Chaos Attraction

Maker Faire

2018-05-19, 8:55 p.m.

So I went to my first BIG Maker Faire. It was awesome. It was a 3+ hour commute for me to go to it--hour drive to BART, hour and a half ride on BART and then a 15 minute shuttle ride to San Mateo--and then doing all that in reverse in the dark when all food joints were closed--but seriously, worth it.

(Note: as I write this while on my shift at the CC, at least three other Craft Center folks said they went as well. I got reviews like, “I expected more robots” and “I didn’t think there’s be THAT many robots!” I’m not sure what to say there. I cannot argue with the ah,probable total lack of kid safety that one person mentioned though. Watch your kids if you go, there’s darkness and weird flaming cars.)

The thing is huge. They have like eight different “zones.” When you walk in you enter the area where people have Burning Man vehicles (cars on fire, anyone?), racing robots, racing cars, the “Traveling Spectacular” show that was kind of a magic show/circus event. There was an area for the homemaking hippies (tiny homes, cheese making, quinoa making, stuff like that). There was a virtual technology area. There was an area for various creators to hang out and chat and show off their “ACME Muffineering” (driveable muffins, no joke). I was disappointed that the Magic Wheelchair folks didn’t bring any of their works, though. There were kids’ areas and a haunted house with instructions on how to make things in one. There was a “Dark Room” that was just all light up stuff. There was an entire steampunk bazaar that was my favorite craft fair this year other than Whole Earth. There were places to buy projects to make and giant sculptures (again, probably from Burning Man) abounded. Some folks had really cool outfits and I need to step up my wardrobe game next year. I did just order a light up skirt from ThinkGeek….

There were more Legos and stuff like a Lego amusement park. There was a machine that drew a black and white sketch of you and then instantly printed it out.There was infrared, there was a paper airplane booth, there was a lot of Arduino, whatever that is (I am never sure even after reading the definition of it). There was tapigami (objects made from tape). There was so much awesome.

But my favorite building was, of course, the one that had crafts in it. I saved that for last inadvertently because I decided to walk as far back as I could and then progress forward, and I had a great time making two forms of lace--one cord and one rainbow--at a lace museum booth. There was an entire section to learn needlecrafts and I got a pattern to needlepoint the Maker robot icon. I did not know that the difference between cross stitch and needlepoint was basically “just do one slant and use the full skein instead of using two tiny threads.” THAT IS SO MUCH EASIER and less tangly, WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THIS IN 4-H CLUB? I said that and my instructor said that was the funniest thing she’d heard all day. It took me three days to finish a little robot that way!

On the one hand, I feel bad that nobody came along (I didn’t invite Dawn because between expense and duration of travel I figured she’d say no, and I invited Mom but she went off with Roger instead) to see all the awesome and makes me wonder if I should put more effort into bringing someone next time. On the other hand, it’s so big that if I’d had someone else come along they would have been slower about going through and I barely got through it all in one day, so who knows. A dilemma to slightly worry about next year.

Things I got:
* Necklace that says ‘Makers Gonna Make”
* Necklace of a bunny wearing glasses
* A wooden necklace that had my personal sigil engraved into it--took an hour and a half of waiting in line for that at the end of the day and I nearly finished my lace cord while waiting for it, but it was worth it! VERY CUTE!
* Maker robot earrings
* Iridescent Saturn earrings
* Two rainbow polymer leaf clay hair doodads
* A blue morpho butterfly in a little box
* Some iridescent uh...thing to put together sometime
* A light up flower button that is still working days later, amazing
* A 3-D bust of my own head (have to have that one mailed to me)

I’m really excited about all of that stuff! I’m wearing most of it right now!

I will say that their program needed some work though. It didn’t specify where any of the stages where the talks were going on were or what talks were going on where. I found the subject matter for the talks online but never found any of the stages in time to go hear anything. Adam Savage was supposedly speaking, but they sure as hell never said when in the program! Come on, guys. I would have liked to have seen, say, the drones in sweaters. But alas.

DEFINITELY worth going, y’all. If you have the means, go see a Maker Faire. Even if you are not into robots.

Here’s some links.

* I did see the dancing skeleton puppet guy.
* And the cat of a different color.
* Some samples from the dark room.
* All kinds of cool shit.

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