So I told my wife the good news and she said, "Can you tell me what a Maker is in one sentence?" (She knows I can be longwinded. )
But then I had to scratch my head a bit. Can I capture this in one soundbite? Someone who makes things? A creator? Part artist, part inventor? Yes all apply, but that really isn't the full story.
The story really begins with the rise of the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) movement. With more emphasis by print and broadcast media about projects you could do on your own, and more access to instructions on materials on the internet, a subculture formed of people looking to "make stuff."
Dale Dougherty comes along from O'Reilly Publishing and captures the essence of this movement and founds MAKE magazine. MAKE begins in 2005 with a focus on DIY, technology, woodworking, metalworking, etc. It publishes ideas on projects, expanding one's skills, and sharing what the maker learns.
MAKE also launched the first Maker Faire in 2006. Wikipedia chronicles the first Maker Faire, as "a public annual event to "celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset."... It included six exposition and workshop pavilions, a 5-acre (20,000 m2) outdoor midway, over 100 exhibiting Makers, hands-on workshops, demonstrations and DIY competitions."
Since then, hundreds of Maker Faire's and Mini Maker Faires have been held across the world. Imagine stepping into a giant show-and-tell room, filled with creative minded makers who want to not only show you what they do, but give you a hands-on taste of it. Perfect for kids, but also those creative minded adults who like to tinker or create.
So to me, "Maker" is a moniker that serves as an umbrella term for anyone who executes an idea, to create a physical item, and wants to share his/her skills and knowledge with others.
If you are interested in learning more, here are a few quick links:
More about my project for the Rochester Mini Maker Faire to come, stay tuned.
Rochester Mini Maker Faire