We're back from our weekend up north for the Maker Faire in San Mateo, and I think we survived! The bad news is that I somehow managed to forget our digital camera at my mom's house, so I can't (yet) share the photos we snapped at the faire (and I may not have the ability to post pics at all until I get my camera back... we'll see!). But, there are *loads* of photos of the faire on flickr, so there shouldn't be any shortage of photographic coverage!
The faire was much bigger than I expected, and there were tons of people there on Saturday. The exhibits were broken up into several exhibit halls surrounding a central courtyard where the Bazaar Bizarre was set up. I test drove a Zap Zebra - a 3-wheel electric car - but wasn't terribly impressed. The visibility in the car was terrible (I had to stick my head out the side window to see where I was going when turning left!), and if you have just one passenger in the back seat, they need to sit in the middle so that the frame of the car doesn't bottom out on the wheels. The interior was roomier than we expected (Jerry is 6'-4" and fit fine in the back seat), and the car is definitely cute, but I think we'll be holding off for something a bit more fine-tuned!
The faire was filled with all types of interesting and bizarre exhibits - robots, circuit bending, alternative energy sources, unusual computer interfaces, lego building extravaganzas, segway polo matches(!), etc. Lots and lots of creative people thinking up new (and occasionally useful) ways to use materials and/or technology. My main criticism of the faire was the lack of crafty exhibits. Although we all know that lots of crafters are out there using new and recycled materials to make fantastic things, they were not represented in the exhibits at this faire. In fact, were it not for Bazaar Bizarre, I'm not sure I could really say crafters were represented much at all.
Thankfully, there were a number of workshops covering craft-related topics, and I was lucky enough to get to attend the Knit a Toy workshop led by the super talented Jess Hutch! Not only does she make (and teach us to make) fantastic knitted toys, but she's an amazingly calm, organized, and collected chica! I'm not sure if I gushed too heavily when we chatted, but I was certainly thrilled to meet her and see first hand some of her toy knitting tips and tricks - thanks Jess! And, in other incredible news, Make magazine is soon to launch a new magazine - Craft - and Jess' robots made the cover! Huge posters of the new magazine were up all over the faire, and it was so comforting to see her sweet robots at every turn! Congratulations Jess!
I got to meet more of my heroes at the faire - Bethany was there with her fun and witty crafty goods (we love the infidel!). Susie probably thinks I'm a stalker by now - her stuff is so incredible! I can never get enough of Alison and her wares - her style is so fantastic and unique! And, did I mention Jill Bliss?!? Yes, I can now die happy because I got to meet her, and she signed her One book (look under Publications and Portfolios) that we picked up for Brynne - and it even comes with a fun cd! So, despite the relatively low representation of crafters at the faire, I had a great time because I got to meet all these great folks.
The return to my routine today has been a bit of a let down... imagine what we could all come up with if we were living in an environment of creativity, innovation, and free thinking? I think I need to strive for a bit more of that in my daily life!