I had the great pleasure of attending a town hall type meeting in the cool GRid70 building in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan last night. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor even intermittent tornado sirens kept us from our appointed meeting. The tornados thankfully never materialed, but what did was a very informative meeting on the Maker Faire and “making”. Funny that I wound up being there at all, as I wouldn’t have known of it, had my good friend, Nicola Brown of Ireland, not informed me of it. Isnt that funny? Nicola, all the way across the ocean, letting me know of something really cool in my own backyard. Anyway, we began the meeting by introducing ourselves and giving a little information about what we “make”. Well, have you ever heard of a fiber artist of any sort (or any kind of “maker”) who didn’t want to share what they do??? Not likely! I explained that I was a feltmaker, with a good friend in Ireland who had given me the heads-up on the meeting. What a chuckle that received. But truly, the internet is a wonderful place to connect with others, especially if you have a shared passion, such as feltmaking. So thank you Nicola for the information on this meeting, and oh, by the way, you and I were mentioned by Matthew Gryczan (writer and inventor) in today’s Sci Tech Communications blog. Just click to read.

Anyway, back to last night’s meeting…The speaker was none-other than the visionary Make Magazine and Maker Faire founder, Dale Dougherty. Dale said he’s fascinated with where ideas come from and how they are developed. One of the things that you immediately notice about Dale is his enthusiasm and zest for living and profound interest in “making”. He brought up at last night’s meeting the strong emphasis on testing in the schools, resulting in less time for hands-on learning. Not a lot of time for “making”, learning how things are made, what makes them work, and just as important, the joy of “making”. Hmmmm…What about we hands-on learners? Well, partly in response to this, Dale launched the first Maker Faire in 2006 in San Mateo, CA. Last year, Dougherty brought it to New York, and also to The Henry Ford in Dearborn, MI, attracting over 18,000 people for the Detroit Maker Faire. Maker Faire will be back to The Henry Ford on July 30-31, 2011. If you live anywhere in the area, or want to take a cool vacation, be sure to check it out. Either apply as a “maker”, or come and enjoy all things “made”…Be it arts, crafts, engineering, food, music, science, etc., you’ll likely find it there. 

One of the things that Dale mentioned that really struck a chord with me, was that one does not need to be perfect in order to create, and that creation comes in many forms…music, art, robotics, cooking, feltmaking…Well, the possibilities truly are endless. If you enjoy it, or think that you might…Just do it (hey, that would make a great slogan)! If you like to sing…Then by all means, do…You needn’t have the voice of Celine Dion in order to make music. Why, you’ll never know what you might find that you have a real passion for if you don’t give it a whirl. We really do have a need to create … So, what are you making? Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know. Me, I’ve been working on nuno-felted scarves for the past couple of weeks in anticipation of my class on Saturday at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. If you’re in the area and looking for something fun and creative to do, be sure to check the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts website. Nuno-felt scarves are the perfect accessory for Spring and Summer…Lightweight, airy, and lovely. Lots of different design possibilities, so no two are ever the same, and hey, you’ll be creating, which is a good thing.

Happy felting…Happy Making. 

Big Hugs,

2 Responses to “WE ARE MAKERS…”

  1. annaslittlepeople Says:

    Is so nice your work Dawn,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: