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.
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
- Dale Rooney
- Andreas Tziolas
- Dustin Mendoza
- Makezine blog: Anchorage’s First Maker Faire Showcases Alaskan Style
- Anchorage Makers home on Meetup
- Anchorage Makers blog
- Makezine website
- Maker Culture, Wikipedia
- Popular Mechanics, Sept. 2012: Backyard Geniuses, including Anchorage’s Jessie Tank
- The New Yorker, Jan. 13, 2014: Making It (requires Library Card)
- Tech Shop CEO Mark Hatch offers a manifesto for the maker movement
- Caine’s Arcade, Part 1, made of cardboard (10 min video)
- Maker Movement Manifesto, sample chapter (PDF)
- TechShop website
Open Maker Night at Makerspace
May 17, 3-5 p.m.
1406 W. 33rd Avenue (near Taproot)
May 17-18, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
601 W. Fifth, Second Floor
Anchorage Mini Maker Faire
Saturday, July 26, Noon-6 p.m.
- Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
- Send email to firstname.lastname@example.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)