Monday, October 25, 2010

DIY Fest 2010

DIY Fest was great.

A very special shoutout to Tess, Nick, Alix, all the amazing people who hosted workshops and tables (for FREE), and of course, to the people who shared the day with us!

I especially loved that a smattering of various DIY subcultures were represented, from punk zines to homemade infant care.

The idea of learning free skills and how to make things by hand appeals to so many different people for so many different reasons, and I really felt like DIY Fest reflected that sentiment. Some people want to learn survival skills, some want to save money, some want to create an alternative to the mainstream consumer world, and some just want to have fun and learn new things.

DIY Fest is a place where you can meet someone who raises their own silkworms!

It's all about the freedom to make stuff and do things. It's great to get inspired for different projects you can do around the house, learn how things work, and personalize your lifestyle.

The awesome map and schedule:

The very well attended cordage and fire by friction workshop at the Ancestral Knowledge table:

Learning how to make and use cloth diapers with Baby Dooty:

People relaxing and enjoying the couches:

Baltimore Biodiesel:

Handmade instruments:

Crafty knitting stuff:

(For the record, I am now obsessed with the idea of finding an old sweater at a thrift store and using it to make a pair of felted slippers for the winter. And maybe a felted cap too.)

Buttons and patches:

Apologies that there couldn't be photos of all the tables and workshops, but this is what we have for now. There were several other people with cameras and video so hopefully more footage will be coming soon.

I was so happy that the Alternative Economic Models was well attended:

John Duda (Red Emmas), Baltimore Bicycle Works, and Fusion are all very experienced with the nuts and bolts of how to match political belief with the reality of economics.

While a lot of us talk the talk when it comes to political and economic thought, it's another things to actually have a bank account and employees. It was great to get an in-depth look at all of the work behind the idea of collectively running a business. It's one thing to talk about horizontal power structures and another thing to know the tax code bracket you fit into.

It was great to see the range of different structures and to know that many of these groups rely on each other for support and shared knowledge. The more people there are like them, the more availability we all have for thinking about different ways we can structure our own world.

If you are interested in learning more about Red Emma's, 2640, the Free School, and how you can get involved there is an information session at Red Emma's this THURSDAY the 28th at 7 p.m. 800 St. Paul St.

Thanks again everyone for reminding me why DIY is such a big part of my life.


The new online Baltimore culture journal What Weekly posted an article about the Fest. It's not the most in-depth coverage, nor the most accurate (the event was not organized by Red Emma's) but there are some really pretty photos.

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