The entire community is welcome to participate in a free event Saturday, May 3 at the Fab Lab in uptown Martinsville to highlight area innovators and celebrate creative spirit.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Fab Lab, located in the Artisan Center at 54 W. Church St., will host the first-ever Martinsville Mini Maker Faire. A variety of hands-on, educational activities, including woodturning and 3-D printing demonstrations, will be open to participants. Concessions also are available for purchase.
Guests can design their own stickers, make their own Martinsville Mini Maker Faire t-shirts, children can learn how to solder, and they can even learn how to make slime. Participants are welcome to keep whatever materials they create throughout the event.
Lloyd Cannaday, a computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) instructor at PHCC, will be on-hand to teach CADD classes. There also will be hands-on arts projects, cupcake decorating with Chef Colleen Butker, the owner of Uptown Sweets, and other projects involving equipment in the Fab Lab.
“This event is going to be a festival of inspiration and invention with cool hands-on activities,” said Matthew Wade, Fab Lab coordinator. “We hope people of all ages will come, get inspired, and take advantage of all the resources we have at the Fab Lab to make their ideas come to life.”
Wade said he’s hoping this event will become an annual celebration of creation and innovation.
Space is available for anyone who would like to display their work. Contact Wade at for additional information.
He added, “tinkerers, engineers, do-it-yourselfers, cosplay costume designers, wood workers, welders, sculpture artists – you name it, they’re welcome. We encourage anyone who makes anything to come and do a display. Maybe they can get some ideas and talk to other like-minded, creative people.”
The faire is funded by a Chancellor’s Innovation Fund grant, given to PHCC by Virginia’s Community Colleges. The nearly $25,000 grant serves to increase entrepreneur opportunities to degree track and noncredit students.
The Martinsville Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness. It’s a place where people can show what they’re making and share what they’re learning.
Makers range from tech enthusiasts, to crafters, homesteaders, scientists or garage tinkerers of all ages and backgrounds. The faire’s main goal is to entertain, inform, connect and grow the community.
The original Maker Faire event was held in San Mateo, Calif. It celebrated its seventh annual show in 2012 with 800 makers and 110,000 people in attendance. Maker Faires are now being held around the U.S. and world, including Detroit, Mich., Kansas City, Mo., Newcastle in the United Kingdom, and in Tokyo, Japan.
The Fab Lab at Patrick Henry Community College is a joint initiative among PHCC, New College Institute and the Martinsville Henry County Economic Development Corporation. It’s the first of its kind of Virginia and is one of more than 30 in the U.S.
It was established in 2012 as a small-scale workshop to enable users to design and create products for prototypes or personal use.