Hoedl, who hadn’t worked as an artist since 2008, the growing Lego collection offered a whole new opportunity for creative expression while playing with his son.

“It just kind of kept going until we had giant piles of Lego,” he said.

RELATED: Nanaimo’s Lego community creating, co-operating

Hoedl, who said he likes teaching and being around children, hit on the idea of creating Brick Masters Academy, which among other benefits provided justification to buy even more Lego. The academy offers scheduled workshops sessions, based on a theme, often with bricks from limited-edition kits.

“We come in. We learn different techniques. We hang out and we build these things,” Hoedl said. “A lot of it is building stuff that they just would never get a chance to. The last session we did was train building, so it’s all old trains. We had a dozen train cars.”

Some of the custom Lego sets have been out of production for decades. Others are just strange, such as the Lego Bionicle series of kits.

“They’re kind of weird-looking, alien robot things that Lego put out quite some time ago,” Hoedl said. “They don’t do them anymore, but there’s still a lot of people that still collect them.”

Hoedl runs a summertime series of workshops plus sessions through the school year and free sessions in Vancouver Island Regional Library Branches.

“We’ve been starting to do the free things at the libraries and stuff like that to, sort of get out there and engage other kids and let them know what’s going on and just to have fun with Lego,” Hoedl said.

To learn more about Brick Masters Academy, visit the academy website at www.brickmastersacademy.com/.

RELATED: Lego creations and more at Nanaimo’s Kris Kringle Craft Market

Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nanaimo pumped for Red Bull Pump Track World Championship event

Qualifying event held at Steve Smith Bike Park

V.I. Raiders earn a win against Okanagan Sun

Five interceptions help Nanaimo to a 37-13 victory Saturday at Caledonia Park

Summertime Blues Festival on at Maffeo Sutton Park

It’s Day 3 of Nanaimo’s blues festival with performances until 10 p.m. tonight

VIU staff go rock-hunting in Nanaimo for grade-school geology courses

University’s earth science department creating introductory teaching kits for schools

Retired Nanoose Bay teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

V.I. Raiders earn a win against Okanagan Sun

Five interceptions help Nanaimo to a 37-13 victory Saturday at Caledonia Park

VIEX now in full swing

Vancouver Island Exhibition underway in Nanaimo

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 22

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

Most Read