Like most people, I haven’t really ever thought of myself as a maker. I’ve been watching as schools and libraries have introduced makerspaces and I’ve encouraged the creation of them and students to get involved in them. But, I never really thought of myself as a maker. After all, I don’t regularly use a 3D printer or build robots.
All of that changed in my head after I watched Adam Savage (of Mythbusters fame) give a talk at Maker Faire. And, yes, he is standing on a mechanical giraffe.
(For those that don’t know, Maker Faires are part-science fair, part-county fair, part-fun. It’s an exploration and celebration of creativity, ingenuity, and resourcefulness.)
Adam’s talk made me re-think my definition of being a maker. It wasn’t about playing with robotics or Arduino. It’s about actively creating. His definition is so much broader:
It is a term for an old thing, it is a new term for an old thing. Let me be really clear, making is not simply 3D printing, Art Lino, Raspberry Pi, LEDs, robots, laser and vinyl cutters. It’s not simply carpentry and welding and sculpting and duct tape and drones. Making is also writing and dance and film making and singing and photography and cosplay.
While I would love to play with some of those high-tech tools, making is still the carpentry work that I love and enjoy. It’s the creative writing that fills this blog. Making is something that anyone can do because it’s not about resources. It’s about being resourceful.
With this in mind, I’ve re-defined the craft table in our basement in my head and, hopefully, in the words that I use with my children. It is our own makerspace. It might not have a 3d printer (it’s on my wish list), but it does have glue, scissors, markers, Play-Doh, beads and so many other things that allow my children to create. It’s more than just arts and crafts; it’s making.