Sunday, May 27, 2012

The First Day

We are going to peek into Maker Faire, Bay Area, 2012.

Only a peek, because there is so much, so very, very much, that a single post in one blog could never fully share all of the marvels and wonders that are Maker Faire.

We begin, at a sort of beginning. Not exactly the part where we drove, all the way from San Diego to Santa Barbara, camped, made our way to Nepenthe, then drove directly to the gates of Maker Faire, barely in time to get our passes, check in and have a pre-show glimpse. Not exactly. But, yes... let's begin at the pre-show glimpse. We enter the fairgrounds, as the Makers are test driving their rides, fine tuning their robots, carrying tables, dishing up a complimentary paella dinner!

And we realize... this is going to be big. Epic. Better than we hoped. We arrived earlier than in years past, we were staying longer, new friends joined us, and for the first time Love & Rockets would be participants, too!
This is photo-laden, long post. I am not apologizing for that. I'd rather apologize for what I have not included. I have two three intentions here:

1. To make a photo album for Love & Rockets, and our friends and family who helped us get here.

2. To spread the message: S.T.E.A.M.M. education is vital, we want it, we need it, we make it, we share it. Science, Engineering, Art, Music and Math, in the hands of makers, tinkerers, and thinkers is awesome.

3. To convince you to find a Maker Faire, start a club, embrace a hobby, make something! As Adam Savage implores us, "Make what you can't not make!"

The Young Makers of Marin. We featured them and their amazing Saphira in a short video. Now they've come with the much anticipated Viper, a flight simulator inspired by Battlestar Galactica... do watch this promo video they produced!
Who knew Daleks are so huggable?

Early arrival, as participants? Definitely, a must.

Good morning, Love & Rockets!

Present: Max, James, William, Alex, Maria, Bambi, and Eli, Natalie and Geoff.

Arriving soon: Suki, Grant, Cameron, Jame's mother, Robin, Isaac and his cousin, Hannah, Michal and Kellie, Bill, Alison, Dom, and Marissa!

New, next Year!?! Jarret, Bobbie, Michael, Patricia, Filippo, Karen, Luca, Cecilia, Corina, Caia, and Chris? You? We hope so.

The man with the Iron Wooden fist! Everywhere you turn, you will see something amazing, and some things just make you stop and ask, "How did you do that?" "Can I take your picture?" And you find yourself meeting an enthused, creative, curious person who is more than happy to share. He modestly described his last minute decision to make something to bring to the Faire.

He opened a panel, and explained how it was working, how he wanted to improve it. He had us eating out of his hand! This guy! Design and function, and coolness. Maker Faire!

We asked to be pictured with him, because he is so cool. And funny thing... as we are finishing, we hear "Can I get a picture?" So we tried to clear away from the Wooden Robo Hand man, but the person wanting a picture was actually asking to take our photograph!

Isaac! Hannah! We met up, in the same place as last year, and jumped right back into sharing the awe and wonder of all the Maker Faire sights.

Like making envelopes and sending hand written letters through the generous and always uplifting St. Claire Aeronauts! They have welcomed us aboard every year, since our very first visit. Thank you, St. Claire Aeronauts!

Maria wrote a very long letter, and the Aeronauts generously and patiently provided all the supplies, support, and encouragement she could hope for.

New creations, re-creations, all creations... behind every tree, everywhere you turn!

Some are giant!

Some wave back! We Like Giant Cardboard Robots who wave back!

See you around!

Tea, anyone?

It's impossible not to imagine building an art car after a day seeing riding reclining chairs, cupcake cars, tea pots on wheels! Let's go!

Also cool? Buds! Best buds, forever. It's awesome running into friends. You squeee together, exchange recommendations,sqeee again, and make plans to meet later. I sent them off to meet the group that built a submersible, and their captain, a world renowned giant squid expert... sqeee!

Now, let's build a fire! Or try to, at least. It's a bit harder than you might realize. If you feel your wilderness skills could use some honing, some sharpening, then you may want to go to camp, with the Trackers of Trackers Earth.

