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Weekend Watch: Charlie the Maker

When my son (now 30) was growing up in the late 80s and 90s, surrounded by new and powerful personal tech tools, I saw a kind of assumed efficacy in him that I found hopeful. Armed with the inspiration he had to create a digital animation with sound effects and music, or to make art to fax to people, or to build a drawing robot (with me) out of Legos and LOGO, he did not hesitate. To paraphrase Yoda: He was all do, no try.

At that time, I wondered what it must be like to grow up with these powerful, high-tech tools always at hand and the confidence to use them at will. I also wondered what a future might hold for those who grow up with such resources. Looking at so many of the talented young people on YouTube, one can see what a new generation of makers is doing with the tools at-hand today.

Take Charlie. He is a young UK builder who has a very charming and fun YouTube channel, called Charlie the Maker. On the channel, Charlie (with assists from his dad), builds tables, pens and pendants, clocks, bottle openers, game boards, and other common household items.

He’s cute, talented, and smart. But the most impressive thing for me is how confident and in the zone Charlie seems. Charlie in his element. I’m looking forward to seeing where Charlie takes things. He’s already starting to attract sponsorship interest.

Here is a sampling of what you’ll find on Charlie the Maker:

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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