Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire Issues Final Call For Makers

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tech enthusiasts, crafters, tinkerers, hobbyists and artists of all ages are encouraged to submit projects to be included in Chattanooga’s first Mini Maker Faire by August 28.

The Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire, which celebrates invention, creativity and resourcefulness, will take place on October 11 at the First Tennessee Pavilion.

The daylong event will feature projects, performances, competitions and workshops. Organizers are seeking interactive exhibits that highlight the process of making things. Some of those submissions may include automated electronics, sustainability projects and large-scale art.

Dozens of makers will be featured. From a dad who crafted a tool to teach his children how to ride a bike, to a young entrepreneur who created electronic clothing to react to the environment – the roster of makers is diverse.

Andrew Nigh and Conrad Tengler are two makers expected to draw a crowd.

Nigh, who owns Winter Sun Studio, is a woodworker who built his business on nature-inspired furniture design. It was his interest in sculpture and 2-dimensional art that eventually led him to design larger-scale pieces. But, unlike the pieces in his studio, these works of art are burned following their completion.  

Nigh has designed and burned four displays in Chattanooga. More than two-dozen of his pieces have been displayed across the nation. He currently serves as regional spokesperson for Burning Man, a weeklong event held in Nevada.

“Maker Faire’s character is similar to that of the Burning Man: participatory, communal, interactive,” said Nigh.

Nigh is working with blacksmith-builder Conrad Tengler and a team of local artists to craft the 15-foot sculpture they plan burn at Maker Faire. Tengler, who is no stranger to Maker Faire, is eager to see how people react to the group’s work of art. Tengler attended a Maker Faire in Georgia with Chattanooga non-profit Art 120 to feature iron bikes.

“I get really excited about things like this,” said Mr. Tengler. “I enjoy building them, seeing people’s reactions and using it to gain attention and awareness for Art 120.”

The project team includes Kate Warren, Steve Terlizzese, Ed McMahan, Bryan Dyer and Mike Harrison. The group’s containable metal sculpture will be fueled by propane and designed to burn without ash or sparks.

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