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Makers in Anchorage

Fire-breathing salmon designed by Ray Troll and owned by Hans Vogel.

Fire-breathing salmon designed by Ray Troll and owned by Hans Vogel. (Photo courtesy of Makezine)

The movement is a mash up of technology tinkerers and D.I.Y. enthusiasts. Anchorage has a community of almost 200, officially self-identified online since January 2012. They engage in weekly meet-ups to work on their projects and annual Maker Faires to celebrate what they’ve made.

Some argue that “maker” is just another word for “hobbyist,” but fans counter that the arrival of the Internet and rapidly shared information has accelerated our normal human impulse to make things.

This past week I dropped into the Maker Night @ Loussac to see what they were making. At one table, a mother and programmer-by-day worked with her two girls on a robot. At another table, a retired Alaska Airlines pilot was building his own bluetooth device. A Steller Secondary School student was working out programming bugs on a device he was building.

Eye-ful Tower

Andy Heister poses with the cardboard Eye-ful Tower now on display at Loussac in the lobby.

Dale Rooney, an electrical inspector and an organizer of Anchorage Makers, had his tabletop 3D printer going, making white plastic paper clips with an Anchorage Maker logo to give away at their May 10 Makerspace Open House.

But it’s not just electronics. A jewelry maker dropped by to check out resources. And the programmer-by-day mom said their group sometimes sees knitters.  Anyone who makes anything is welcome.  The impulse reminded me of  amazing wearable art crafted by established artists, unknowns and Girl Scouts for Anchorage’s annual Object Runway event.

On the next Hometown Alaska, join me, Kathleen McCoy, and several local makers, to hear what their movement and ambitions are all about. Wednesday at 2, repeating at 9, on KSKA Anchorage.

HOST: Kathleen McCoy

GUESTS:

  • Dale Rooney
  • Andreas Tziolas
  • Dustin Mendoza

LINKS:

EVENTS:
Open Maker Night at Makerspace
May 17, 3-5 p.m.
1406 W. 33rd Avenue (near Taproot)

Alaska Hackathon
May 17-18, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
The Boardroom
601 W. Fifth, Second Floor

Anchorage Mini Maker Faire
Saturday, July 26, Noon-6 p.m.
Loussac Library

PARTICIPATE:

  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send email to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, May 14, 2014. 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, May 14, 2014. 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

SUBSCRIBE: Get Hometown, Alaska updates automatically — via emailRSS orpodcasts

HOMETOWN ALASKA ARCHIVE

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