What Makes a Maker?

Meet the minds inside Lafayette Public Library’s Makerspaces! Lafayette Public Library has Makerspaces and Tech Labs at five locations: Main Library in downtown Lafayette, South Regional Library on Johnston Street in Lafayette, North Regional Library in Carencro,  East Regional Library in Youngsville, and West Regional Library in Scott. The Main Library Makerspace is staffed by five awesome and talented library employees who help introduce visitors to the idea of “making.” Below, librarians Sterling and Michelle take a break from planning Maker Faire Lafayette 2021 to answer some questions.

 

Tell us a little bit about the Makerspace and how things got started.

Sterling: The Makerspace started in 2015 at the Main Library and has now grown to also be available during certain times of the week all over Lafayette Parish at the four Regional Libraries.

Michelle: The Main Library’s Makerspace has a 3D printer, a laser cutter, six sewing machines, an embroidery machine, a thermoformer, and arts and crafts supplies. You don’t have to be a techie to be a Maker!

 

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

M: Makers come in all shapes and sizes! It doesn’t matter your age, either. Anyone can be a Maker and apply Maker Skills to everyday projects.

 

Who or what inspires you?

M: When someone takes something they made for one person and applies it to many people. Like the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

S: Definitely a huge fan of the design aesthetics of artists like Simon Stalenhag and Jakub Rozalski and how they integrate steampunk and sci-fi technology so naturally into everyday slice-of-life scenes.

 

Does the Makerspace staff consider making their hobby away from work? How does it tie into the day job?

S: Most of us come from some form of Maker background; always looking at new ways to re-evaluate or reinvent the things we come across in day-to-day life. We’re a Makerspace in a library so our goal is Maker Education. We give you the chance to try new things in a monitored environment so that when you can buy your own 3D printer or hobby laser cutter, you already have some background on the device.

 

Why is making important?

M: Because it can change so many things! If someone wasn’t looking for a more efficient way to transmit data from one government entity to another, the internet wouldn’t exist! Making can fix a problem or a shortfall for something that exists, or it can show what changes need to happen before something can be improved.

S: With the growing availability of technology such as 3D printers to the general public, people now have the unprecedented ability to actualize and bring to life an idea that’s been kicking around in their brain and share it with others.

 

What have you made that you are most proud of?

M: Personally, I am proud of the sewing projects I’ve created this year. I started 2019 hardly able to sew and today I can put together simple items. The thing about making is that progress is progress, even if it’s very small increments.

S: I have very much enjoyed designing and printing custom game pieces for a board game concept I’ve been working on in my free time. In addition to learning the ins and outs of the design software, it’s also taught me to consider concepts of scale and the relative fragility of a badly posed game piece.

 

What would you make if you had unlimited resources?

M: I think the dog collar from Up would be a great start. I always wanted to know what my dogs are saying when they bark outside.

S: Probably a Rise of Legends suit of armor.

 

What up-and-coming maker trends excite you the most?

M: I like that people are making things to help people with disabilities and other, unseen conditions like PTSD. I saw in the news that a guy made a smartphone app for his father, who is a veteran that suffers from night terrors because of PTSD. While that guy just had his dad in mind, this app could be used for any number of sleep disorders and on top of that it helps other veterans who may be going through the same situation as his dad.

 

What advice can you give someone who wants to get involved in the Maker movement?

M: Volunteer your time, get experience however you can doing the thing you’d like to do. Making comes in many different forms so you don’t need a Tony Stark-level lab to realize a great idea (nice as it would be!). Take advantage of free programs, like those normally offered at the library, as a chance to learn new skills that you can use for your future Maker Project.

 

Tell us something surprising about yourself.

S: The library workers who staff and run the Makerspace hail from a wide range of backgrounds, and that makes us all the more creative. Whether we’re bouncing ideas for out of the box concepts on how to execute a particular design element or simply taking delighted inspiration from someone else’s hobbies we might never have considered otherwise, having such a diverse array of personalities has helped our various projects tremendously.

 

         

 

Maker Faire Lafayette will hold a safe, socially-distant hybrid event online, at home and in the community the week of April 5-10, 2021. The Faire will combine virtual elements, take-and-make projects to do at home and small scale in-person events at locations in the community.

