By Connor Adams Sheets
The creative and technological set descended on Queens en masse last weekend when the Maker Faire occupied the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The event, which takes place several times a year in locations across America and in England, had never before been held in New York, but it was a huge hit, attracting thousands of attendees.
It draws “makers” of all persuasions — from welders to computer programmers — and sets up an environment for them to experience each other’s work and brainstorm to make even greater creations.
The objects and demonstrations on display over the weekend covered many disciplines, reflecting the diversity of its participants and attendees.
“We saw two things I thought were really awesome. One was the Diet Coke and Mentos. When the Mentos were put in the Diet Coke bottle, it would splatter maybe 10 feet in the air. It was like a fountain show or a volcano, but with Diet Coke,” Flushing resident Vanida Thas said. “The other really cool thing was ArcAttack. Basically this guy was making music off of electricity. He was able to manipulate the sound of the music by moving his hand in the electricity.”
ArcAttack was one of the most popular attractions at the event, which is organized by Maker Media, a division of O’Reilly Media. It features two Tesla Coils with electrical arcs up to 12 feet long, each one acting as an instrument, a robotic drum and other music-makers, combining to create a unique musical and visual event.
Brooklyn resident BC Ashmall-Liversidge, a participant in the Maker Faire, brought her son Alex, 4, along to help her.
A member of the Metro Stitchers group, Ashmall-Liversidge taught needlepoint and cross-stitching to visitors to her booth.
The pair had a great time, Alex said, and by the end of the day had learned all about the variety of creative offerings the world has to offer.
“It’s the Maker Faire, so we’re making stuff. He made a painting and a little garden,” Ashmall-Liversidge said. “It goes all the way from the technological to the crafts, so it runs the gamut.”
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4538.