In 2010, Natalie and her family made the 10 hour drive from San Diego to Maker Faire Bay Area. They were so excited by what they saw at the Faire that they decided they needed to be part of it next year, and the Love & Rockets Young Makers Club was born on the trip home. They were already building robots and making things like a giant, backyard movie screen, so it was no surprise that the maker community welcomed them.
In 2011, they returned to Maker Faire with eleven new visitors, including two from Natalie’s son’s high school Make Club and FIRST Robotics team. And finally, in 2012, they returned as participants, with more friends and club members. Natalie says: “We called it Maker Faire Prom, because club members were choosing Maker Faire over their senior prom. They firmly believe it was a great choice.” For the 2012 Faire, Maria, the club’s youngest member, brought her wool felting expertise. Alex came with his designs and aspirations for building an automaton, and a preliminary hand robot that autonomously draws on paper. Eli drew a crowd with his Coppercaster, a guitar he designed and was completing, made mostly of copper tubing. He also put together a tuneful little banjo, made from a thrifted salmon box.
Next week they hit the road again for the long trip to Maker Faire, bringing more new visitors and as much anticipation as ever. Natalie describes their projects: “Maria is returning with her wool felting and adding needles this time. She’s been learning new wool felting techniques and wants to demonstrate how she can take wool roving and make designs and artful images by jabbing wool with sharp needles. Max has decided to participate this year, so he will be showing his foam weapons. He’s been making and playing with them since last spring, and are they ever compelling. Max makes them oversized and safe, so the urge to pick them up and play at battling is irresistible. He wants to share how easy, affordable, and worthwhile these are to make.”
In between the big Faires, the group has held our own backyard “Mini-Mini-Maker Faires”, and even a lemonade and bake sale with a Maker Faire vibe. Natalie says that she knows her family would be making T-shirt cannons, Ruben’s tubes, hula-hoops, and robots no matter what, but being able to come together and share their experiences and their love of making with other people is always one of their favorite parts of the year.