 

Anyone interested in participating as a Maker, volunteer or host facility for both online and in-person may visit lafayette.makerfaire.com for more information and to apply online.

 

“Like so many events scheduled last spring, our Maker Faire team was disappointed to cancel, but we know it was the best option to safeguard the health of our makers, attendees, staff and volunteers,” said Amy Wander, outreach librarian at Lafayette Public Library. “We have regrouped and drawn on our experiences over the last three years to develop a plan for a whole new Maker Faire experience, and we’re excited about it.”

 

Since 2017, Lafayette Public Library has partnered with Lafayette Science Museum to host Maker Faire Lafayette, a free event which brings together science-enthusiasts, artists, inventors, crafters, tinkerers, artisans and makers of all kinds to share what they make and how they make it.

 

This year Maker Faire Lafayette has partnered with AOC Community Media to produce this year’s virtual events with local Makers demonstrating their skills in videos online. Viewers will be invited to recreate the hands-on Maker Faire experience at home by picking up special take-and-make activity bags or using items they already have at home.

 

Rather than the large-scale festival style events held in the past, this year’s in-person portion of the Faire will be held at community partner locations over the course of six days. Attendees will choose from various small-scale events limited to no more than 15 socially distanced participants, with pre-registration and masks required.

 

“Maker Faire has always been a family-friendly interactive, hands-on event for curious people of all ages who enjoy learning new things and love sharing what they can do and make,” said Maker Faire Lafayette producer Blake Lagneaux. “We are excited to share that interactive, hands-on experience of making in a new safety-conscious format this year.”

 

Organizers will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation and adjust plans if necessary. Maker Faire Lafayette and any associated events will comply with all existing health and safety rules and regulations.
Follow Maker Faire Lafayette on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest announcements and information.

 

Based on Make: magazine’s Maker Faire model, Maker Faire Lafayette celebrates everything from science, robotics, 3-D printing and other technologies to art, quilting, metalsmithing, ceramics, baking and other hobbies and crafts.

 

What Makes a Maker?

Meet Keith Cooper, maker, comics enthusiast, and one-half of the podcasting duo behind Blerd-ish. Keith and a friend created Blerd-ish in 2017 as a send-up of all things black and nerdy. Today they are nearly 100 episodes in and still sharing their passion for black nerd culture from their home base in Baton Rouge.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.

Hi, I am Keith Cooper, a part of the Blerd-ish podcast. I started making podcasts on the subjects of sports and entertainment in 2015. Some friends and I decided we wanted to discuss topics in a way regular media wasn’t.  That eventually led to my current podcast with a focus on independent creators of color, movie reviews, and folks who are doing something unique in their community.

 

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

It simply means to create something that wasn’t.  It doesn’t have to be a physical item — it can be an opportunity, a platform, an event. That is what I make as I use my platforms to bring light to various creatives. This is done through my podcast, social media, and pop up shop. However, I am writing a comic/coloring book based on our experiences and superhero parody.

 

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by fellow podcasters who tackle similar topics. I am also inspired by personalities who can discuss a variety of topics. This includes folks like Tom Joyner to modern creators who put themselves out there to express their art and purpose. I am inspired by the chance to enlighten folks to something new that they may have not been aware of.

 

Is making your hobby or your business? How does it relate, if at all, to your day job?

It is a business, but it is something I do for fun. I have been fortunate that it does relate closely to my job. My business promotes literacy and I work for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library. I even serve on our committee for our local comic con.

 

Why is making important to you?

I get to leave a mark on folks’ lives. It’s a great feeling when kids, adults, and folks who claim to not be readers buy something from my table. This may lead them to open their mind more to all types of comics, art, and black sci-fi they may have never been exposed to.

 

What have you made that you are most proud of?

I have been podcasting for three years as a part of the Blerd-ish podcast, helping create the library con for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, and helping creators through our pop up shop for the past year.

 

What would you make if you had unlimited resources?

I would make as many books, comics, stories as possible. Sadly artists, marketing, equipment aren’t free.

 

What up-and-coming maker trends excite you the most?

I am just glad that folks are understanding that Maker means a lot. From your candle maker to a podcast or making a platform for people. That continuing trend is what is needed for constant growth.

 

What advice can you give someone who wants to get involved in the Maker movement?

