Of Makers and Bowyers

Film One: Harry (Archer & Bowyer) from Dylan Ryan Byrne on Vimeo.

I had a great time yesterday as a guest on a panel discussion at the LA Times Book Festival with Mark Frauenfelder and David Rees (thanks to Alisa Walker for being the best moderator ever). We talked about DIY culture and the ethos of being a “maker”. I think it’s safe to say that all of us on that panel have great admiration for talented “makers” like the bowyer in this video. It’s been one of my many goals to step away from this computer for a bit and learn how to make a bow. Or at least to finish the backyard projects that currently block access to our target bale!

Via Exploriment

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  1. My, you’re up early. Or late?

    I love hearing about these sorts of craftsmen/makers. At the same time, it induces a bit of conflict within me. Clearly there’s a level of mastery in this case that escapes most homesteaders, who need to be generalists. I envy that mastery, but I also see value in being a jack of all trades. Thus far, for me, the need to be a generalist has precluded a deep mastery of any craft. I wonder if it will always be thus. Part of me longs for the time and energy to devote to just one discipline.

  2. Have you seen the very goth but totally “maker” tactical corsets at http://www.tacticalcorsets.com? I came upon it via some DIY drone people who were using the Arduino hardware. There seems to be this movement of people making robots and using 3-D printing, they tend to hang out at comic book and tech conventions and the like. And sometimes this bleeds over into costuming. So this was sort of tangentially related to that. If they made them in brown they’d be steampunk.

  3. Thank You Penny Pincher, you just made my day. Tactical Corsets indeed.

    Kate, I put up the posts after a long night of dancing at goth clubs. Well, just kidding. I schedule the posts the night before so that folks on the east coast will have something to distract them at work the next morning. We’re definitely generalists here.

  4. I wish I lived in the area and could have attended the Festival. I would have loved to hear about the DIY ‘personality’ more. I did catch the L.A. Times article though. So do you think there is a personality type who tends to DIY, or do you think it is just a matter of ‘I want this DONE and don’t have the money to pay someone’? I was born ‘poor’ and learned to fix toasters when I was just a girl. It was either learn or go without. And we used a ‘grey water’ system in our claw foot tub because the drain below was always plugged up. But we had gorgeous canas growing outside the bathroom! Now I have the money to pay someone but I think, ‘You want HOW MUCH?!’ And then I usually hang over them making sure they are doing it right and to code. Over and over I think I am too old to be still doing all this #!@*! But I continue to do it. (cheap, picky, want the satisfaction? Or just because I CAN?) So I wonder…’personality’ or ‘need’? Either way it is satisfying (but time consuming) to DIY.

  5. Hey Desert Woman, I think the DIY ethos cuts across all different groups of people rich and poor and somewhere in between. Though, having to do with less is certainly a greater incentive. This topic came up during the discussion.

    And Zeke–I’ve got a couple of those volumes on my shelf but have been intimidated by the idea of making a bow. Frankly, I think I would need to take a class. What kinds of bows have you made?

  6. Glad I got to catch the panel, it was pretty entertaining overall and good to be around like-minded folk. Much agreed that the DIY ethos cuts across all groups, especially given the current state of the state; it will of course continue to gain relevance going forward as our ultra-consumer models begin to show a little more wear. Funny side note though, I heard a woman on the way out comment, “Yes, it was all very interesting, but I thought they were supposed to talk about DIY publishing!” She apparently hadn’t heard that there’s a revolution going on.

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