"Black Friday" here in the USA is the day after Thanksgiving. This year it is on November 27 (OMG next Friday!). In years past it has unofficially kicked off the annual December-holidays spending-spree. Given that us Makers and Crafters are going to be building and creating all of our gifts to our relatives and friends (right?!?) here is a great resource on some tools to help you accomplish that goal. Home Depot, Sears, Harbor Freight, Lowe's, Costco, Northern Tool, and more are shown as of posting.
Sorry about the late notice but if you're looking for something fun to do tonight you may want to head over to Morgan Imports (map below) after 6:00. Morgan Imports is hosting the Preservation Durham annual fundraiser and will be donating a portion of sales tonight to the cause.
There is going to be free food, music, and lots of community at the event.
Yours truly might even drop in... hard to pass up free snacks!
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.
The Triangle Business Journal has an article presenting an analysis of the data contained in a Miliken Institute study listing Durham, NC as the sixth best performing city in 2009. While mostly an indicator of job and salary growth the most telling datum is likely Durham's High-Tech GDP Location Quotient for 2008 that places Durham at #4 in the nation for high-tech concentration. Woohoo!
None other than Wired Magazine in their Top 10 Tech Towns list had this to say about the area:
"RALEIGH-DURHAM: The jocks here may get worked up about college hoops, but the tech set is passionate about Linux distros and Mac-PC holy wars. North Carolina’s Triangle is ground zero for Red Hat, SAS Institute, and an IBM center. Bonus: The area hosts two World Beer Festivals a year"
Creative Class champion Richard Florida squeezed us into slot 10 of his recent Next Youth Magnet Cities list saying: "Another great high-tech, university, smart city, which boasts a mild climate, highly educated population, great outdoor activities, and a great music scene."
This is certainly encouraging news to read about the location of the next mini maker faire! The triangle area of North Carolina is a vibrant, intelligent, artistic, technological, and creative area packed with visionary people.
It sure sounds like a perfect location to hold some kind of amazing event celebrating people who are vibrant, intelligent, artistic, technological, and creative, don't you think?
Just in the few weeks that I've been working on the MakerFaire:NC project I've already met and virtually met dozens of fascinating people and businesses! The word is definetly spreading quick around North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia! Woot!
One of the businesses I've discovered by virtue of my role here is Mebane, NC's Spoonflower. The outfit has been featured all over the web and print publications including Craft, ReadyMade, the New York Times, Make, and more. It's a bit of a miracle that I hadn't heard of them before now.
Spoonflower prints custom fabric on demand for anybody from any design you create or offer for sale on their site. They're a community too so, like industry stalwart Etsy, you can sell your designs and products right from their own way-cool site. The community feeling really comes across in their contests and theme projects. Go check 'em out and print yourself some awesome customized bed sheets or what-have-you.