The first Burlington Mini Maker Faire took place this past Saturday here in Burlington, NC. Ben Harris, the organizer, pulled together a great and varied group of local artists, tinkerers and hobbyists who spent the day showing off their homemade projects and skills to the community. In between watching the main booth and fielding questions, I took a few photographs of the various exhibitions. I also posted a video at the end of this post which does a good job summing up the Faire.
Visitors coming through the main entrance were greeted by a number of sculptures created from recycled metal parts. The ant above has a propane tank body and rebar legs; other sculptures used parts scrounged from items such as gas tanks, fire extinguishers and suspension springs.
Stephen Chapman had his steampunk weapon collection on full display. He had brought a few of these to one of our monthly meetings, but it was great to see them all out on full display. Chapman was, naturally, in costume.
The Maker Faire NC booth was teaching soldering (for free) to interested passers by. Soldering is one of those skills every prop master and prop maker should know, and every Maker Faire I’ve ever gone to has had at least one booth teaching it either for free or for some ridiculous price, like one dollar. You usually get to keep what you make, too; at our Faire, everyone was making blinking robot pins, so by the end of the day, nearly everyone’s shirt had a blinking pin on it.
Meltonia Young is a local quilt-maker who was working on quilts made from patterns used on the Underground Railroad. These quilts actually had secret messages encoded in the quilt patterns to help the escaping slaves on their journey to freedom up north.
The Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer, or “CoCo”, was a series of low-cost computers which came out in the early 1980s. Those of a younger age may not realize how amazing or crazy it is to get these to play videos from YouTube, but John Linville of our group has done just that. In the photograph above, I believe it is playing the music video from Green Day’s “American Idiot”.
Thinker Linkers are a product made by North Carolina furniture maker Murrah Woodcraft. The variously-shaped pieces all fit together allowing you to construct any number of structures and shapes.
Nim Batchelor and Jim Barbour, both professors at Elon University, were demonstrating wood turning all day at the Faire.
Fablocker is the hackerspace out of Winston-Salem. They had a number of 3D Printers in operation that day, and they were showing off the little plastic pieces they make with them.
Steve Wishnevsky makes handmade musical instruments such as guitars out of recycled and repurposed wood.
I didn’t get photographs of all the makers and exhibitors, and I did not mean to leave anything out. Luckily, Dino Segovis, one of the other exhibitors, took a video of the whole faire which shows off nearly everything that was there. The Burlington Times-News also wrote up an article about the day’s events.