A script that corrects the word "maker" into "guy who does arts and crafts"

"Maker space" = craft room

"Maker ethos" = enthusiasm for arts and crafts

"Maker fair" = craft expo

None of this shit is revolutionary, it's just stuff that your grandmas have always done. You are the newcomer. It's not any less arts-and-crafts just because it involves a 3D printer now.

(Weak points of this script include sentences like "prepare to meet your guy who does arts and crafts")

Hold on i'm not actually done.

For all that "maker culture" is supposed to be about democratizing tech, from where I'm standing it seems amazingly top-down, separatist, and undemocratic. Why do your expos need to be their "own thing"? Why is being a "maker" something with so many ties to Silicon Valley bro culture and not like, county fairs? Why are you starting with "HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO IRL WITH HACKING" and not "here's how to integrate tech into your existing real-world crafts"?

If you want to democratize tech, don't start with people who are already into tech. Go to actual craft fairs and figure out what little old ladies need from tech that is either a) not being met or b) being met by super-expensive corporate shit.

Like. Why isn't there a raspberry pi workshop/booth at the county fair? Why are you relying on normal people to seek you out instead of meeting them where they are?

For me personally, I don't know jack fucking shit about hacking, but I have a lot of concrete hobbies that would really benefit from some way to integrate tech for planning/tracking/labor-saving purposes. I bought a Raspberry Pi in 2015 and it sat in the damn box for 3 years because I didn't even know where to START with it. I still don't think I'm using it to its full potential.

Show me how to apply it! Don't just tell me "you can do anything with it"

@alpine_thistle "Bless the Guy Who Does Arts and Crafts and All His Water." 100% ready for this Dune reboot

fake indignation as if I was a tech bro 

@alpine_thistle but this is... different arts and crafts bro. it hits different bro. this is coding bro. totally masculine bro.

fake indignation as if I was a tech bro 

@hope but it's HACKING arts and crafts bro

fake indignation as if I was a tech bro 

but you gotta admit "maker" sounds cooler 😎

fake indignation as if I was a tech bro 

@alpine_thistle ngl if makerspace stuff involved things like sticking programmable LEDs into cute crocheted critters I'd be 900% more into it

@nisima I went to a maker fair a few years ago and there were definitely some cool projects like that! Idk why it has to be a "maker" thing and not just like... an extension of fiber crafts

@alpine_thistle @nisima My favourite hacker here in Ireland was always into fabric and electronics: she made a great crochet body with crochet organs you could stick in the correct places and they would light up :)
She also once revived an old card-programmable loom with a custom arduino "fake card" and ran a booth where she would reel off custom scarves with messages on them.
"Making" for me was always a superset of "crafts", where creativity & crossover was emphasised.

@alpine_thistle I mean, makes sense to me. I do maker stuff but I've always liked arts and crafts, so it doesn't really surprise me.

@alpine_thistle I agreeeee! My parents are self-employed artists who make anodized aluminum jewelery and mobiles - by hand. My mom even makes the silver rivets that hold the pieces together. The only thing they don't do is the anodizing. But their style / work doesn't fit into the "Make Magazine" idea that DIY is something that's only done for fun (unless you're one of the small handful of famous white dudes).

I've had (incoherent) thoughts about this for a long time!

@bouncinglime but are they DISRUPTING the handmade aluminum jewelry industry 🤔 lol

I was thinking about this while watching a YouTube cooking channel hosted by a dude with a strong "maker" vibe. It's not just COOKING it's SCIENCE and you can HACK it

@alpine_thistle yes! This kind of thing is soooo frustrating. "Hacking" and "disrupt" I think are the difference between handmade and Maker. Because we can't simply enjoy a hobby where we do stuff with our hands, someone needs to sell us a whole Thing about it. And gadgets. You don't have enough of the right gadgets to be doing your hobby correctly. If you had them, you could produce more, and sell them! Because why are you doing it if you aren't making money?

@alpine_thistle there's an island off the coast of maine the fab lab people go to to help traditional craftspeople use lasers etc

@alpine_thistle there's also one in amersfoort that does, like, robot theater that has performances for people and workshops on turning trash into stuff.

also the nirobe fablab makes 3D printers out of e-waste which is pretty cool though only tangential to accessibility, I feel like overall fablab has been more inclusive than maker stuff though it still biases toward rich people/free time/us state dept programs etc

@amsomniac I'm not familiar with the internal divisions but anything that meets people where they are and tries to solve real-people problems is 👍 in my book

@alpine_thistle I feel like this is mostly a problem in the west. People overseas are having to do that because of aging population dynamics. There's more old ladies and handicrafters elsewhere than here.

