Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The 2013 Bay Area Maker Faire is Over

The weekend of May 18th ant 19th was the 8th annual Bay Area Maker Faire.  Like so many times before, it featured all sorts of people sharing ideas and showing off their art projects, unconventional conveyances, giant robots, and more.  There were all manner of oddities and the folks who love them. 

I put on my usual display (slightly improved since last year) and spent the whole weekend chatting with anyone who was interested in gaining insight into the nuts and bolts of how I make my various projects.

Here's a shot of the display booth this year:

Here's one of dozens of pics from the event:
2013 Maker Faire Crossroads

For more info and a metric butt-ton of additional photos, read on...

This year's journey to the Maker Faire began with the fabrication of a few new display fixtures.  Here's one of them:
2013 Maker Faire 00
That's a gun rack built to give my costumed characters a place to stow their walking-around props while taking a break or getting changed.  Not sure why I never realized I needed one before...

Once the paint had dried on everything, the next step was to load two Space Marines, the display booth, a couple hundred garden gnomes, and all of this:

Into a sixteen-foot moving truck:
2013 Maker Faire 01

Once we'd arrived, here was the view from our spot by the entrance of the Expo Hall:

In case you can't make it out, here's a closer shot of the sign hanging above the stage in the center of the building: 

That's me on the cover of the magazine from last year.  Larger than life.  Staring at me.  Taunting me.  Vexing me...

Once we had our bearings, we set to work building the booth on site:
2013 Maker Faire 02

There was also a bit of screwing around:
2013 Maker Faire 03

2013 Maker Faire 04

Still, at the end of the day we were all set to relax a bit, enjoy some paella and a quick happy hour.

Saturday morning the rest of the crew showed up bright and early to finish sprucing things up.  My role was to climb on top of the booth and put the final touches on the rooftop Spartan and Space Marine:

One of the guys snapped this great candid photo:
2013 Maker Faire 10

I was tempted to spend the whole weekend up there:
2013 Maker Faire 09

But I had to install the new gun rack instead:

Then it was time to get everybody into costume:
2013 Maker Faire 06

2013 Maker Faire 19

2013 Maker Faire 12

2013 Maker Faire 20

2013 Maker Faire Space Marine

While I was focused on getting the prop and costume booth together, more of the crew got the Combat Garden Gnome booth ready to go:
2013 Maker Faire Combat Garden Gnomes

At 10:00am the floodgates opened and we were swarmed with people asking questions, and oogling all of my projects:
2013 Maker Faire 26

2013 Maker Faire 32

Sometime early in the afternoon I was invited to the "Meet the Makers" stage for an interview with Jason, the Creative Director at Make Magazine:

That was a good time, but the real fun was watching all of the kids at the booth trying on my stuff:

At one point in the late afternoon a young lady showed up who was about the right size and we taped the Ironman parts on her:

I really need to hurry up and finish this suit:
2013 Maker Faire 39

By the end of day one, everyone was pretty exhausted: 2013 Maker Faire 35

Sunday morning, with some of the crew thoroughly refreshed and others thoroughly hungover, we got off to a great start.  Once again the first order of business was to get everybody dressed:

2013 Maker Faire 40

Sunday found me spending even more time talking folks through my various build processes:

Stephen did a lot of the talking too:
2013 Maker Faire 41

So this was pretty much our view for the day:

Here's a couple of my Halo UNSC troopers heading out into the crowd:
2013 Maker Faire 42

Since I only had enough people on hand to field one Space Marine, I made sure it was the best-looking one I have:

I also brought my Agent Washington costume (the best-looking Spartan I've got):
2013 Maker Faire 48

The folks in costume got to get out and see a few things:
Space Marine Ron

Among the many wonders was the Hand of Man, a giant hydraulically actuated robotic hand:
Giant Robot Hand

Then there was the Walking Pod, a small living space designed to crawl across the desert:
Walking Dome

2013 Maker Faire 54

One of my favorites was the Nautilus art car:
Nautilus Car

The R2 Builder's Club was there in full force:

I finally got to see the DeLorean hovercraft:
DeLorean Hovercraft

Also on display was Mauro Ffortissimo's Burning Piano:
2013 Maker Faire 57
The story behind this piece can be found HERE.

Of course, there's also all manner of other interesting things that were walking around:
Robot Dance Party

This guy walked past my booth with an extrusion-type 3D printer strapped to his back.  It was printing while he was walking around:
Portable 3D Printer

At the end of the day it was still fun to see everyone trying things on and having fun with my toys:

By the end of the weekend, I'd been given four new "Editor's Choice" ribbons.  I'm not sure, but I think it's a new record for me:
2013 Maker Faire Ribbons

2013 Maker Faire Breakdown

2013 Maker Faire Breakdown 2

Once everything was loaded up, we stopped for refreshments and headed back to Petaluma.  That's when all of the suits and props got unloaded and started finding their way to their usual resting places:
Spartan Back in Storage

Big Sexy Back in Mothballs

Some of it still defies explanation:


Still, it was a good time.  As usual, I couldn't have done any of it without the help and support of the amazing group of family and friends that show up at the last minute and make everything possible.  Here's a couple of them:

Now that this madness is done and I've had some time to recover, it's time to get cranking on more projects.

Right now I'm working on a pretty involved Ironman Mk2/3 armor build, new garden gnomes, a dinosaur, and some boat ovehaul projects, so be sure to subscribe so you don't miss any updates.


  1. Great pics! I also put up my maker faire pics today and of course I have a few shots of your booth too! We almost have the same shot of the 4 battle front helmets hehe. http://www.cluniephotography.com/2013/05/so-what-is-it-like-at-maker-faire-2013.html

  2. Is there any possibility that you would sell or make more of the spartans and space marine suits?

    1. If there's something you'd like me to make for you, shoot me an email at sthorsson99@yahoo.com.

  3. How or where or what is that Space Marine armor from? I've never seen it online before o.o