Creators flourish at OMSI’s ‘Maker Faire’

See why ‘makers’ from all over, including outer East Portland, exhibit their handiwork at this annual event …

Visitors from the greater Portland metropolitan area arrive to see the creative projects from “makers” throughout the Pacific Northwest – at this year’s “Mini Maker Faire”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Said to be “bigger and better than ever”, the sixth annual “Mini Maker Faire”, hosted by the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI), lived up to its promotion.

On September 16-17, both the “makers” – those who come to showcase their inventions, creativity and resourcefulness – and the visitors coming to see their work – were plentiful, at this family-friendly showcase.

OMSI Director of Events Andrea Edgecombe was enthusiastic about the 2017 “Mini Maker Faire”.

“It’s true, we have a lot more ‘makers’ this year – in fact, more than 150 maker projects are on display this year, a lot more than ever before!” exclaimed OMSI Director of Events Andrea Edgecombe.

The Faire is a jamboree of fascinating and curious people who enjoy learning, and who love sharing what they can do, Edgecombe told East Portland News – from crafters and artists, to engineers and scientists.

From his studio in outer East Portland’s Hazelwood neighborhood, sculptor Andy Kennedy fits a whale’s tale to a new piece he’s creating.

“Sailing” around the Willamette River waterfront is the “Humble Pirate Ship Glory” – a human-powered vehicle is fresh from “da Vinci Days” in Corvallis, which is a kinetic sculpture fair.

Riding a do-it-yourself hovercraft created by Fabinous in Milwaukie is Mini Maker Fair guest Krish Patel.

“The Maker Faire is a venue for these makers to show off their hobbies, experiments, and projects – and also a place to meet others with similar interests,” Edgecombe said.

Demonstrations, some of them hands-on, showed methods of 3D printing and robot welding, metalsmithing, knife-forging, electronic circuit building, and yes – even bee keeping.

The ground shakes as the 7-ton, 24-foot-long Walking Beast’s inventor and builder, Captain Martin Montesano, fires up the 454 cu. in. big-block Chevy V-8 engine that powers it, to take folks for a ride.

Outer East Portland based, and internationally renowned, entertainer Rhys Thomas demonstrates physics principles in the course of his “Science Circus” show.

Chris Malone shows off his PDX Adult Soapbox Derby entries – which have actually been driven down Mt. Tabor, WALL-E and “steampunked” R2D2.

“OMSI is all about design, innovation, and design-thinking,” Edgecombe said. “And at the same time, all kinds of science exploration is also part of OMSI’s mission – encouraging people to engage in experimentation – trying and trying again.”

At the end of the weekend, “makers” packed up their treasures, vowing to return next year with even more exciting and innovative creations.

>> On our FRONT PAGE: Nascent metal smith Grant Hobbs learns metal crafting at the booth of Sharon Smith Design & Metal Arts.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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