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A panoramic view of Maker Faire Bay Area from within one of Rob Bell's zomes.

A panoramic view of Maker Faire Bay Area from within one of Rob Bell’s zomes.

I have been to World Maker Faire and Maker Faire Bay Area several times as both an attendee and as a maker, but this is the first time I’ve been here to absorb the work of others as an online editor for MAKE.

Cliff Stoll, best-selling author on cyber security, astronomer, and maker of Klein Bottles.

Cliff Stoll, best-selling author on cyber security, astronomer, and maker of Klein Bottles.

Whereas before I was either interested in being dazzled by projects or dazzling others with my own projects, this time I was just as focused on the makers themselves.

Hudson Cress, carpenter, and his custom IPad Mini enclosure with included photographic slide viewer.

Hudson Cress, carpenter, and his custom IPad Mini enclosure with included photographic slide viewer.

Over the weekend I heard lots of stories about tiny Maker communities. Whether they were groups of pinball tinkerers, kinetic sculptors, or drone pilots, Maker Faire brought them all together to display and cross-pollinate. At one point I stood atop a giant steam-powered tractor with Stephen Rademaker of Kinetic Steam Works and he told me the story of the contraption we were standing on. Someone had taken it on and needed the help of others to rehabilitate and maintain– it was the catalyst for the community. In a similar sense, Maker Faire has also become a catalyst, though larger, for all Makers to relate to each other as a community.

Hortense, an engine from Kinetic Steamworks.

Hortense, an engine from Kinetic Steamworks.

Michael Colombo

In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens’ educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.


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