Who’s Making Near You?
This month the Colorado Maker Hub will be focused on communicating the Making in Colorado. We will post a topic each week sharing the awesomeness in the Colorado maker community which I have grown to love. This week I will focus on the variety of makers in Colorado and how you can find out who is Making near you.
As I started this journey in January of leading the Colorado Maker Hub, I did not know what was awaiting me. I was offered a 5,000+ subscriber list and that was about it. Since then after a lot of hours (sorry hubby and kiddos) of manual look-ups and visiting folks through Community Connects, the Hub now has 1200+ organizations or businesses in our directory and 7200+ subscribers. As we look at ways of leveraging the Colorado Information Marketplace and utilizing machine learning, we hope to be able to reach out to 10 times as many maker organizations to see how we can help market and communicate what they do. What’s been inspiring is that the environment and culture that I have seen in cities across Colorado has set the seed for something wonderful for those that take a chance and follow their passion. Do you know who is making near you?
The variety of makers in Colorado is astounding! From the mediums used to the programs in which they are involved our Types of Making has grown over the last 7 months since we started building out the directory. Makers who are listed or are wanting to be listed can select their Types of Making as: 3D Printing, Alcohol (hard liquor, beer, wine), Art, Beekeeping, Bicycles, Biotech, Blacksmithing, Citizen Science, Clay, Clothes, CNC, Code, Consumer Product, Cosplay, Crafts, Design, Devices, Electronics, Energy, Fabrics, Farm, Food, Furniture, Gardening, Glasswork, Hardware, Houses, Industry Product, Injection Casting, Jewelry, Leathercrafting, LEGOs, Materials Tech, Media, Metalwork, Molds, Music, Open Hardware, Open Software, Photography, Pottery, Quilts, Recycle, Robots, Rugs, Science, Sculptures, Sewing, Social Impact, Software, Stickers, Structures, Sustainability, Tech, Things with Fire, Tiny Houses, Trains, Upcycle, Vehicles, Video/Film, Vinyl Cutting, Virtual Reality (VR), Weld and Woodwork. And we are open to others…We are an inclusive group and recognize that making is broad and diverse. We want to recognize what you make and help you connect and communicate what you make, so interested folks can find you! Do you make? Do you know who is making near you?
Some of the characteristics of makers that I saw as I was pulling the Hub’s directory together were:
Makers are artists and creative. I am open to the interchange of the words: Artist, Creative or Maker. Many would define one or the other to a specific craft. But I see each of these words as the same and regardless of grouping, I saw that all the makers across Colorado regardless of craft are creative and inspiration can come from anywhere. Many open to new ideas thus willing to stretch the limits and think out of the box for their next project. In many cases they are comfortable in this behavior, because they are good in their craft!
Makers are craftsmen. Whether their type of making is with clay, technology and even biotechnology, a maker will know the ins-n-out of their medium. They will strive to improve their workmanship and be the best in their craft. For makers that have embarked on learning 3D design and have gotten comfortable with 3D design tools they are see a whole new world open up to them on machines and mediums. Many have seen this growth as more makerspaces have opened with CNC and additive manufacturing machines like 3D Printers to be available to their members and / or to the public.
Makers are tinkerers and inventors. The love of learning new techniques is a passion of many makers. Due to this drive to learn new techniques, many makers are inventors. Many never take the next step with their idea and happy with the achievement of knowledge. Others would love to ‘make some bucks’ to be able to help fund that next new technique or technology in their craft. If interested in checking out some of Colorado’s inventors, this weekend Maker Faire Denver will be hosting a Colorado Inventor’s Showcase which has indicated over 100 area inventors.
Makers love to make. This is a core characteristic to being a maker and if you try to change it you will not have a happy household. Trust me! Everyone is different in the amount of making they are able to do, but it is hard to take the making out of a maker. Don’t fight it…and just make!
Do you know who is making near you? We invite you to look up your city on our map to see who is making near you. Making local choices this holiday season and for your business choices is a great way to support many of these makers and your community. To help you find your local makers we are also keeping an evergreen list of upcoming events to provide opportunities to meet your local makers. If willing to get out this weekend come to Maker Faire Denver or the Colorado Springs Mini Maker Faire next weekend. We will be at both Maker Faires the next two weeks and hope to see you there! Otherwise we look forward to helping you connect with the Colorado maker community! If you don’t see someone listed, we invite you to connect them with us.