Time to Get Crafty!

Campbell residents join this year's Makers Faire in San Mateo.

If Silicon Valley and the county fair had a love child it would be Maker Faire, the place where do-it-yourselfers and innovators gather together to share, teach, learn and encourage other DIY-ers.

“Instead of pigs and pies, people are bringing rockets and robots,” says Sherry Huss, director of Maker Faire.

The event kicks off today and runs through Sunday, May 22 in San Mateo.

Two Campbell businesses will be at the fair--Ana and Megan Araujo's "When Creativity Knocks" and Robert Santos' "Cal Haunts NorCal."

Araujo produces an online crafting show that gives instruction on how to do various crafts.

This is her third time participating in Maker's Faire. Last year, she participated in the Detroit and New York stops.

"The craft industry is a multi-billion dollar industry but is made up of mostly mom and pops," Araujo says.

The mother-daughter team make their show "reality-based," using no studios to film their show.

"I love teaching people," she says. "I believe anybody can craft. You just have to be shown how to do it. I like to break things down to make it easy."

Araujo has been crafting all her life and has spent 23 years of that in Campbell.

"My husband works for Parks and Rec in Campbell," Araujo says. "My son is a rec leader during the summer. We do love Campbell."

The Campbell “makers”—the term used to refer to the exhibitors at the festival--will be at the event at the San Mateo County Event Center on May 21 and 22, sharing their particular “makes.”

Launched five years ago on Earth Day by the founders of the quarterly MAKE magazine, Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty, Maker Faire is the world’s largest DIY festival.

To appeal to a community broader than engineers and other techies, the first Maker Faire organizers invited Bazaar Bizarre, a group of 70-80 crafters. In addition to arts and crafts the festival includes science, technology, sustainable living and now there is even a Young Makers showcase.

The festival includes hands-on lessons where one can learn how to solder, sew, or even pick a lock, Huss says.

The event has evolved over the years and is exemplifies the three-Rs concept: reduce, reuse, and recycle.

“It’s going back to values that we as a culture had before the rise in consumerism similar to the Slow Food movement. It means buying local, fixing and repairing as opposed to throwing away,” Huss says.

It’s an inclusive—not exclusive--hands-on festival that embodies “the open source value,” Huss says.

“Makers come and give their time. They’re not paid to be there,” she says.


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