Meeting the makers

Martha’s Vineyard Mini Maker Faire fills the Ag Hall.


The day broke cold and wet, but the sun came out just as the M.V. Mini Maker Faire began at the Ag Hall. It was filled with exhibitors and families, and a few stray solo adults like myself, wandering around from table to table.

As I sit now writing, the smell of the fresh henna tattoo drying on my left hand wafts up, and the miniature kite and wampum key sit by my side, treasures from my time there. Here is just a smattering of my visit.

At Anna Marie D’Addarie’s handcraft table, 10-year-old fourth grader Siana Solarazza tells me she is doing peg weaving with strips of cut-up used T shirts. She shows me how it works, deftly attaching another length of cloth strip and then weaving it in and out of the pegs. “I think this is going to be a rug,” she shares. To Solarazza’s right was 13-year-old seventh grader Everett Dorr, who was doing what essentially was a very oversize macramé with very long T shirt strips. He tells me, “I am making something for Mother’s Day. My mom just made a greenhouse, so I’m trying to make something to hold a potted plant all year long.”

I was drawn to the purple and white shell shards on Joanie LeLacheur’s table. She tells me she has been creating jewelry with natural items from the ocean for some 45 years. LeLacheur has me select from the ocean-tumbled quahog shells she collected on the beach, and then demonstrates how to drill a hole using successively larger drills to make one that would accommodate the key chain clip.

Over at 12th graders Charlotte Rooney and Emma Van Lohuizen’s henna tattoo table, 10-year-old fourth grader Jaydon Fuller shows me both arms. “I have a snake, a bird, and some weird flowery thing. I haven’t done henna before, but I wanted to because it looks very interesting,” he says. Next in line was Danica Gibson with Hazel, her 6-year-old granddaughter. “I’ve never done this before,” Gibson said while getting an elaborate freestyle floral design. “All my nieces and my daughter have. When she’s drawing it feels wet, not even cold.” I can attest to that, I felt the same when I got my own henna tattoo.

Ralph Stewart and Allyson Malik from the Oak Bluffs library were at a table making small kites from an existing template. “I would describe making this paper kite as similar to making a paper airplane, except you’re adding additional structural supports,” Malik said. Stewart was cutting and then folding a sort of bird-shape paper cutout and then taping what looked like oversize Popsicle sticks across the center, moving out toward the wing tips. He then attached fishing line instead of kite string, and I was off.

As I was walking out of the Ag Hall, one young man had on virtual reality equipment over his eyes and in his hands, and I could see what looked like something zooming around over various landscapes on a monitor. I decided it was a little too dizzy-making to try, and so feeling quite satisfied, I took my loot and headed out into the glorious afternoon sunshine.