Roundup of Maker Faire Presentations

Craft & Design

Maker Faire Austin will have a dozen or more presentations each day that explore fascinating DIY projects, the art of design and the craft of things handmade.

On the Maker Stage at Maker Faire Austin, we will have expert sessions on model rocketry, catapults, wooden automata, armchair astronomy and flying cars. Among the speakers are Caleb Chung, co-inventor of the Furby, who will talk on Saturday about toy design and Pleo, his latest robotic toy creation. Featured in Make:08, Caleb is crazy-creative and entertaining; he once was a street-mime in LA and now is a co-founder of UGOBE.

Caleb Chung and Pleo

We also have sessions from well-known crafters. Jenny Hart, Austin-based founder of Sublime Stitching and the subject of a profile in Craft:O1 will talk about “Big Bold Embroidery.” LA’s Jenny Ryan, the founder of Felt Club, will talk about the business side of becoming a crafter. We’ll also have Wendy Tremayne, founder of Swap-O-Rama-Rama, who believes that becoming a maker is a revolutionary act. Filmmaker Faythe Levine will show an excerpt from her documentary, Handmade Nation and talk about the emerging DIY movement that she’s discovered on her travels.

Austin Crafter Jenny Hart’s talk is “Big Bold Embroidery.”

Ted Hall, founder of ShopBot and a wooden boatbuilder himself will explore 21st Century Woodworking tools. We’ll have George Hotz, the Rochester Institute of Technology student who was the first to unlock the iPhone for use with carriers other than AT&T. Prolific maker, Austin-based Chalo Colina will talk about how being extraordinarily resourceful is within the reach of most people. Make Contributing Editors Bill Gurstelle and Mister Jalopy will be featured both days, along with Make’s Editor-in-Chief Mark Frauenfelder. Mister Jalopy’s “Deep Sea Suburbs” is about exploring the world around you to discover amazing and beautiful things.

Make Conributing Editor Bill Gurstelle will talk about the Art of the Catapult and The Art of Living Dangerously.

Fortunately, not all the presenters will be human. The RoboThespian from Cornwall, UK will be presenting along with his assistant, Will Jackson. Also from England, Sarah Alexander will talk about Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, founded by her mother, and featuring creative automata made from wood by many different artists.


All presentations will take place on the Maker Stage in Bldg A. Here’s a complete listing of presentations for Maker Faire Austin. With such an exciting program of speakers and subjects, we hope you’ll join us this weekend.

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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

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