Mini-MakerFaire: NC

April 28, 2010

It’s been a few days since I attended the first (hopefully annual) MakerFaire:NC in Durham on Sunday the 25th…  I was very impressed with the whole affair.  I’ve have been following the whole Maker meme since I first ran into it quite a few years ago, and when I saw that there was talk of creating a magazine specifically aimed at the DIYer, I signed up for a subscription almost a year before they published the first issue!

I’ve been making my own things (and breaking other stuff) for as long as I can remember – its a knack that I picked up from my Dad who has built some of the coolest and most practical things I’ve seen – I’m mean, he built a car rotisserie for working on the bottom of old Mustangs he was restoring… I’ll have to get pictures…

Besides all the useful or off the wall things that people were demonstrating at the faire, the coolest things that I remember seeing while I was walking around were the kids with their parents. A father sitting on the floor with his son at the Chaos Machine describing how to put things together so the balls will keep moving, another explaining how the ShopBot works; A Dad and his daughter playing with the Beam bots from SheekGeek or the learning how to sew on the quilt…  It took me back to working with my Dad in his shop, sitting on the radiator support of the race car, pulling the intake manifold off when I was 6, when I should have been in bed asleep… He has always told me that I should work with my Brain and not with my Hands… but I’ve found ways to do both – it is hard not to make things when it’s in your DNA.

This didn’t start out to be a post about my Dad – but as I wrote it, I realized just how much of an influence he has been on me, my ability to solve problems, to build it if I need it and to fix it instead of throwing it away… So I guess my Dad is an original Maker, a builder of things… and that is why he is Awesome. And so are all the Parents that take their kids out to the NC faire, to San Mateo or Detroit or just to encourage them to learn and to Make instead of just buy and throw it away.