Ever since I was a child, The Henry Ford Museum inspired me to think bigger. One can hardly escape the pull of innovation whilst walking through the various exhibits and displays highlighting human ingenuity, invention, and initiative housed throughout the museum and grounds. As a kid, the machines spoke of people who were larger than life, people who chose to use their talents to build a nation and usher in an industrial age. As an adult, I walk through the museum with a sacred appreciation for the monumental sacrifices and determination the generations before me embodied to create such wonderful things. The Henry Ford is a living and breathing testament to what is possible.
A few years back I had the distinct privelege to have dinner with Dale Dougherty, chief imagineer of Maker Faire, while he was visiting Michigan. I loved listening to him talk about the Makers and Tinkerers he had encountered along in his travels, his eyes lit up as he conveyed stories about the random things people were inspired to pursue and build. I thought to myself that he, and those he so animately spoke about, were the kind of people I wanted my children to have the chance to meet. Dale's passion for making is contagious and from the moment he set foot here in Michigan, I prayed that his spark would catch. I had been a part of many Maker Faires prior but, I could think of no better place to host a Maker Faire than The Henry Ford... it was almost as if Henry Ford knew that there would be a time when people would need to be reminded of the fantastic things that could be made and accomplished when ordinary folks decide to go ahead and build themselves the extraordinary with their own two hands. He created a place full of things people believed to be impossibles at one time or another... automotives, flight, robots, and all the amazing technology being explored and invented daily. When Maker Faire partnered with The Henry Ford three years ago, it was a dream come true for me personally and yes, my children did get to meet Dale and all his amazing Maker friends.
My eldest Son's birthday falls in line with the arrival of Maker Faire here in Detroit. Rather than having a party, for the last three years he has spent his birthday money on wristbands for his friends to attend the Faire and experience the exhibits firsthand. This year, all three of our children, along with my husband and I, taught hundreds and hundreds of people how to build paper bracelets in the Young Makers area... the booth was called Paper Connections and it lived up to its name in every sense of those words. We made incredible friends, heard amazing stories, and learned so much about people from literally across the planet. Over 50 thousand slips of paper were folded and woven into the countless urban corsages worn by ordinary people commemorating their time at the "Biggest Show and Tell" event in the world.
Thank you to Maker Faire and The Henry Ford for the two Editor Choice ribbons awarded our booth <3 And a special thanks also to Grant Studios (Australia) for the paper, Fiskars for the scissors, and BIC Mark-it Markers for enabling us to draw out Makermetropolis.