Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Second Day, Maker Faire

Welcome back! It's day two of Maker Faire. In telling our tale, I've spread it out a bit, so let's pretend yesterday was the First Day. So, now it's Sunday... even though you and I both know today is actually Wednesday... oh, never mind. Some things are better left unexplained.

MAKE would like to remind us: If you can't open it, you don't own it. And if you would like to learn more about MAKE, the Shed, the Blog, the Faire, the people, and the magazine, please *click* here!

Max, Maria and I were hanging out in the Young Maker's area, when I recognized Dale Dougherty, founder of Make Magazine and Maker Faire. Please note, and appreciate how calmly I write these words. This was a Geek Celebrity Moment, and I cannot emphasize enough how super stoked and awestruck I was, and still am, about meeting Dale Dougherty. I introduced him to Max, gave him our card, told him about Maker Prom, and Love & Rockets~Young Makers Club, then cooly, calmly released him from my Spazness Geek Celebrity Fan Grip. Personally, I feel I have matured and mellowed since my first bout of Maker Faire Geek Celebrity Spazness, when meeting Gever Tulley made highlights #'s 3-10 of our day at the Faire.

I thought it was extremely cool that Mr Dougherty was just being another guy at Maker Faire, hanging out, taking in all the sights... not with an entourage, not schmoozing with the suits. Like most people at Maker Faire, he was getting engaged with the makers, the young kids, the dreamers, the hobbyists, the tinkerers, and a person like me... a mom who makes, and who wants this country to respect S.T.E.A.M.M. and the people who champion makers, of all ages. Thank you Mr Dougherty. I like what you, and Make, are accomplishing.

Max + Skallops = Awesome!

Our Chickenbloggiversary Giveaway is over, but the fun continues.

By the second day, Max was fully on board with Skallops and his creations. With his new shirt, and some free space in the Young Maker's area, Max was able to share his love of designing and making with passersby, like Dale Dougherty. Maker Faire really isThe Biggest Show (and Tell) on Earth!


Let's face it: I am about to run out of adjectives, and this post has barely begun. Either I can say "awesome" forty-two more times, or we can see whether I am able to, with literary-artistic license, make up whole new descriptive words!


The art cars, and bicycle wonders at Maker Faire restore magic. Yes, magic. Maybe you never lost it, but sometimes I forget the sheer bliss of imagining a new kind of ride, a fantastical mode of transportation. Someday. I will ride in a Neko Bus, and if it isn't at Maker Faire, or in Arcata, at "The Triathlon of the Art World," then please, God, let it be in my own backyard. That would be awesome. Amen.

Metal and Flames, and thousands of people in love with making and sharing. It feels like home.

Think, Make, Tinker, Play. All day.

The drive home is about nine hours, and the whole way, we discuss next year, and the next project. Maker Faire gets us fired up.

People are inside. Inside this metal monster! Maria was over come with emotion and gobsmacked, she said, "It's. just. beautiful!"

I love seeing that kind of uncensored, moment of love at first sight. Children express it so well.

We go to meet the Makers. We go for the thousands of ways we can share our interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Music, and Math, with people like Cody Vrosh. Unlike malls, and typical conventions, where everyone wants to sell you something, or promote their thing, at Maker Faire you meet artists, inventors, engineers, educators, tinkerers, who respect the process of making, embrace the learning, want to share and engage with others, and who are curious about your experience, your tinkering, too! The whole place and event is like a massive, collaborative dialogue about ideas, solutions, creativity, sustainability, and sharing, generously sprinkled with encouragement and hope. It all makes me feel very excited, and supportive of people like Cody, and his art, and all the participants and visitors who want to make something.


Martin Hsu! Thumbs up for this artist, who officially tagged me into his Miyazaki Club! Hey, Martin, I haven't forgotten... you'll be at Comic Con, and we're going to see about hosting a movie night during that week. It would definitely be something from The Club archives!


Have you heard? Chickenblog was "EXTERMINATED!" By the Dalek Guy. Which, geekalogically speaking was Whotastic.

Maker Faire has this HUGE presence, with big sights and massive stimulus opportunities, and it has opportunities for quiet, introspective, intimate, cerebral moments. I would be hard pressed to not find something that makes me feel engaged, sparkling, inspired, humored. James, and his mom, Robin, came this year, and I think they would agree: The whole place wakens your mind! Firing on all cylinders! Something about being that stimulated and engaged with intelligent, curious masses... it's beautiful, like an equisite pattern in nature, both rationally sound and emotionally gratifying.

Eli, playing his Smoked Salmon Box guitar. In a separate post, I will be sharing all the projects designed, made, shared, and in progress from Love & Rockets~Art & Engineering, Young Makers Club.

I want to do another entire post just about Young Makers, and all that I love about the children who attend and participate at Maker Faire. And I'll try not to get too emotional, or rant, too hard, about what a colossal tragedy our country and states are making of schools. The children are our future, but budget cuts for public schools are giving them a bum rap today.

