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Mini-Makers show their stuff

  • Visitors try their hands at various projects at the Mini-Maker Faire at Copperfield's Books in Santa Rosa, as Dave Nutty,right, teaches basic electronics, making a flashing light figurine, to, from left: Sam and Jack,14, and dad Rob Spillane of Santa Rosa on Saturday. (MARK ARONOFF/The Press Democrat)

Laura Shafer placed key words with a rubber ink stamp on wooden clothes pins.

These words, such as plenty and breathe, could be randomly pulled out of a clothes pin bag to form haiku poems or clever phrases during what has become a forgotten chore drying clothes in the sun.

Im trying to make line drying fun so that people will get out of their dryers, said Shafer, a Sebastopol artist who participated Saturday in a mini-Maker Faire at Copperfields Books at Montgomery Village.

The event is a scaled down, community-oriented version of the wildly popular Maker Faire, the worlds premiere do-it-yourself event thats sponsored by Make Magazine, a publication of Sebastopol-based OReilly Media.

About half a dozen tables were set up near the north entrance to Copperfields Books, with each station showcasing a variety of topics including bike repair, solar power education, the fundamentals of electronics and the proper use of compact florescent bulbs.

At one table, Terrie Miller, a local permaculture enthusiast, helped people make small seed balls out of red art clay, compost, seeds and water. The little balls, which resembled small chocolate truffles, protect seeds from hungry birds.

Theyll stay in the yard until the rain comes, Miller said.

At another table, Tom Anderson, an electric engineer and electronics hobbyist, explained how fluorescent bulbs designed to last seven years likely will not make it past the first year if they are placed upside down in ceiling fixtures.

The reason has to do with the housing of the bulbs circuitry heating up more in certain positions and causing failure in some of the electronic components, particularly the capacitors.

Next to Andersons table, Dustin Zuckerman handed out information about his recent venture, the Santa Rosa Tool Library. Its a free tool lending service that he runs out of his home in the Cherry Street Historic District Neighborhood.

Throughout the afternoon, the curious, both young and old, strolled into the bookstore.

Thats our main motivation, to bring people together, said Vicki DeArmon, a spokeswoman for Copperfields.

Similar events are scheduled at Copperfields stores on Saturday in Healdsburg, Aug. 1 in Petaluma and Aug. 8 at Montgomery Village.

Sherry Huss, the director of Maker Faire, said Saturdays event is part of an effort to bring some of the 1,600 makers associated with Make Magazine into communities everywhere.

We would like to develop a model where communities can organize themselves, Huss said.

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