Reality is fluid, fiber, clay, and electric pulses…every single aspect able to be molded and shaped–made into something else.
This is the impression I came away with after attending the Maker’s Faire in San Mateo. The San Mateo Convention packs every corner, walkway, and patch of grass lining its indoor and outdoor walkways with booths, stalls and exhibits that showcase the ways in which things can be made…a premise as simple as this festival is complex.
One sense of the world as potential and possibility.
The making covers everything from the beautiful and the simple—weaving, crocheting, and stitching—to the farthest frontiers of the weird, wonky, and wild. There are myriad vectors for intense human creativity jammed into this space: booths and exhibits are shoe-horned into every corner, bursting at seams that seem more and more arbitrary. By the end of the day it all blurs together into one sense of the world as potential and possibility.
A bulleted list of the side-by-side juxtapositions of what you might find should do best.
You can LEARN to:
- pick locks
- fake an embalmed head (from horror enthusiasts)
- crochet a pair of earrings
- paint, machine-assisted, (if you have muscular dystrophy or ALS like Raul Pizarro, see his smiling face below)
- fight drones (for humanity)
- interdict hackers threatening your computer systems
- turn your cellphone into a 3-D headset (alternatively, you can take a look at Google cardboard)
- “use” legos (not “play with”—an important distinction)
- see a “pedal-powered” musical act
- print a jeep (as in the actual vehicle) or pancakes
- build a robot out of: cardboard, wood, lego, was
te- (you name it…)
You can MAKE:
- lip balm
- a hub for a decentralized “mesh” network from old wifi routers
- a world (computer generated)
- water from ambient air
- a small stove from an empty tin can
- speakers from a mason jar
You can MEET:
- volunteers inspiring young girls toward STEM careers
- a precocious MIT-bound high schooler with a hybrid social venture start-up that plans to deliver humanitarian AID using drones (how is that for a paradigm shift?)
- a guy who wants to make a 3-D Museum about the history of 3-D.
- ritual coffee roasters. a woman-founded coffee company that sends its baristas to El Salvador to learn from natives about the origin of their coffee, its impact on the community, and a philosophy of coffee that connects the consumer directly to the farmer (or as they put it, “a delicious shift in coffee consciousness”) Please come to PDX! We love the model and the name!
An imagination festival
It’s an imagination festival, the kind of place that might inspire you to mount a camera on a drone, and fly it over the nearest mountain; to start drinking only that water you “make” yourself; to buy a 3D printer and print yourself a car, or a house, or breakfast, or a beehive—or to just simply be in the moment, at one with inspiration, experiencing the feelings that come from being swept along by the swift currents of intellect, creativity, love, and ingenuity all flowing as one confluence in the same direction–toward your passion.
It’s a wonderful trip, an encounter with pure “anything-is-possible” energy. And no matter how sober you arrive, if your mind is open, you’ll leave intoxicated.
Portland’s Own Mini-Makers Faire
I can’t wait for this September when Portland hosts its own Mini-maker’s faire, and well be bringing InStove to share all it can do with this community of creative tinkerers, inventors–makers. What could Makers love more than dreaming up uses for the world’s more efficient cookstove (that can make much more than food!)