Making things is our forte at MapleXO. We’ve been chopping up old skateboards for years now, turning them from dumpster-bound trash into finely-finished jewelry, accessories, and other goodies. We found our way to this craft after years of fiddling and toying with whatever we could get our anxious hands on. Remember Dad’s $40 desk pen that miraculously disassembled itself into a seemingly infinite number of pieces? Yeah, WAY more pieces than should ever be able to fit into an object so small. Well, that was our doing. We were scolded, but that scolding came as a challenge: Next time, we’d get that darned thing put back together and he’d never know the difference. We strove to understand the object, to know how it functioned, and how it compared to other similar objects.
Then we grew a little, studied our hearts out with schooling, tampering and fiddling all the while. The books were interesting (though sometimes grueling) but wood and auto shop thoroughly captivated us. New tools, new possibilities, and a new doorway leading down a path of gradual cultivation of skill and ingenuity.
Next we found the professional world... you know, the one you make a living in. In this new world jobs didn’t always prompt any creativity, and often shunned it. Maybe we were lucky enough to get a job at the local skateboard shop, assembling skateboards for customers. Getting the grip tape cut more perfectly with each new board, the bolts tightened just right. Or a job as an apprentice carpenter; clumsily hammering nails and frustratedly transferring an endless pile of dirt across a job site. If we were lucky, we were assigned some variety of pneumatic tool for an hour or two. The scale was too large for us to grasp, but we were still honing our craft.
But then, with a little luck and a lot of perseverance, we found our home. The job that doesn’t feel like a job, where we get to make things just the way we want. Where the problems are solved with what we’ve learned throughout the years, our tuned dexterity aiding us along the way. This world of ours is unique, and we are a special breed in our shared fascination. We keep coming back, day after day, because our thirst for creation is never slaked. It’s something we love.
When OMSI invited us to participate in their Maker Faire, we were instantly excited. It is a gathering, a festival, a celebration for habitual-pen-disassemblers of the region. With curious hands and eyes belonging to people who seek to understand the mechanics of the world around them. The younger patrons serve as a flashback in time to who we were in our earlier years, and we’re simply hoping to be the catalyst in their path toward a creative career. If last year was any indicator, this year’s Maker Faire will be an absolute blast. We can’t wait to feed these eager minds, and we hope they’re as excited as we are! We will gladly be accepting high-fives from all of you who this resonates with. See y’all at Maker Faire!