Young people love learning! Seriously. And, they have a lot to teach, too. We need these places, where we can all exchange our knowledge and encourage each other.

Being curious, feeling safe to be yourself... it cannot be topped.

It's all just so very, very marvelous... like a double unicorn rainbow of cycling magic! It's indescribably beautiful.

Is there a word for this level of joy?

Yes. Yes, I do have a next project in mind, thank you.

One ticket, people! One ticket, and the whole day is yours to play with and enjoy!

People + Pedals + Steel = Happy-Go-Round

Next year, she may reach the pedals!

The Front Porch is mobile, musical, and homemade.

More Young Makers! Bambi, and Alex, and Maria! I cannot help myself. I love that Make gives all the Makers space and credit in their program, links in the website. They see the future is now! And they respect that.

Alex rode in The Whiskey Drome, last year. It looks wild. It is wild.

He caught the hat. They're moving fast. The Drome is big, for something assembled and transported around, but small for their numbers and speeds. Like I said: Wild!

It makes this great creaking noise, and the boards flex. I cannot decide if I would try this. For sure it would have to be just me in there.

It sure was a crowd-pleaser. Maria could hardly be torn away. Maybe she's got a velodrome future?

I didn't realize how far back these go... The WhiskeyDrome is a homage to the turn of the century velodromes that would travel the country to wow the populace with acts of 2-wheeled daring-do. Specifically Keith's Bicycle Trick of 1901.

Happy: head to toe, inside, and out. All over.

We were all treated to a celestial marvel, and the thousands of us there, finishing our Maker Faire weekend of marveling at the manufactured wonders, were absolutely enthralled and delighted by the show put on by our Sun and Moon. Not everyone knew that this would be happening, or what to expect, but enough generous, informed citizens, came prepared not only to enjoy the spectacle, but also to share, and they passed out these viewers! Sweet!

It was as much fun to share the viewer with people who didn't have one, or who were unaware of what was transpiring, as it was to witness the event. Slowly the day darkened, it got noticeably cooler, and the shadows and reflections... wondrous strange!

The trees and other forms made crescent shadows everywhere. And all over the exclaimed joy and amazement filled the air.

William's shadow and the crescent reflections, as captured on Geoff's phone.

Like a light show, a Maker Prom grand finale, a school field trip beyond imagining... and we were all together to love it all, to enjoy wonder and curiosity.

This moment made it all worthwhile.


judy in ky said...

So many wonders to behold! I'm going to have to go through it all again to take it in. A word comes to mind... phantasmagorical! Is that a real world? Well, if not, it should be. This is all so much better than anything Disney could imagine.

Jennifer said...

I feel it. I feel the joy, the power, and the magic. It not merely makes me want to be there, it makes me want to MAKE every day. Make station. That's what the new house must have. Central, ready for everyone all the time. You've inspired me -- again!!!

valleycampdurango said...

ok. so i have a question. did you have fun at maker's faire? :)

is it expensive? can you camp there or nearby for cheap?

you have got me all excited!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

You're lookin' for the real low down.
Sentiment and faith aside, I rate this competitively against Christmas, and would forego Christmas expenses for the sake of going to Maker Faire. And I LOVE CHRISTMAS.

1. Yes, I had fun. This year I did less than in previous years, because I mostly followed Maria and Max. They are both content to settle into one area for hours at a time, but I was never bored or disappointed, because there is SO MUCH, wherever you are.

2. Travel and lodging are the *only* expenses. We camped on the way up, and on the way back. One year we took one hotel room, and some of us _ahem_ may have camped in our RV in the parking lot. Now, since we are a "field trip" with boys and girls, we get two rooms, at a reduced Maker Faire rate, and the students chip in, and fundraise. 130$/rm/night. We bring meals with us, and splurged on two meals out... totally worthwhile.

Go as a participant: you will not believe how easy and worthwhile they make it. And if not, early bird tickets are less than 20$. Compare that with 87$ for Disneyland. Once you are in, everything except for merchandise is free. You can play, explore, enjoy concerts, learn skills, hear speakers... all for the price of admission.

3. There probably is camping... check California State Parks for starters. Our campsite in Capitola was 34$, and that's only an hour from San Mateo. Big Basin, and Half Moon Bay are even closer, and I am sure there are county/private campgrounds, too!

Happy to answer any more questions, Ivey. Stay excited!

warren said...

This is soooo cool! I know this is weird but it sort of reminds me of when I was in graduate school in computer science. There were cool projects everywhere and people just seemed more interesting...not that I am around dummies now but it just seemed more on fire then. Anyhow, somehow I will get to one of these events!

Janece said...

I have no words for how wonderful this all is. Thank you for sharing your experience and all of it through the lens of your passion for all things S.T.E.A.M.M. -- so inspiring and beautiful.