Also some of these things exist and tech jerks just don't acknowledge or respect them. One of my favorite apps is to map cross-stitch/needlepoint patterns and I find that a lot of home sewists really enjoy advanced functions on electronically enabled machines. There is overlap but the frat mentality of tech culture is ensuring that the progress is invisible and the two sectors never meet.

I personally wouldn't be bothered with a maker fair because, frankly, the craft fair has better smelling air. At least those folks care enough to bathe before they go out in public. Last time I went to a tech thing it just...the air made me sick to my stomach. Never again.

@raantuva yeah, quilting and embroidery machines especially can be HIGH TECH. I'd really like to see what hackers/makers would be able to offer to people who are interested in that functionality but don't have the $$$$$

@alpine_thistle I, for one, would love an embroidery machine made for small spaces instead of the giant ones we currently have to choose from. Imagine merging the efficiency of a Swiss watch with the advanced selection options of color printers and having a machine that could do RIBBON EMBROIDERY OMG 🤤

I would make so many unnecessary items for people at the holidays 😌

@alpine_thistle I would also really enjoy full color computing screens on a machine for once. It's 2020 why is that shit still 8-bit

@alpine_thistle @raantuva

I found a couple projects to make an embroidery machine from a (in theory any) straight stitch sewing machine, using 3d printed parts an arduino and libre software. But it took a lot to find it. It's not a beginner project, but I bet sharing that how-to to fiber artists would drastically change how the 'arts and craft grandmothers' view tools like arduino.

@Avalon @alpine_thistle Well idk your statement does seem to fail to account for senescence which is very real and has a major impact on how one can approach a problem. Rather than asking them to make their own stuff I think tech needs to meet in the middle and make what they want but make it to their tastes. Like the movie says, if you build it, they will come.

@raantuva @alpine_thistle
I am more talking about the early step that is sharing "we've figured out this cool idea that can save someone between hundreds and thousands of dollars" it overlaps traditional fibercrafts and the maker style tools that are so often shared with the idea of "you can do anything with it" but the examples shown are build a robot arm/ make a switch that turns an led off and on.

@Avalon @alpine_thistle I get that but I stand by my prior statement. You specified grandmas (who are not the only ones doing handicrafts)

@raantuva @alpine_thistle
fair, and I probably shouldn't have specified, because I'm definitely referring to a broader scope than that, but then I know plenty of grandmothers who are all about taking classes and learning things, and if make your own embroidery machine was an option, even an option with prereq classes that have things they aren't as into, they'd be into that, in a way that they otherwise wouldn't even consider learning arduino stuff.

@alpine_thistle @thufie I ended up buying a cricut because they may be corporate owned but they managed to make a friendly craft-marketed device that does what I want where “maker” oriented ones do not 😬


Local orgs are really important. The political parties have booths at every fair cus they know talking to people on the ground is cruical.

You gotta literally get in people's line of sight for them to notice and take interest.

@alpine_thistle by rebranding arts & crafts with a trademark someone can make a lot of money from white guys that find "arts & crafts" to be an imposition on their masculinity

@alpine_thistle Must be those damn raspberry farmers protecting their trademark.

I feel this hard.

If you want something that is more than "a computer but small", you need to pick up manufacturing.

You can plug in a motor and lights and make them whir pretty easily

Making that into a THING means wood work, laser cutting, or 3d printing.

It means learning to use CAD tools.

There are a lot of disparate skills involved

@alpine_thistle I’m using one RPi3 as a pihole (DNS server for home network), one as a SDR HF ham x-mitter, and another I’m in the process of turning into a dropbox replacement/NAS.

@alpine_thistle Ugh yes, I got a Pi in an attempt to put Netflix on the downstairs tv once the Wii stopped supporting it and like, it was too hard. Although I am p. sure it'd be hard for people who knew what they were doing. Ended up getting a Roku instead and now... wondering what to do with the Pi

@alpine_thistle sadly not into classic games enough for that, and I've still got my mega drive and a working 30-year-old tv to plug it straight into. I'll figure it out at some point. might end up with a thing that just tells me the weather or something

@alpine_thistle Ok, the story I was told, was that its mostly a historical thing?

A lot of engineers were sold on going into engineering with stuff like robot competitions and other hands on, creative work.

Then they finish their degrees and find that their jobs are all simulate stuff on computers that is built in a factory you never see.

So a bunch of them started getting into making stuff in their off-time for an outlet, since work wasn't letting them do what they'd be sold on it letting them do.

And, at least in the older books, this ranges from sewing steampunk cloths, to 80ft tall automated spiders with flamethrowers.

