Michael Karlesky

A cabinet of wonders. Minus the cabinet. And possibly the wonders.

I went to Maker Faire. It's one part technology trade show and one part carnival sideshow.

Boy. I'm a week behind.

Last weekend I attended Maker Faire hosted by the New York Hall of Science. The event is connected to MAKE Magazine — a publication dedicated to do-it-yourself hobbyist hackers. This idea of a “maker” is almost a movement; it's a recognition and revitalization of the garage tinkerer, kitchen chemist, and junk artiste.

Maker Faire is one part technology trade show and one part carnival sideshow. It's difficult to explain and entirely ridiculous so I took lots and lots of photos.

My favorite things I got to see:

  • Sashimi Tabernacle Choir
  • MakerBot 3D Printer — including a display of amazing jewelry some of which cannot be produced any other way.
  • Life Size Mousetrap — that crazy board game brought to life!
  • The Urban Farming tent that included a table showcasing seed bombs for planting greenery on unused public property
  • A history of computers as presented in dioramas with tiny videos constructed inside old monitors
  • A fire-breathing dragon jungle gym assembled from old cars

If ever you get to attend a Maker Faire, you'll see families and people from all walks of life taking in the sights. But more than this you will see the same people on the other side of the tables passionately explaining their creations and teaching anyone who wants to listen what they've learned.

The people who show their projects at Maker Faire live outside the box. They have jobs and families and commitments, but yet make time to make. They are compelled to let their imaginations run wild and to make. The creativity and ingenuity is inspiring. Sometimes awe inspiring. I felt an electricity in the air (yes, they were at Maker Faire too but I didn't get to see them perform). It was a long, hot afternoon with lots of walking, but I came away invigorated. Maybe not so much in my feet — more so about my own dreams and callings that compelled me to come to New York in the first place.