Crafty Field Trip: Maker Faire Detroit

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I’ve heard about Maker Faire for years now, but have never had the chance to attend. They were either too far away, I had another obligation, etc- but this weekend, the stars were in alignment so I packed up my kiddos and headed up to the Motor Maker City to go check out what all the fuss was about!

For those of you who ask, “What is Maker Faire?” I can only say that it’s an amazing tribe of folks who embrace MAKING. Making art, making technology, making food,making music,  making crafts, making connections. But they put it much more elegantly on the website:

Organized by the staff of MAKE magazine, makezine.com and craftzine.com, Maker Faire is a newfangled fair that brings together science, art, craft and engineering plus music in a fun, energized, and exciting public forum. The aim is to inspire people of all ages to roll up their sleeves and become makers. This family-friendly event showcases the amazing work of all kinds of makers – anyone who is embracing the DIY spirit and wants to share their accomplishments with an appreciative audience.

Yeah, like that.

So after ponying up the significant cash to get me and the kiddos in, ($28 for single-day adult tickets and $19 for each of the kids-but parking was free, at least) we headed into the venue. We were immediately met with the smell of Maker Mini Donuts (yum) and the sight of this big drag0n-car thing that spit fire. Whoa! It was awesome already!

It breathed fire and was made out of recycled junk. Totally cool!

We made a bee-line to see my friend and artist extraordinaire Sarah Hodsdon,
who was manning a make-and-take table, sharing cool 3-d paper cutting techniques. And pontificating on the brilliance of Henry Ford. At the same time!

Kids snipping away.

Finished projects:

Then we headed out into the hot, hot heat to the Make tent. They had a make-and-take learning to solder and making pins that light up with an LED. This was right up my 10-year old’s alley!

Blinky light=success!

Not to leave little girly out, we visited the Arts and Scraps booth to make art out of …junk! Literally it’s discarded industrial leftovers. I’ll do a full post on them in the future, but they had an amazing array of collage materials to make into fun stuff.

The guided project was making a paddleboat, which she did.

You could also just create your own free-form sculptures, too. There was an abundant supply of materials!

So, there are a lot of cool, techie/hacker folk too. For example, we met Sean Casey, who invented the Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV) that was the “star” of the IMAX film, “Storm Chasers.” Omigosh, my son and I LOVED that movie and we totally geeked out meeting Sean and actually touching the TIV!

We were also blown away by the Video Coat….

Currently showing: The Simpsons.

….and the a solar-powered car.

And then there was the art/junk car. I had to take multiple pics of this one!

From the front- I think those are old bar stools in the fender, and a tractor seat on top!

Every surface is incrusted with plastic gew-gaws, rocks, old toys....

Yes, that is an accordion.

But don’t be worried- if that’s not your speed, there was also learn-to-knit/crochet stations, lots of demos, and my kids sat down & tried their hands at weaving.

So was it worth it? YES! There was live music, decent food, and SO much to see and do. Plus the overall vibe was upbeat, fun, and family-friendly! If you are in the NYC area in September, make sure you get there. As for us, we’re already looking forward to next years’ Maker Faire!

 

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About Jenny Barnett Rohrs

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.

View all posts by Jenny Barnett Rohrs

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2 Responses to “Crafty Field Trip: Maker Faire Detroit”

  1. Rachel Says:

    Oh I didn’t realize I already missed it.
    Some day I’d like to go to a Maker Faire. I think of it kind of like Burning Man, except “nicer” – is that what it’s like?

  2. Sarah Forhan Says:

    Looks like lots of fun! However, doll heads used in “art” always give me the creeps. That car would have given me the chills. LOL

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