Find your passion and work hard towards what you love and your goals.  Learn to network, be social, and have fun.

 

Tell us something surprising about yourself.

Just like a comic book, I have several branches of stories that flow into one for the origin of the Blerd-ish podcast. It just depends on how much time you have for me to weave my fantastic tale of amazement like the late great Stan Lee. Or that I’m a low key anime nut and an NBA fan.

 

 

A Maker Faire Lafayette attendee looks at the Blerd-ish booth.

 

What Makes a Maker?

Meet Arthur Hebert, a two-time Baton Rouge Mini Maker Faire participant who is eager to share his knowledge at Maker Faire Lafayette. Arthur lives in Baton Rouge where he makes awesome CNC router projects and advocates for the practical use of rainwater collection.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.

I work on a variety of hands-on activities around the Baton Rouge area with others and by myself. I worked at the highway department for a good chunk of time, but I’m trying other stuff out now.

Part of my start was making all kinds of stuff at summer camp. I argue that this stuff can help show what to value.

Other Makers, feel free to network with me.

 

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

“Crossing the Bar” comes to mind. I think Maker is a good umbrella term to cover people who make creative stuff. For me, making stuff is an outlet.

 

Who or what inspires you?

A lot of my ideas come from things that I’ve observed outside. So far I’ve helped set up six 275-gallon rainwater collection containers and seeing them in action is neat.

 

Is making your hobby or your business? How does it relate, if at all, to your day job?

Making was my hobby for the past few years, but I currently plan to try to expand my projects into a business. It related to my highway department job because of the computer skills needed.

 

Why is making important to you?

There are quite a few things that I haven’t been able to find and buy using an internet search. I think it’s useful sometimes to be able to make the product that you’re after.

 

What have you made that you are most proud of?

A nine-piece puzzle that I made was pretty cool. It’s neat talking about how to solve these. The custom cat trees that I helped make are really something, and I also have a better pants-hanger design coming soon.

The two Maker Faires that I have participated in were high points of those years.

 

What would you make if you had unlimited resources?

A dog bridge over the driveway into the garden at my friend’s place.

 

What up-and-coming maker trends excite you the most?

I’m excited to try the Maker Space at the new River Center Branch Library in Baton Rouge.

 

What advice can you give someone who wants to get involved in the Maker movement?

High school woodshop class is an experience that might help you figure out if you like to do hands-on activities. (Kind of similar to how I remember more stuff from kindergarten than first and second grade.)

 

Tell us something surprising about yourself.

I have ridden my bike from Baton Rouge to Kenner [that’s 70+ miles]!

 

Arthur Hebert demonstrates his CNC Router at the Baton Rouge Mini Maker Faire. Two cats trees with sleeping cats in them are set up in front of three rectangular windows.

 

Dear Makers, Volunteers, Vendors, Attendees, and Friends,

 

The Maker Faire Lafayette Production Team has just read the breaking news that Governor Edwards issued a proclamation that, among other things, bans all gatherings of more than 250 people until Monday, April 13.

 

In light of this news Maker Faire Lafayette will no longer be held on March 28. Our team will be meeting in the coming days to determine the feasibility of rescheduling Maker Faire Lafayette for later date. We will update you all as we make that decision with our partners.

 

As always, please feel free to contact us at makerfairelafayette {at} gmail.com or on social media if you have any questions or concerns. We appreciate your continued support of Maker Faire Lafayette.

 

Sincerely,
Maker Faire Lafayette Team

Calling all Makers! Are you a Maker, inventor, tinkerer, artist, crafter, or creator? We want you to share your invention, craft, or process on March 28, 2020, from 10:00AM-3:00PM at the Lafayette Science Museum.

We ask all Makers to demonstrate a part of their creative process or to have a hands-on activity to share. Hoping to sell your wares? Vending is allowed at Maker Faire Lafayette — but you must be responsible for all parts of the sale process.  We do not charge any vendor fees. You can participate for free!

Lafayette Science Museum, Lafayette Public Library, and generous local vendors provide all Makers and volunteers with a light breakfast, a plate lunch, and snacks.

Join us for a Maker Meetup on Tuesday, February 18th!

 

Maker Meetups are monthly gatherings for local Makers and friends. Come for a great presentation! Then stick around to ask the organizers questions, meet fellow Makers, and eat tasty snacks!

