March 10, 2010

Makers and Community

 Another busy day today, which started out kinda blah and ended up pretty great.  We went to the Maker Faire meeting at the Detroit Public Library. It is so exciting that Detroit is one of the 3 locations that Make is having fairs this year!  It will be at the Henry Ford Museum, July 31-August 1, 2010.  I went partially on behalf of the DIY track at Penguicon (and all the great people we are meeting through it, like I3Detroit) and partially for my own personal interest.  I was sort of wondering if I have something to offer Maker Faire. 

While I haven't been actively teaching classes on a regular basis, I do still think that education plays an important part in my work.  I like talking about what I do and how I do it, because I think people do find it interesting.  I really enjoyed the business talk I did at GVSU the other week, and I am looking forward to the panels that I am participating in at Penguicon (alongside co-ordinating all the programming we are putting together for DIY) So I have been sort of dreaming of how I could set up a booth to demonstrate bead making, and maybe tile making, and talk about all the variety of things I seem to like to talk about that is related to DIY (like steampunk, running a craft business, etsy, blogging).  I'll have to think about it a little bit more, but the call for Makers goes out next week (March 18th) so I am going to think quick!

One of the things that really struck me was this room full of very interesting and diverse Makers and facilitators, all coming together to educate and connect and form a community.  I was thinking about community, and how I have searched for community over the years, in various artist groups, online communities, and conventions.  I have found that I really like to be at the start of something new, and I like to help set it up, but find the need to move on to new beginnings once a certain level of success is reached. For example, I helped start the Beads of Clay community, the very popular Art Bead Scene blog, and this new DIY track at Penguicon. I guess I am a starter-upper!  I have felt bad in the past for moving on from these different communities when I felt my time was not being well spent with them, but now I see it is a natural progression and that I enjoy the excitement of helping to organize at the beginning of the process.  I think this was a good epiphany for today!

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.


  1. Very cool! I will have to mark this on my calendar to attend. I'll be interested to hear more about it as the planning goes on.

  2. oooh! I wanna go to Maker Faire! Thanks for letting me know :)

  3. Yes! Come to Maker Faire! This is a really good thing for Detroit!

  4. ChristineRitcheyFriday, March 12, 2010

    Maker sounds wonderful! Too bad I'm in Texas. :-( Wonder if a starter-upper is the same as an up-start? lol You'll do a wonderful job teaching, facilitating, mentoring...whatever you decide to do. Have a great time!