25 May, 2010

Makerfaire: or how I nearly ran away to become a steampunk

Okay I lie. I wasn't that taken with steampunkery though the steam powered hunting gun that shoots a net was lovely. But the corsets are just too uncomfortable in this climate and involved leather, and the men's hair (think Victorian patriarch with optional dreads) wasn't quite my scene.

Makerfaire however very much was. What is it? It's a gathering, a fair, bringing together all sorts of people (many were geekish types) who make things. Robots. Remote-controlled cars. Clocks. Stuff from scrap. And there was crafty types too. Whole areas devoted to spinning, knitting, crochet and quilting. It was sort of like the Royal Welsh without the sheep. Actually it is nothing like the Royal Welsh but I enjoyed it just as much.

We - family plus friend of E's - turned up just after it had opened and spent the whole day there, not wanting to leave. Highlights were the lifesize mousetrap game, learning to crochet, learning to solder, seeing the Clock of the Long Now, remote controlled cars, a snail car, a huge fiery metal sculpture, robots doing press-ups and on and on.

There was so much to do and see. It is commercial in places and bonkers in others but also very hands-on if you want it to be. We're definitely going next year. Maybe for both days.

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