The Henry Ford is one of my favorite places in the world – ask anyone who knows me and they’ll confirm it to be true. It inspires, teaches and motivates me and millions of other visitors throughout the year to try to make our very own mark on the world. And there are no exceptions during the annual Maker Faire Detroit, which is held both inside and outside of Henry Ford Museum.
Walking into the two-day interactive fair, you’re instantly transported to a world where any idea has the potential to be brought to life. From children and adults, to scientists and crafters, there is something to inspire everyone to become a maker.
So, what is a maker?
According to Make, the magazine that launched and co-hosts Maker Faires around the country, makers are people who create art, crafts, and engineering and science projects in a do-it-yourself (DIY) manner. Everyone has the potential to be a maker and Maker Faire is not only a celebration of those who make, but is a place to spur new ideas and develop new generations of DIYers.
This fair touches different aspects of our culture and reaches so many audiences that even if you think you lack the creative gene (I know how that feels – you should see some of my sewing attempts, yikes!), there will be something to entertain and inspire you. Last year The Sashimi Tabernacle Choir – a 1984 Volvo covered in 250 singing and dancing toy fishes, the Coke Zero & Mentos guys, and a Life-Size Mouse Trap game were just some of the entertaining activities that made you feel like a kid again.
But if you’re the type that wants to get your hands dirty, or have little ones that love to tinker around, there’s enough to keep you busy. The maker shed provides kits for you to purchase and create projects right on the spot, including a soldering kit. Or, you can create your own marshmallow shooter, which I can tell you from experience provide hours of fun. There are also robots of all different sizes and materials, cars built by students that run on various energy sources, and musical instruments created out of everyday items.
Michigan hackerspaces, places throughout the state where computer program developers and designers work together, sharing space and ideas to create new projects, also took the opportunity to showcase their projects. For example, i3Detroit of Ferndale drove its Twinkie car around the fair and shot Twinkies into the air, amusing everyone.
Not only does the fair highlight the techies, it has a special place for the crafters. You can not only create your own crafts, but you can purchase all sorts of unique items people have made, including jewelry and notebooks made out of records from local-DIYers Reware Vintage, as well as from a whole slew of clever, creative folks. Did you know Michigan has a great DIY organization called Handmade Detroit, which produces the Detroit Urban Craft Fair, Michigan’s first and largest indie craft fair each November and is also represented at the fair?
With all of this and more, you don’t want to miss out on this year’s Maker Faire Detroit – Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, June 31 from 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. I can guarantee it will inspire you to start thinking of new inventions, crafts and science projects. Get your tickets today and maybe we’ll run into each other and brainstorm a DIY invention together!
If you have gone to the Maker Faire in the past, share your experience from last year and let us know what you’re looking forward to at this year’s event.
Post submitted by Holly Myles for The Henry Ford.