Editor Nicole Smith Finds a Haven for the Crafty and Scienc-y at Maker Fairecomments (2) May 15th, 2008
In short: Maker Faire was awesome. This year, a record 65,000 robo- and crafty-enthused people showed up at the San Mateo Fair Grounds to fuel their need to make.
We were able to set up on Friday, which was Maker Faire's first ever "Education Day." The fairgrounds were full of school kids going to demos by a few of the Makers, riding bikes made from wood, and generally just running a-scientific-muck. Man, oh man, I would have given anything in middle school to have been able to attend something like Maker Faire.
Besides the kids and demos in the main area on Friday, the grounds were virtually deserted. It was very surreal to run around the area and see all of the empty space (especially now knowing that over 65,000 people were running through the very next day!) It also made for plenty of good photo ops as you will see above.
During all of the action, we were housed in the “Bizarre Bazaar”, where we were able to meet-and-greet alongside countless amazing crafty vendors including Sweet Meats, Queen PuffPuff (who has a project in the upcoming CraftStylish!), and the Crafty Chica herself—Kathy Cano-Murillo (who was hosting a make-and-take of her own, complete with Mexican-inspired matchbook-sized shrines. Too cool.)
Directly next to us was the Swap-O-Rama-Rama. For those of you who haven't attended one of these (they're hosted all over the U.S.), here's how it works: you bring your pre-loved clothing, fabric, trims or even sewing notions, swap them with other attendees and re-fashion away. Sewers of every age and skill level were encouraged to swap, cut and stitch to their heart's content on machines provided by a local dealer. Swap-O-Rama-Rama was originally started by Wendy Tremayne, who also is starting a totally "green" B&B in New Mexico called Green Acre.
All in all Maker Faire was an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone who is scienc-y or crafty at heart. Next fall I definitely plan to live it up at the Austin version and check out the robot wars, which I hear were amazing. I can hear the gears and saws turning now...