Mini Maker Faire rolls out hands-on fun projects and a Trashion Fashion Show

Sun, 09/09/2018 - 10:30am

    CAMDEN — Approximately 20 makers, artists, engineers, coders and designers engaged a mostly young crowd on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Mini Maker Faire, held under a tent in the Amphitheatre of the Camden Public Library.

    A table of volunteers with patterns, fabric and sewing machines were at the front of the tent to get people involved and sewing— not just for art’s sake— but for a good cause. Sewing For Malawi, which partnered with Sweet Tree Arts of Hope, sews sundresses and pants for children at a primary school in Malawi.

    “We’ve had a number of people come by and just sit down and start sewing on the machines,” said volunteer Argy Nestor. “Children have even participated sewing buttons on pockets and dresses.”

    Nestor said that volunteers sewed close to 200 pieces of clothing last year.

    There were a multitude of hands-on interactive art projects at the Faire, which appealed to many adults as well as kids, including small paper sculptures from CMCA’s Art Lab, Aquaculture Art from seaweeds gathered from Hurricane Island, a giant sticker mosiac put together by Camden Public Library’s Miss Amy and fairy mushrooms made from modeling clay and plaster of paris called Negative Space by Charley Lind, an engineer.

    Certain artists were on hand to explain their process such as Wayne Twitchell, a scrap metal welder who makes whimsical animals, and Chris Pinchbeck who handcrafts Scottish smallpipes, while Andy White, a woodworker and designer, helped kids fashion the best aerodynamic airplanes they could create with a competition and prize on who could sail theirs the farthest.

    The Faire, which also heavily promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), had its fair share of electronics and devices. Inside the library there was an open source 3-D printer, where participants could get themselves scanned while BOSEBuild gave people a demo on wireless headphones.

    Loraine Murray, a CPL employee, showcased the Girls Who Code club with a website designed by 13-year-old Abby Harrison using the Jimdo platform. “Abby and some of the club members did a bunch of research on honeybee behavior, and the girls built the website from scratch, as well as also coded a couple of games within the website to play with,” said Murray.

    One of the biggest “puzzles” of the day turned out to be a Kotzsch-in-a-Box, a 133-piece pipe organ that had to be taken apart and reconstructed before it could play. “Elsa Geskus, Education Coordinator of Friends of Kotzschmar Organ, said the pipe organ was hand built and is used in schools as a STEM project. “Today, we probably had this thing taken apart and put back together six times,” she said. “Kids just came up to work it out and when they got stuck, we nudged them in the right direction a little, but some just dug in and started putting it all together without any help.”

    Check out our video on Clarissa Brown, a participant, who happens to be an organ player. She began playing a tune on the Kotzsch-in-a-Box once it was all assembled as Geskus pumped the hand bellows.

    Lastly, the Trashion Fashion Show, a first, for the Mini Maker Faire, allowed participants to come up with avant-garde designs in couture working with old egg cartons, plastic bags, recyclables and a number of reusable trash for the “runway” down the street, which was marked off by a hopscotch court in chalk.

    For more information on how to get involved with next year’s Midcoast Mini Maker Faire visit:

    Kay Stephens can be reached at