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Steampunk creations, crafts, Raspberry Pi, educational kits, learn to solder areas, trebuchets, 3D printers and food trucks were among the featured exhibits at the Portland Mini Maker Faire, which was held Saturday and Sunday, September 15 and 16, 2012 at OMSI. Portland is a city that embraces DIY culture and so we’ve long anticipated having Maker Faire become part of the Portland scene. I was glad to be on hand for the inaugural event.

Start the Slideshow

Dale Dougherty

I’m founder of MAKE magazine and creator of Maker Faire. I am CEO of Maker Media, the company that produces MAKE, Maker Faire and Maker Shed. I am Chairman of the Maker Education Initiative (



  1. James T. Jordan says:

    There are 14 states with cities named Portland: Maine, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, North Dakota, Indiana, Connecticut, Michigan, Arkansas, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, and Kentucky. There is also a Portlandville in New York, and a Portland Mills in Pennsylvania. You might consider putting the state as well in the story header.

    1. Zadaz says:

      Seeing as you had to look those up on Wikipedia and that the vast majority of people have never heard of the rest of these, I think we can let this one slide. In fact totaling the population of the other 13 Portlands sums to less than 1/10th the population of Portland Oregon.

      However I wouldn’t let that stop all the other Portlands (including the two in Australia, and the ones in Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand. And any on other plantes) from starting Mini Maker Faires. I welcome the confusion.

      1. Matcha says:

        One of the best Internet replies I’ve ever witnessed.

      2. Rich Beatty says:

        Brilliant response! Kudos

      3. James T. Jordan says:

        well since I live near the one in Maine, I was very excited to hear about maker fair activity near my home town. only to be very dissapointed to find that the author was talking about portland oregon. I think portnald oregon residents often totally forget that they are not the only portland in the world. Speaking of wich if there are any Maine makers out there we need to have an upper new england event!

  2. RavMedia says:

    Very good slideshow, thank you for it !

  3. rayceeya says:


    I check this blog almost every day and I find out about this mere hours after it’s over.

    Way to get the word out.

    1. rayceeya says:

      Obviously Make has no love for Oregon.

    2. ka1axy says:

      Pretty much the same thing happens to me with auroras (northern lights). I either find out how great they were the day afterwards, or, on the rare occasions I find out in time to go out and look, it’s either cloudy or raining.

      But yes, Make, why not create a small “upcoming Make events” box on the main page?

      1. That’s a great idea to have it on the homepage of MAKE, we do have it on the home page of Maker Faire. Check out the full list of Maker Faires here:

    3. Chris says:

      From what I could tell, OMSI didn’t publicize that they were even looking for makers until late July/early August. They did very little publicizing so my guess was they were in a rush to make the event happen (maybe before World Maker Faire?).

      Talking with a few of the makers, they would have much rather paid a fee for their booth (this year was $0) in order to have a lower ticket price at the door ($12 for adults).

      Hopefully OMSI gets the feedback they need to make next year’s event much better.

    4. Marc says:

      On Sunday 16 Sept I was sitting @home alone working out how to get two Raspberry Pi’s to talk with each other, when I could have been at a makerfaire at Omsi.

    5. rayceeya: We did have a couple of posts leading up to the event, and sorry that you missed them:
      SEPT 7 — MINI MAKER FAIRE ACTION _ A new column that we will run every other Wednesday to share the news on upcoming faires and active call for makers.

      SEPT 11

      SEPT 15

      This was Portland’s first year and it came together in a relatively short amount of time. We are looking forward to OMSI growing this Portland (OREGON!) Mini Maker Faire this as an annual event.

  4. [...] our projects at the Portland Mini Maker Faire. It’s no surprise that half the photos in this photo gallery are of Dork projects! Where else can you find people who are into beekeeping, rocketry, [...]

  5. Stefan Jones says:

    The lead time was sufficient to allow Oregon Rocketry to get a booth together, and from what I was able to see of the show there was a pretty good selection of exhibitors.

    However, it was really by chance that I found out about the Mini Faire. Every Mini Faire should be announced to the MAKE newsletter mailing list, and have a blog post.

  6. [...] Shed and I were able to participate at the very first Portland Mini Maker Faire.  Dale did a great photo roundup already, but I thought I would share mine as well. WP_SLIDESHOW_IMAGES = { load: [...]

  7. [...] Shed and I were able to participate at the very first Portland Mini Maker Faire.  Dale did a great photo roundup already, but I thought I would share mine as [...]

  8. [...] Shed and I were able to participate at the very first Portland Mini Maker Faire.  Dale did a great photo roundup already, but I thought I would share mine as [...]

  9. The mini-maker faire was great! All four of us (me, my wife, and two boys) had a great time.

    I put together a writeup for each day:

  10. [...] Oh man the Portland Mini Maker Faire at OMSI was so much fun, I’m only just beginning to recover, that and my bail money finally came through.  The number of cool things to see and do was astounding from indie computer games, 3-D printed toys, the 30 foot trebuchet, fractal designed copper furniture and chocolates you could shape yourself into exotic flowers. I spent a good portion of the weekend ducking arrows coming over the top of the Tracker’s booth, thank goodness they’d replaced the steel tips with sponges!  Wire’s Geek Dad blog has a great re-cap of the Faire  and Dale Dougherty founder of Make Magazine and Craft, and the brain child of Maker Faire gatherings was also in attendance, his blog post is here . [...]