Given those roots it makes sense that they wouldn't know about craft spaces, and it also wouldn't surprise me if it is super broified these days

All this *gestures above*
I was in robotics clubs all through school, and there just is very little intersection between Maker Community and Arts-Crafts communities because they're Convergent Evolution, not because techbros wanted "crafts but more blinkenlights". So you end up with the handicrafts communities with no incentive or exemplar to tech up, and makers with no exposure to tech down

@hyratel @alpine_thistle I've heard there is some overlap these days, Adam Savage and Grant Imahara both talked about how they had to know their way around a sewing machine as much or better then they knew how to use a lathe during their mythbusters days as I recall.

And I've seen Adam Savage on Twitter doing what he can to make maker places more open to traditional crafters and telling anyone who will listen that sewing and knitting are as much maker projects as machining.

@Canageek @alpine_thistle I don't think I was aware of Adam's outreach work, that's pretty awesome. I fully want the convergence and intermingling to continue, but the problems mentioned variously upthread about the gatekeeping and top-down structures of Maker community is definitely something I would like to see addressed but have no knowledge of where to even start asking questions

@Canageek @alpine_thistle another thing mentioned upthread is the relatively large number of sub-projects and sub-disciplines you need at least a passing understanding of and relatively large buy-in of tooling before you can even start. the Crafts have a lot of buy-in and skill-in too, I won't argue otherwise, depending on the specifics. but I can see the electronics hobbies being a lot more.... intimidating? IDK, these are quick-thoughts so factor that in

I agree that makers are 'into arts and crafts', but it's also a culture. There's a common set of language, ideas, and reference points that make a maker. The activities they do aren't new, but this specific group and their expression of those activities is.

I think one day it will die out, and there will be new movements within the group of "people that do arts and crafts", but it will no longer be the "maker movement"

@alpine_thistle I feel like there's been at least a bit more, uh, 'convergence' here in the Furry community, which is unabashedly *both* 'arts and crafts' and 'maker'. You have people who do traditional and digital art, 3D modelling, game design, music.. and, well, costuming, props.

Then came stuffing LEDs in your fursuit head's eyes to make them glow, or EL wire to give it cool markings. Then fully motorized, wagging tails and moving ears. But you still work with faux fur and sculpie.

@alpine_thistle You have people with little hidden hand or jaw controllers to make things happen, and all of the hard technical work that goes into it, coupled tightly with needing to know how to properly pattern & sew things so it moves the 'right' way.

There's a lot of techbro culture bleeding in, and furry is *very* white + Western, and the smell can be just as bad (sorry, but let's be real ;p)... but it's still got some things going for it, including that appreciation of multiple artforms.

@kithop I'm not involved in the furry community but it seems there's a LOT of stuff that the rest of us could learn from you guys. (Supporting artists!)

@alpine_thistle A lot of furries start out as fans of big corporate media properties - think of Disney & Don Bluth, various Saturday morning cartoons for hawking toys in the 80s and 90s, that sort of thing.

But those who go to lengths to be a part of 'the fandom' (which is so nebulous and means 100 different things to 100 different people) tend to learn to be fans of *each other*, and that's something really inspiring.

Furries will serve their own community way better than e.g. Disney could.

@kithop same with fanfic tbh. We get drawn in by "big" stories and want to share them with each other on a "small" scale, digging into them in ways that corporate media will never. And a lot of older fans (i caught just the tail-end of this, so basically anyone who's been on the internet longer than I have) have been burned by C&D, straight-up lawsuits from creators, and deplatforming by corporate-owned archive sites. We've learned that we can only rely on each other.

@alpine_thistle Agreed, 3D printers are cool, but machines to make everyday objects from raw materials have been a thing since looms and sewing machines have existed.

@alpine_thistle kinda off topic but for a recent sims 4 pack, they'd added a "maker" career and for the life of me I couldn't understand why they didn't just say "craftsman" based on the description. so thanks for filling that gap in my knowledge

@alpine_thistle *clears throat insecurely, erm, I mean masculinely*

Um, actually, my grandpa did work working and so do I. That's different somehow, I swear.

@alpine_thistle preach.

But please also preach to the art and craft spaces, because as someone who does both more-traditional arts and crafts (embroidery, carving, woodworking) and stuff that people would see as "maker stuff" (custom PCBs, electronics, 3D printing), crafting spaces can be outright hostile to modern arts and crafts work

The local maker space welcomed the quilters and painters and knitters with open arms (I know that's not universal: I'm very fortunate to have a spaces that's run by welcoming people), but the local "craft fair" folks turned away my kids' responsive LED jewelry project with a "that's not an art or craft, that's a technology project"

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