Cultivating Future Makers at the Maker Faire: Reviving History through Wearable Art

Cultivating future Makers at the Maker Faire with DIY Wearable Art!

Beneath our art projects, our mission is to encourage young people, especially women, to acquire technical and intellectual skills through craft. I did not expect to end up as a small business owner making jewelry out of hand-forged silver and antique buttons. I started collecting and making when I was 4. As a young woman, I was encouraged to excel in school and become a professional. After quitting a fancy consulting job in the Netherlands, I combined a liberal arts education and technical background with hands-on maker skills and started my own business. My husband and I are now in our seventh year of being a small handmade business. As a small family endeavor, we are proud to be working as metalworkers and historians in the Bay Area. We hope our hands-on project at the Maker Faire encourages young minds to keep creating! 

For the first 2 years, we had materials to make a simple paper pendant, but we decided to make our free hands-on project more involved, and it went really well! Maker kids can handle the challenge and enjoyed the project more. We are interested in the history and story of everyday objects, so we're wooden domino pieces as a mini canvas to make a collage pendant. We've provided vintage paper, musical sheets and maps and a non-toxic water-based glaze to make a multi-layered collage. There is something remarkably empowering about getting a bit messy and coming out with a treasure YOU MADE. 

Maker Faire Bay Area

It was a delight to watch everyone get involved. I love watching eager minds sorting through the historical papers to find what is interesting. We're giving kids an opportunity to plan and execute and enjoy a creative project. 

With just the right amount of mess. The water soluble glue comes off easily.

The finished product is satisfying, dries in 15 minutes and is wearable!

 

We got so many requests for project parts the first year, we have since offered bargain priced parts and kits. We are able to get parts we don't use into the hands of creative makers working on projects. Our favorite was a father-son steampunk costume. They had been working on it as a collaboration for two years and were ecstatic to find the last pieces they needed before their costume party debut. 

We also sell vintage watch bracelet photo bracelet kits at cost.

The last piece of our project - our historical jewelry. We are a husband-wife team. We create handmade metal elements at our workbench in sterling silver and bronze to combine with antique buttons and other small historical objects. We aim to inspire conversations about the history of technology and fashion with our work. All our jewelry is tagged with historical information, which is at the center of our work. We aim to get vintage objects out of drawers and into the light where they can be discussed and enjoyed.    

With our three-part project, we hope to inspire young people to create projects linked to history AND to show an example of small family makers in the Bay Area. Now we have a 20 month-old daughter. Encouraging young people, especially women, has never felt more important in our family and the world.


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