 

For our February Maker Meetup, students at AIE (Academy of Interactive Entertainment) will present newly created animations. They will also offer a how-to demonstration of character creation.

 

We’ll meet at Academy of Interactive Entertainment at the LITE Center (537 Cajundome Blvd, Suite 211, Lafayette) from 6:00PM-8:00PM. See you there!

 

Check out our January Maker Meetup! We are happy to host Andre Angelle, president of local non-profit BikeLafayette. Andre will discuss the organization’s ongoing community projects including the Bike Kitchen, a program that repairs broken and discarded bicycles, then donates them to people in need of transportation.

 

Maker Meetups are monthly gatherings for local Makers and friends. In addition to hearing a great presentation, you can and ask the organizers questions, meet fellow Makers, and have a few tasty snacks!

 

January’s Meetup will take place on Tuesday, January 21, from 6:00-8:00PM. We’ll meet in the 3rd floor Makerspace at the Lafayette Public Library’s Main Branch downtown (301 W. Congress St). See you there!

 

Lafayette Public Library and Lafayette Science Museum opened the “Call for Makers” application for Maker Faire Lafayette, which is scheduled for March 28, 2020. Science-enthusiasts, artists, inventors, crafters, tinkerers, artisans and Makers of all kinds are invited to apply online at https://lafayette.makerfaire.com/.

If you’ve always been curious about how things work and you love learning new skills or making interesting, beautiful or useful things, then we invite you to share that spirit of invention and innovation in a hands-on, interactive way,” said Amy Wander, outreach librarian at Lafayette Public Library. “Maker Faire is for anyone who is passionate about making things – art, music, technology, science, anything at all – to share their knowledge and passion with our community.”

Making things, be it a work of art, a craft or something technological or scientific, is a process that involves critical-thinking, experimentation and problem-solving – and those are scientific principles,” said Kevin Krantz, director of Lafayette Science Museum. “Maker Faire is an event that brings together Makers of all kinds – from scientists and engineers to artists and artisans – so that we can all learn from one another and celebrate science in a fun and exciting way.”

Lafayette Public Library and Lafayette Science Museum are partners producing Maker Faire Lafayette for the third year. The family-friendly event held at Lafayette Science Museum includes everything from science, robotics, 3-D printing and other technologies to art, quilting, metalsmithing, ceramics, baking and other hobbies and crafts. Makers are set up at booths in and around the museum to show what they make with hands-on, interactive demonstrations. Makers also may offer workshops in a classroom setting or performances.

The following are just some of the types of Makers generally featured at Maker Faires:

  • Student Projects

  • Robotics

  • Arduino projects

  • Raspberry Pi

  • Space projects

  • Food makers

  • Conductive materials projects

  • Kit makers

  • Interactive art projects

  • 3D Printers and CNC Mills

  • Textile Arts and Crafts

  • E-Textiles

  • Home Energy Monitoring

  • Rockets and RC Toys

  • Sustainability & Green Tech

  • Radios, Vintage Computers and Game Systems

  • Electronics

  • Electric Vehicles

  • Science, Biology/Biotech, and Chemistry projects

  • Puppets, Kites, and Other Whimsical Creations

  • Bicycles

  • Large-scale Art

  • Music Performances and Participation

  • Unusual Tools or Machines

  • How to Fix Things or Take them Apart

Follow Lafayette Mini Maker Faire on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest announcements and upcoming events.

Lafayette Public Library works to enhance the quality of life in the community by providing free and equal access to high-quality, cost-effective library services that meet the needs and expectations of Lafayette’s diverse community for information, life-long learning, recreation and cultural enrichment.

Lafayette Science Museum is a regional science center serving families, schools and visitors. By applying the latest technology to interactive experiences and immersive education, LSM promotes interest and inspires careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

 

Anya will speak about her experiences and passion for handcrafting, repairing, and restoring violins using traditional methods and designs.

 

Maker Meetups are monthly gatherings for local Makers in the lead up to the 2020 Maker Faire Lafayette! They are your chance to ask the organizers questions and meet fellow Makers.

 

December’s Meetup will take place at SOLA Violins in downtown Lafayette (100 E Vermilion St, Ste 102) on Tuesday, December 17, from 6:00-8:00PM. We hope to see you there!

 

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