Allow me to exercise one of my new-found writing talents harvested from @FakeAPStylebook: Big Ups to the Wall Street Journal's Andy Jordan for pointing me to this article by Justin Lahart. Mr. Lahart eloquently describes the blossoming Maker movement. When you spend your days at work and devote your evenings to your various projects it's easy to miss the size of the trend.
Mr. Lahart has interviewed luminaries from many (US) hackerspaces, clubs, and universities and provides us with a forest-level view of what many of us might think is a small niche.
For the local slant and for some more on the rise of the tinkerer class read Marc Maximov's article in The Independent published back in September. Mr. Maximov goes beyond the somewhat vanilla content in Mr. Lahart's article and attempts to determine the all-important why of the movement.
"It's been suggested that the developed world's modern, passive lifestyle—in which we're fixated on computer screens and tethered to our desks—squelches our instinctual drive to make things with our hands and contributes to depression." Maximov
Maximov also cites Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford as someone urging the case for working with your hands: something real. Crawford's book digs far deeper and does an excellent job of reasoning that, essentially, to know you must do.