Another gathering of tinkerers in technology and art will return to Dearborn this weekend for another display of their wares on the grounds of The Henry Ford.
Maker Faire is the brainchild of the MAKE Magazine and O’Reilly Media, a premier source of information on cutting-edge computer technology. This second appearance at The Henry Ford July 30-31 is the “Midwest expression” of the Maker Faire, according to Jim Johnson, The Henry Ford’s senior manager of creative programs, who added that the event also makes stops in San Francisco in May, and in New York City in September.
“’MAKE Magazine is the Popular Mechanics magazine for this generation, geared toward the designer and entrepreneur,” Johnson said. “The magazine aims at getting young people excited about science and technology.
“The Henry Ford sees those involved in this event as being much like the heroes that the museum was set up to honor, such as the original Henry Ford, or Thomas Edison, or the Wright Brothers, who were all short on formal education, but larger on ‘learning by doing.,’” Johnson said.
One very popular returning favorite from Ferndale in last year’s event, Johnson noted, will be a garbage truck that has been converted into a rolling dragon sculpture spanning more than 70 feet. Johnson describes it as ultimately being a giant-size version of the old “Mousetrap” game, a Rube Goldberg contraption that is set in motion and powered by a dropping bowling ball!
Johnson expects other major attractions will be “Theater Biz”, which will be dramatizing for audiences with fire and special effects; and Handmade Detroit. Another noteworthy exhibit will be a race track for kiddie cars, which he said were unlike the usual models in that they will actually achieve such high speeds in races, so many tires will be needed to act as safety barrier surrounding the track.
In the front area of the Henry Ford Museum itself will actually be turned over to sales of unique jewelry and textiles by crafting guilds. And another attraction for Maker Faire will be the Maker Shed, Johnson said, with unusual books and items for sale, and holding a “Learn to Solder” workshop (participants will end up building a little robot)”.
Other makers will include Phillip McRoberts and his five-foot webcam Robbie the Robot from Macomb, Green Girl Scouts and their trash transformed into treasure from Birmingham, artists Kristine Diven and Micho Detronik of District VII and their Mannequin Forest from Detroit, John Sugg and his Atari 2600 turned synthesizer keyboard from Detroit, and Rick Erickson and his Michiana Shanty 2 from Niles.
For information on Make Faire admission ticket prices and schedule of activities, Johnson asks people to go to The Henry Ford website, thehenryford.org. The website will give prominent space to the Maker Faire, he said.