Perhaps you have heard of the Maker Movement. Briefly, it’s the term given to those who are making tech-related items from leftover, used, repurposed, and recycled materials. These folks tinker with “stuff” and create new stuff from old stuff, and they can get quite creative along the way. People who like to design and make robots, drones and computer components are considered today’s makers. But it doesn’t really stop, or for that matter, start there.
Always a Maker
From the beginning, humans have always been makers. Early man created implements to make life easier and to make work more efficient. It was the invention of tools and the domestication of animals that made it possible for humans to settle down in one place, as opposed to only following the tracks of meals-on-hooves to make sure there was food for the family.
Fast forward from the first wheel, plow and garden hoe to today’s world, full of plastics and mass-produced everything. Even food is manufactured today. Still, humans have a desire to create. From Tinkertoys® and Erector® sets of days gone by to the motherboards and 3-D printers of today, the need to make things runs strong.
More Than a STEM Thing
It’s interesting how everything is connected in some way. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) seem to be at the forefront now. It’s easy to imagine people working away with complicated components, programs and formulas creating things, many of which are intangible. Yet, those same STEM fields can be applied to other creative endeavors as well, like toboggan making.
The Maker Movement actually includes anyone who makes things. The roots of the movement may be seen as tech-related, but gatherings of makers include a plethora of others who create everything from wearable fiber art to jewelry to homemade preserves. It even includes those who teach others about eco-sustainability, growing your own food and beekeeping.
Pure and Natural Crafting
The Maker Movement may focus on unique tech-related inventions, but there is something even more special about making something tangible from natural resources. Not only is it satisfying to handle the material, work with it and see it take form into something new, there is also the simple pleasure of looking at something handcrafted, whether it be a pottery bowl or a shawl fashioned from natural fibers.
The Maker Movement encompasses people tinkering away in cluttered basement workshops with soldering tools and magnifying glasses, sitting in rocking chairs teaching how to knit or crochet, and folks clamping wooden slats together to get just the right bend in the wood for a clean, enjoyable toboggan ride. Cheers to all who love to make stuff!