The idea for building from scratch a fire-breathing dragon named Saphira came about over dinner one night at home in San Rafael before Christmas. Now the 8-foot-high steel animatronic character is about to make its debut this weekend at a fair in San Mateo.
Tony DeRose designed the dragon with his sons Samuel, 15, and Joseph, 11 – and with help from experts in flame effects. “The Maker Faire has become a big part of our family’s life. It’s now our tradition to pick a challenge for Christmas break and meet the deadline of the fair,” he said.
The Maker Faire, started in 2006 as a way to bring tinkerers of all types together, has grown into a huge event expected this year to draw 600 makers and up to 70,000 people. This year’s theme is young makers, and a building will be dedicated to exhibits by youths.