Magnificent auditions for Maker Faire

Magnificent auditions for Maker Faire

Maker Faire team held an open audition Sunday at the Tech Museum in San Jose. As usual, we saw lots of interesting things and met some great makers. The auditions are really a small preview of the upcoming Maker Faire.



Photos by Kent K. Barnes / kentkb.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Marc, a teacher of high school physics in SF, demonstrated live shooting a ping-pong ball out a PVC pipe with such speed that it went all the way through a soda can.
  • Kate, a procedural artist at a game company, built a custom 3D viewfinder for augmented reality that used her iPhone to project images.
  • Frank, a furniture maker in Oakland, makes his own metal-making tools and he’s building a three-wheel electric car.
  • Gayle, a weaver and spinner, showed us a variety of fabrics and yarns that she dyed using a variety of mushrooms. She also showed us a beautiful compact device called a Charkha, an Indian invention for spinning wool (shown above.)
  • Dick, an advisor for a venture capitalist, talked about a large Frenel lens that can melt a stack of pennies. At Maker Faire, he wants to create souvenirs from pocket change.

6 thoughts on “Magnificent auditions for Maker Faire

  1. dick says:

    Thanks Dale! We’re looking forward to a fantastic Faire, and maybe even a surprise exhibit! See more of the Fresnel (affectionately named Trogdor) at

  2. Peter says:

    I go to Bethel University, and we do some neat work on ping-pong cannons. One interesting thing that can be seen if you take high speed photos of the front end of the cannon, provided you seal the ends using glorified packing tape, is that the tape leaves the end of the tube before the ball hits it. There’s some neat computer modeling that shows why this happens, it’s due to a shock wave that builds up. Pretty neat stuff.

  3. Dale Dougherty says:

    Interesting observation. Do you have a photo or anything to share that show the shock wave?

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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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