The Humble, Inspiring Magic of Maker Faire

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The Humble, Inspiring Magic of Maker Faire

Last night, I was at the hotel lobby bar trying to wash down the five hour drive to Flushing, NY for this year’s World Maker Faire. Spinning around on my stool I caught sight of a couple of guys doing weird things with rolls of masking tape. They would hold the end of a roll at eye height, jerk their wrist in a kind of yo-yo move, and let the weight of the roll extend the tape all the way to the floor. Then they would start twisting and lifting the tape until they’d formed a long tube.

Neat trick. But why? They stood there, making rolls, tearing them off, and handing them out to people in the bar. My friend, DC-area artist Dave Mordini, who came to the show with me, jokingly asked, “Do you also do balloon animals?”

When Dave and I walked into the Faire this afternoon, we realized he does way more than balloon animals. We walked into the main entrance to the NY Hall of Science to see this:

What we were looking at last night was no late night bar tricks. It was artist Danny Scheible forever at work on his massive Tapigami Tape City. It is a sprawling, magical, and downright jaw-dropping creation made of hundreds and hundreds of tiny tape tableau, from meadows with little magical creatures in them, to monsters threatening skyscrapers, to the Millennium Falcon itself.

Here are some other shots of the display. As I was leaving the area, I expressed my admiration for the piece. Danny said: “Glad you like it. Maybe I’ll be able to bring the whole thing next year.” “This isn’t all of it?,” I gasped. “No,” said Danny. “This is only about 1/5th of it.”

And as impressive as The Tapigami Tape City is, it is only one of hundreds of equally impressive and inspiring things to be had at this year’s World Maker Faire. We hope you are coming to share in some of the wonder and magic-making.


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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