They say, "The ancient skills are coming back," and we say, Yes!

We also say yes! to King Kong and Jaws doing the high five, 'cause it's nice.

Robin and James. Also nice. Very, very nice.

Hey! Look! It's Marshall! And Max! They've popped in to remind everyone to leave a comment on the Skallop post, for a chance to win a brand new toy- Skallops! Skallops are a clever little tool for building fantastic structures and creations with playing cards. The drawing is May 30th... go, throw your name in the fez!

Whimsical? Fantastical? Fanciful? Colorful? Is there one word for this? We could describe it forty-two ways, and hardly reach the end.

The day began with giant wonders, and as we made our way to the meeting spot at the end of the day, we found ourselves, again, standing with giants.

"We'll meet at the Hoops at eight-o'clock," that was the message we passed around. And everyone who had come before, remembered the hoops from last year.

And what better way to finish Maker Prom than with music, rhythm, swaying, and friends?

Is it any wonder, after last year, we were inspired to make our own hoops? Big hoops are big fun.

James little friend used his hoop for time travel. Pretty much anything is possible with this crowd.

Our group is gathering, the sun is setting. We're making dinner plans... but the fun doesn't stop.





and roll!

Everyone finds the meeting place. We'll all go to dinner together.

A beautiful smile. A beautiful day.

Kellie shoop-shoop-hoops. I think she'll come back next year. Don't you agree?

Maker Prom, and a reunion. James has returned from Massachusetts... time to catch up, talk story, share the hoop.

Meanwhile... Max sustains his spin marathon.

And Michal finds his groove.

Even after the Faire, we will recount all the moments we shared, the ideas we formed, the beliefs we abandoned. We will make new plans, too.

Maker Faire... it's like traveling in time, and space... the S.T.E.A.M.M. exists here, this day, we bring it with us, and we take it out and spread it. I am going all poetic, profound... ten hours with fifty thousand engaged people wakes your brain and enlivens everything, including the deep thoughts, and other musings!

Permission to Make, Play, Tinker. Do you remember the feeling you could be anything, try anything? You were an artist, a firefighter, a Ninja, a chef? You still are. Maker Faire reminds me that I can still try, play, experiment, fail, seek help, try again. What a gift.

We like to believe that the Faire never actually packs up and leaves. It is waiting for us, and we will return.

Hey, Grant.

Hands, hands, sticks, and drums. Beating out one last tune, before the setting sun.

Last dance. They're closing the gates.

It's eight o'clock, friends. And our first day at Maker Faire is done...

though we have not nearly run out of fun.


Alison said...

I could really go for a cupcake now... ;)

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Just one, right?
A BIG chocolate one.

Miriam said...

Wow! That's all I can say. Except that it looks like sooooo much fun and I wish I was there!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Miriam, that's how I feel... Wow! It really is fun, and I wish we were still there.
If the opportunity presents itself, I hope you can go one year, too

nikkipolani said...

Love all the hugely happy grins in nearly every photo. What a fun place to spark imagination.

Rois said...

Natalie, I would like to say thanks for posting about Maker Fair,after talking with our younger son we looked to see if there might be one near enough to us and guess what! There is one coming mid-June just a short drive from us.We are going!After seeing all the fun and wondrous things on your blog we were inspired to check it out for ourselves.

Thanks for the inspiration.Eugene Mini Maker's Fair here we come!

Love Rois,Chance,Issac and Sol.

ArtyZen said...

Been grinning from first to last - with an occasional jaw-drop in amazement. What wonderful fun and creativity. Happy time. Axxx

valleycampdurango said...

ok, you have sold me! this looks just amazing/wild/wonderful! i want to go and soak it all in with my children! thank you for opening this fabulous door...i'm putting it on our list for next year!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

All I can say is wow, what a day! Those giant cardboard robots are a trip! Thanks for giving us unaware types a glimpse of what it was all about.

warren said...

This looks incredible..sort of like Burning Man in it quirkiness but without the nudity and drugs and stuff. I wold love to see such a gathering of excellence!