This past Saturday I went to the Bay Area Maker Faire, an annual event where thousands of talented folks got together to show off their creations and innovations. I brought my camera along, but made the mistake of spending more time gawking and making mental notes than I spent taking pictures. I still managed to get a few interesting shots.
The first thing to notice when we walked in were three guys zipping around in carts dressed up as cupcakes:
Then there was this large installation piece right inside the front gate:
It was simple enough, but the mechanism was still really interesting:
A bit further in, there was a rocketship:
The rocketship was not small and they were giving tours:
The rocketship was built on site and dismantled afterward. I really want to know what they do with this thing after the Faire. Then I need to find a place to park it...
Elsewhere inside was a low-budget engineering consultant:
There was also a contingent from the Bay Area R2 Builders Club:
I stopped for a few minutes to listen in on some of the questions passers-by were asking the builders. My favorite was the almost unanswerable "how much does one of these cost?" to which the builder replied, "I had to choose between building an R2 or restoring an old Camaro. R2 won." Classic geekery.
The R2 units weren't the only famous robot replicas though. There were others:
There was also a booth labelled "DIY Pixar" where I was hoping to see some fullsized Wall-E mockups or the like, but alas, there wasn't much there. I get the idea that most of their exhibition didn't show up.
Elsewhere on the grounds there was no shortage of interesting vehicles:
This little steampunk scooter was covered in all sorts of intricate details, but I couldn't help thinking it was a bit overdone:
I missed most of the steampunk end of the exhibition, but I'm told there were all sorts of amazing things to see there.
Instead, I saw the largest xylophone I've ever seen:
And an android-propelled chariot:
My favorite vehicle though, by far, was the Mega Spider. This was an all-electric octopod that the builders were taking for a spin around the Faire:
Here's a shot of it from the other side:
In addition to the odd assortment of vehicles, there was an odd assortment of people:
I spent a few minutes watching one of the bands. I don't remember what they sounded like because I was busy being fascinated by the fact that the lead singer was playing a guitar made from a shovel:
There were other interesting folks everywhere you looked:
There were also hands-on demonstrations of all kinds. Here's a soldering demo:
On top of all this, there were interesting artwork installations all over the place:
Some of them were pretty whimsical:
And many of them included flames:
The biggest burning thing was this structure:
Some of the burning parts were spinning inside of it. There were also control paddles all over it so members of the crowd could push or pull parts of the sculpture to make plumes of flame shoot out of the to of the arch:
There were also some wildly unorthodox pieces for sale. I had a hard time talking myself out of buying one of these giant fishing flies:
And it was all I could do to keep from coming home with this wind vane:
It was a tough place to walk around when you're someone like me. Every place I looked, all I did was come up with wild new ideas for all manner of projects to add to my to-do list. For example:
Doesn't everyone need a fire-breathing snailwagon?