Finding the Makers in Maine

Once you get in the maker mindset, you start seeing them everywhere you look. I was at an arts festival in Brunswick Maine this weekend. Many talented artists were out displaying their creations.

I saw stained glass windows that incorporated glass bottles and jars, some of them filled with brightly colored found objects. I met Bill Meakin, who only started turning wooden bowls two years ago, but whose asymmetrical style I really loved. He used cut-off pieces that a carpenter was discarding and left the odd angles in place, integrating them into some of his bowls. His wife Jessica produced a wonderful ceramic pendant with a stream of ones and zeros printed on it, combining the digital and extremely analog worlds.

I also met Ken Brunsvold, who is an adopted member of the Ogallala Sioux tribe. Ken makes and plays traditional Native American flutes, beautifully ornamented with animal heads and other themes. Some of Ken’s award-winning flutes were even played at the passing of the flame ceremony at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Sharing a table with Ken was Brad Wolfe, who makes hand crafted jewelry from broken time pieces. My son and I both adored the pocket and wrist watches with gears, springs and sprockets embedded in layers of clear exoxy resin.

My daughter and I also spent time at the Art Van table. She got her face painted and created some spin art. The Art Van is a mobile program that brings art therapy to kids in low-income neighborhoods in southern Maine. They also create and sell scrapbooks with covers made from artwork that kids have abandoned.

We picked up a beautiful hand-turned wooden top from another artist. He had many different top designs, including ones that looked like large acorns. My daughter preferred this one for its bright colors and lovely carved inlay work.

Turned wooden top, Brunswick Art Festival Photo: Andrew Terranova
Turned wooden top, Brunswick Art Festival
Photo: Andrew Terranova

There were many other artists and makers in many mediums. We barely got to investigate a fraction. So if you are looking for cool makers in your area, you may not need to look any further than your local arts festival.

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Andrew Terranova is an electrical engineer, writer and author of How Things Are Made: From Automobiles to Zippers. Andrew is also an electronics and robotics enthusiast and has created and curated robotics exhibits for the Children's Museum of Somerset County, NJ and taught robotics classes for the Kaleidoscope Enrichment in Blairstown, NJ and for a public primary school. Andrew is always looking for ways to engage makers and educators.

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