Mini Makers converge on Camden Public Library

By Dwight Collins | Sep 10, 2013
Photo by: Dwight Collins Hundreds of people flocked to Atlantic Avenue Saturday, Sept. 7 during the Mini Maker Faire at Camden Public Library.

Camden — More than a dozen crafters, inventors, educators and designers showed off creations at Camden Public Library during the Midcoast Mini Maker Faire Sept. 7.

Boatbuilding demonstrations, solar cars, robots and artisans' wares filled the amphitheatre during the free, family-friendly event that attracted a large, steady crowd of the curious and inspired.

Camden-Rockport Middle School Robotics Club showed off a robot that uses sensors to maneuver without crashing into other objects.

“It has two sensors, one that looks for walls and things and one pointed at the ground looking for a change color,” said student Jason LaBlond. “It moves around and when it senses a wall it goes either left or right depending on the program. It is also programmed to stop if the sensor pointing down sees a change from white to black.”

Students from Watershed School created long-deck skate boards — or longboards — and were tasked to design one that displayed their individual personalities.

“We put all of the layers of wood together, some to make the board flexible and others to make it sturdy and stiff,” said Peter Duda. “Then we were told to make a design and create the board that describes us. We did the whole thing, glued everything together, put the boards in bags and sucked all the air out to make the solid deck, it was pretty neat.”

The Mini Maker movement is one of vision to help inspire do-it-yourself invention and creation. Mini Maker Faires celebrate the local "maker" culture and their creativity, according to information provided by the library. A world-wide movement, the first Maker Faire took place in San Mateo, Calif., in 2006 and by 2012 had expanded to 56 faires worldwide.

Exhibitors included, Jared Paradee, cardboard robots; Center for Maine Contemporary Art ArtLab, mystery bags; Charles Duvall and Sarah Boisvert , 3-D printed jewelry; Shelby Cote, Tuneful Topper musical hat-making; Pilar Nadal, "Tired Press," a bicycle powered printing press; Wooden Boat and The Apprentice Shop, boat building; Peter Homer, NASA space glove design; Ella Simon, "Icycle Bicycle," a bicycle-powered ice cream maker; Jory Squibb, Sunbeam car; Nathan Davis, interactive art installation using a computer and an iPhone; Edward Seidel, underwater robots; Watershed School FabLab, longboards; Midcoast Yarn Ninjas, beautify the town with fiber art; Paul Cartwright, stone arches, bicycle adapted for different tasks; Stephen Abbadessa, biomass gasification; University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, Inventing a Floating Wind Platform; Deb Walters, homemade camping gear for kayaking; Dave Talley, Elf car; Bill Buchholz, Micro car; Camden Hills Regional High School and Camden-Rockport Middle School Robotics Club.

Courier Publications reporter Dwight Collins can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at

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