Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Are you a Maker?

Maybe you are and don’t know it.

Let me explain. When I first encountered the term Maker, it was surrounded by 3-D printers, computerized Robots, and ‘hacked’ this-n-that. But it turns out that being a Maker is a very wide-ranging concept, inclusive of us who spin, knit, weave, bake bread and brew beer, and generally derive pleasure (or satisfaction) from the work of our own hands.

It’s DIY, self-sufficiency and creativity, with or without computers. It’s an acknowledgement that the textile artists, picklers, hackers, carpenters and blacksmiths (and gardeners, dumpster divers and hot-rod mechanics) have something in common.

I’ve never NOT had a project or ten in progress but now I can use a new vocabulary to communicate to others who make stuff to relax and create their own pleasure.

MAKE: magazine is one of the leading lights in the Maker movement. While their content is by subscription, many articles and projects are available online for free. That’s how I found the project that I spent last weekend making. 

Below is a picture of ‘the two-hour table it took two people six hours to make’, but I’m pretty proud of it.

Where else (you ask) can I find inspiration and instruction to satisfy my DIY urgings? Why, at MCPL, of course.

Many of our computer-oriented friends are well acquainted with Safari Books Online, but did you know that in addition to the latest software, they have lots of eBooks concerning all kinds of creative endeavors?
  • The Textile Artist’s Studio Handbook     
  • Expressive Photography 
  • Creative thinking         
  • The Maker Movement Manifesto: Rules for Innovation in the New World of Crafters, Hackers, and Tinkerers 
  • Androids: Build Your Own Lifelike Robots
And for those like me, who derive so much joy from the bending of threads, let us not forget Ravelry,
 the online community of over 4 million souls. Free (in every sense of the word) and fermenting. Check out the library feature. you can import books from Library Thing and have access to the patterns in them!

Also be sure to check out our new Studio i website, all about Making at MCPL.

Happy Making!

Jan D.

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