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As at previous Faires, the editors of the magazine and blog got to give out Editor’s Choice Blue Ribbons to our favorite makers. It’s one of my favorite parts of the Faire experience. The makers are usually very excited to get a ribbon — like having the prize Holstein at the State Fair.

As soon as I got mine, I headed off to the Xylocopa booth. Run by a husband and wife team from Tucson, Arizona, Xylocopa make amazing laser-cut jewelry, beads, home decor, and other creations from wood, paper, bone, shell.

By far, my favorite thing they do is the Young Mad Scientist alpha blocks, an eye-popping set of laser-cut wooden blocks with gorgeous art on them. The blocks sport words/images like G is for goggles, D is for dirigible, C is for caffeine. I know what *I’m* giving my nerd friends for Christmas!

[Maker Faire Editor's Choice winners will be announced soon.]

Mad Science Alphabet Blocks

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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