Oct 9, 2012

Trashion at Maker Faire

Maker Faire says its "A two-day, family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement". Its also a group of brilliant geeks, a few Burning Man vehicles, the Life Size Mousetrap Game (literally), edgy crafters, 3D printers, food and lots more.  There are even some boring corporate booths but no one pays much attention to them because they don't have the cool stuff. 

Last weekend I presented my Trashion Accessories workshop at World Maker Faire in New York and won an Editor's Choice Award. The creativity and the crowds (estimated at over 50,000 people) were overwhelming! 

It was a bit crazy to present a one-on-one workshop to hundreds of people (mostly kids) outdoors for two full days. The goal was to make a fun and wearable accessory. I brought an array of interesting materials that cost me next to nothing: discarded weed wacker cords, T shirts, computer cables, felted sweaters, wire, a leopard print Snuggie, safety pins, thread, magazines, cardboard, Diet Coke bottles and, most importantly, a ton of patience. 

I was really amazed to see how people were able to stop and create in the middle of a chaotic festival surrounded by so many interesting things. They committed to making something and didn't walk away until they were done. Then they walked away very proudly wearing their creation -- which in almost every case was quite cool. 

Disney was giving away plastic kites just a few booths away.  In spite of Disney's resources (and the obvious name and character recognition) the kids had a much richer experience making their own things out of a bunch of stuff that cost practically nothing. 

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