“Go home and make your own Maker Faire”

“Go home and make your own Maker Faire”

[Photo by Scott Beale]

Dan Chiles is a member of Springfield City Council in Missouri. He visited Maker Faire and wrote about it in the Springfield News-Leader. I think he does a fine job, in a brief piece, of capturing the wonder and inspiration (and the delightful wackiness) of a Maker Faire:

I saw a fire truck that belched fire, and a mammoth mechanical fist powered by shrieking diesel motors and controlled by two guys who sent us colorful hand signals, and a skating Barack Obama robot pulling a human in a cart.

I saw hundreds of homemade rockets hissing into the sky and parachuting to earth, and giant mechanical cupcakes motoring between weird mutant bicycles, and a guy building round aquariums to display gently undulating jellyfish. I saw a $700 machine that reads your computer design and makes an object out of plastic … or sugar!

I saw Star Wars technology morph with Jules Verne Victorian imagination into an alien art form known as “Steampunk.” There were Steampunk belly dancers in a magic show and they drove a car shaped like a giant mechanical copper snail. Teams of young blacksmiths hammered out Steampunk artifacts for wide-eyed kids.

The two guys who made jetting streams of Mentos and Diet Coke famous were there spewing on legions of laughing spectators.

There were buildings full of kids assembling robots, electronics and gadgets. There were buildings of kids tearing apart electronics, gadgets and appliances to see what was inside.

Art cars covered with ink pens and pinwheels or shaped like a shark prowled the parade grounds.

Human beings rode on human-powered amusement rides and listened to rock bands powered by ranks of laughing men and women pedaling bicycle generators.

And I love the Dale Dougherty quote he ends with:

“Do you like what you see here? Then go home and make your own Maker Faire.”

Are you ready to remake America?


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn
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