Maker Faire Cleveland 2021: Forged By The Community

Maker Faire Maker News
Maker Faire Cleveland 2021: Forged By The Community

When libraries host Maker Faires something special happens by virtue of a shared connection around sharing information and creativity and by the distributed nature of library systems. This week Maker Faire Cleveland, in its 9th year, makes use of its amazing network of local branches and brings more making into neighborhoods across Cleveland in a build up to its annual event on Saturday, November 20 from 6 – 9pm at the Great Lakes Science Center. Producers Deb Hajzak and Aaron Mason (as well as the many volunteers and library staff participating)  are thrilled to be back at a live event this year, albeit in a somewhat subdued version to accommodate COVID safety precautions and capacity limitations.  Visitors will have lots of great Maker exhibits and hands-on activities to enjoy including gaming, robotics, macrame, soapmaking, macrame, holiday lighting projects, and much more.  

Can’t make it to the Great Lakes Science Center? No problem! Visit one of our neighborhood branches or Main Library to experience Maker workshops, hands-on projects, and exciting activities such as knitting, robots, origami, and more. For a complete list of all Maker Faire activities at Cleveland Public Library, visit

A Week Of Making In Cleveland's Neighborhoods

Every Cleveland Public Library location is launching publicly-available Cricut consoles to offer access, inspiration, and tools for creativity to everyone and helps break down the barriers of cost and investment in tools.

Take-and-Make kits for everything from popsicle stick LED flashlights/lightsabers to DIY board games or clocks made from vinyl records allow visitors to bring the Making home.

A week-long open house at the Rockport Branch Library’s Best Buy Teen Tech Center features BBTTC students sharing their skills and inspiration with the community through hands-on exploration with robots, button making, origami, and Glowforge.

Library-based workshops during Maker Faire Cleveland Week include papermaking, knitting, crochet, paper circuits, making mini books, soapmaking, and more.  (Soapmaking workshops are offered by Momma Phoenix)

A special workshop highlight is crafting furry cell phone cases with Jessica Sheeran of Cool Critters.  (Here’s a great feature about Jessica and her amazing stuffed animals and creatures.

Attendees at Maker Faire Cleveland will be part of a live audience which will be captivated by ttendees at Maker Faire Cleveland will be part of a live audience which will be captivated by Nnedi Okorafor‘s sci-fi/fantasy worlds which blend her Nigerian-American heritage with futuristic technology, space travel, and more. Her stories re-imagine a technological future infused with the places, people, and possibilities of modern Africa as well as the traditions and spirit of the ancestors. 

The Afrojujuistic creator of the Binti trilogy and the Akata series and winner of Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Locus, and Lodestar Awards, will be giving a virtual author talk at 7 p.m. in the Reinberger Auditorium at the Great Lakes Science Center. She is also the author of Broken Places & Outer Spaces (2019) which tells her story from star athlete to sudden paralysis to creative awakening, showing that what we think are limitations have the potential to become strengths. REGISTER 

Avid gamers Azzy and Eliot Aretskin-Hariton noticed a lack of co-operative games that families could play together. Also they enjoy the geometry puzzles of modern tower defense computer games. In December 2016 they embarked on the journey to create Obelisk, making test versions on the laser cutter at the Cleveland Public Library and the Sear’s think[box] which progressed to a fully formed deluxe version produced by GameCrafter. Now,  they’ve upsized Obelisk to a giant floor version to play at Maker Faire. 

Adaptive Corporation will demonstrate 3D Scanning technology that is commonly used in industry to Reverse Engineer physical products in to 3D CAD models that can be modified and reproduced. Other applications include precision measurement.

From the amazing makers who bring you ReInvented Magazine, which aims to inspire interest in STEM for young women worldwide. Learn to use your first power tool and leave with a take-away souvenir constellation project you made yourself!

One of Maker Faire Cleveland’s favorite makers, Kody Greene returns to Maker Faire with his amazing props and replicas.  Kody built a fully-working R2-D2 droid at age 16 and has continued to expand his Maker skills and imagination since.  He is now working on an Iron Man Mark 42 suit and creating custom replicas and 3D models for cosplayers and enthusiasts of all kinds.  Links to all of his social media sites and .STL files for many of his projects are HERE

Rent The ChickenIf you’ve ever considered back yard chickens but didn’t know where to start, consider Rent The Chicken. We provide all of the supplies you need to get started as well as instructions on how to keep your chickens happy. Even Chickens Need a Vacation!

Taranis Works: Where Fantasy and Functionality Meet!  “It all started with one small set of armor, that turned into an obsession. I have spent my life trying to find a way to take my passion for hands on making and turn it into a functional art form. With leather-work, I have found that.” Taranis Works offers handcrafted leather goods ranging from delightfully kinky, to highly functional leather goods for reenactment enthusiasts. Their workshop is located outside of Cleveland, Ohio and all of our leather work is proudly crafted in the USA. 

Tim Cunningham Artisan Blacksmith creates unique hand forged items for your home. The Urban Forge makes everything from hooks to hang coffee cups off of, Bottle Openers, and larger items like pot racks. Tim also teaches blacksmithing at SoulcraftCle and at Cleveland Blacksmithing in Cleveland Ohio, as well as doing demos for homeschool groups, scouts, and many other organizations.

Making Music as part of our Maker universe!

A variety of local musicians ranging from traditional Taiwanese performers to hip hop and indie rock will bring live music to neighborhood libraries through ListenCLE, a new collective created by Amanda Nyx and Michael McFarland, two Makers who’ve brought their art and their Maker projects to Maker Faire Cleveland for many years.  ListenCLE creates streaming playlists featuring Cleveland area musicians and helps local organizations and events find local musicians and vice-versa.  Partnerships are brewing with big names like the City of Cleveland, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and Destination Cleveland in a drive to help give local musicians more opportunities to advance their craft and build their careers. 

Library Makerspaces Are Changing Lives

Jacob Mostoller is part of the team at MakerGear.  Using the MakerSpace at Cleveland Public Library he brought to life his idea of printing oversized championship rings for the team mascot when the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA championship in 2016.  READ MORE. The staff at our MakerSpace helped him learn the skills he needed and that project inspired him to launch a business based on 3D printing (including orders to print championship rings for lots of other team mascots.)  As he told Deb Hajzak, librarian and Maker Faire Cleveland’s producer, “your MakerSpace changed the whole trajectory of my life.”  

In the intervening years,  Jacob worked on his own hobby project to build his own 3D printer and now he works for MakerGear.  His garage project has now become a product for MakerGear and a way to inspire other Makers.  While MakerGear sells kits, a kit is not required.  All the files and plans are open source so anyone who’s new to Making like Jacob was when he walked into our MakerSpace can not only build a project, they can also build their own 3D printer. READ MORE.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Jennifer Blakeslee keeps the Global Maker Faire program running smoothly and has been a maker at Maker Faire since 2011. Among other things, she really likes to travel, write, cook, hike, make big art, and swim in the ocean.

View more articles by Jennifer Blakeslee


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