From traditional, heirloom crafts to the latest in digital fabrication, the 8th annual Maker Faire Atlanta welcomes diversity in making with open arms. Started by an intrepid group of Georgia Tech students in 2011, this annual celebration has grown a full-sized Faire featuring 100+ maker exhibits and expecting upwards of 15,000 attendees over the course of this weekend, October 27–28. Maker Faire Atlanta is organized by the Southeast Makers Alliance, an Atlanta nonprofit focused on educating the public about the Maker Movement in the Southeast and its value to communities, schools, and businesses. Tickets are free, but you do need to register.
What’s new this year? Here’s what the organizers shared.
- Cosplay Prop Contest — Maker Faire Atlanta will host its first ever cosplay contest, expected to bring out creative DIY costumes based on favorite comic book, sci-fi, movie, television and cartoon characters.
- Lotus Eaters Club — Five award-winning artists of animation, illustration, and design will work together throughout the festival to create a mural celebrating Atlanta makers.
- Vamos Chicos Bus — A converted, eco-arts bus complete with an arts studio, crafts workshop and science lab will showcase the fusion of the arts and conservation.
- Goat n Hammer — Winners from the TV series Forged in Fire will utilize their expert knowledge in blacksmithing, bladesmithing, and knife grinding to demonstrate and give insight into the world of metal works.
Cosplay & Prop Contest
This year’s Maker Faire Atlanta is putting a call out to all cosplayers — whether competing or not — to come out, join the fun, and talk shop with fellow creators. Full details for the first annual contest on the contest page. Here are basics.
Where: The Georgia Freight Depot
When: October 27 @ 2:00 pm
Design Brief: At Maker Faire Atlanta, we want to celebrate makers and the amazing creations they bring to life. What better way than to put on our very own Cosplay and Prop Competition? For the first year ever, attendees will have the opportunity to show off their costumes and props at Maker Faire Atlanta! This is your chance to wow the judges during an on-stage interview explaining how you crafted your design.
A glance at the lineup of maker for this year reveals an array of cosplayers and prop builders in attendance such as
Michelle Sleeper of Overworld Designs
Emily Schmidt of Go Big or Go Home Cosplay
Shane Washington (Jai Kayee)
Plus Makers of All Stripes
Cosplay is just the tip of the makery iceberg as Maker Faire Atlanta hosts a wide variety of makers. Check out the full listing online. Here is just a small sampling.
Retired architect Ivan Johnson began carving walking sticks as a Scoutmaster during the 1970s. As his collection grew, he began exploring the swamps around the Aucilla River, next to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in North Florida for sticks to source. Each of his one-piece walking sticks are hand carved using simple tools such as pocket knives, drills, and small saws. After he’s carved them, Marsey Johnson applies intricate painted patterns.
Interactive Musical Tesla Coil
Nashville-based freelance electrical engineer Will Mefford enjoys designing power electronics and embedded systems as well as playing jazz piano and Tesla coils. He’ll be bringing his 200kV Tesla coil connected to a keyboard that will be available for anyone to play their favorite song through 8 inches of modulated plasma.
Atlanta nonprofit Mad Housers builds small shelters and gives them away for free to homeless people in Atlanta. They build where the client lives to prevent uprooting them from their community and to connect them with resources that aid in their transition. Mad Housers was founded by a group of Georgia Tech architecture students in the 80s.
Formed by a team of artists, designers, engineers, and educators, 3Ducators is on a mission to educate communities with innovative 3D printing technologies and enable them to understand the power of 3D printing and 3D imaging for daily use and life improvement.
Metro Atlanta hobbyist maker Chad Grosklags shares his love of blacksmithing, welding, knife making, powder coating, woodturning, resin casting, CNC, laser cutting, and 3D printing on his YouTube channel ManCrafting.
Whale Space, a creative collective with a passion for bringing joy to all people through beautiful interactive projects, will be bringing their beloved Pedal Recliners and Saw-Blade bikes, along with this year’s showpiece, the pedal-powered kinetic Stegosaurus. Find them and take each for a spin!
Goat n Hammer
Try your hand at forging with Goat n Hammer‘s two-hour workshop at Maker Faire Atlanta, open to all experience levels, ages 14+. All minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Sign up for $50 per person at the Faire. Goat n Hammer has been offering 100% hands-on instruction for blacksmithing, bladesmithing, knife grinding, and associated metalworking skills in Atlanta since 2013.
Twelve-year-old maker Veeraj Chaudhry got a 3D printer when he finished 5th grade and has been learning 3D software programs and printing objects ever since. At his booth, he’ll be displaying his hand-painted, 3D-printed miniatures and showing how he paints them.
Society of Lady Makers
The Society of Lady Makers is an organization that aims to get women and girls more involved in the Maker Movement. They hold workshops and monthly make nights to share their skills.
All the information you need to attend this weekend is on the Maker Faire Atlanta site!