At a table in the Rines Auditorium during Portland Public Library's first annual maker fair, Catherine Fisher, personal historian, asked attendees of the fair and fellow exhibitors to sit for a brief, recorded audio interview about making. The questions they were asked had to do with what they make, why and how they make it, where they make it, and how their product and/or process might be impacted by that place. The fourteen participants (6 men and 8 women) ranged in age from late 20s/early 30s to late 60s, and the media in which they make included cartoons, writing (poetry, fiction and non-fiction), artist’s books, painting, ceramics, photography, music, story, podcasting, technology and exhibit creation, 3-D printing, jewelry, graphic design, sewing, quilting and decorative wastebaskets. The interviews range in length from 4 minutes, 58 seconds to 19 minutes, 37 seconds.
"The audio recordings are filled with the background noise of the gloriously jam-packed auditorium, rich with the sounds of people and machines, and although the narrators in the interviews had to compete with the constant din, all the interviews are audible, albeit to varying degrees of clarity. I like the way the interviews not only preserve each storyteller’s testimony of making but the activity of making and learning happening concurrently in the room." --Catherine Fisher
Andrew Abbott talks about how he got started as an artist, what the meaning of his paintings is, and how important it is to reach people with his art.
Heather Alexander, of Portland, Maine, talks about graphic design, as well as her varied interests in sewing, basketry, and pottery. She also discusses the difference between process and product for her.
Samantha Cote talks about using a Makey Makey, a tool that turns everyday objects into touchpads when it is connected to a computer.
Ellen Gilliam, librarian at Portland Public Library, discusses designing an artist's studio as well as what it means to be a maker.
Dana Wade Hutchins
In this conversation, Dana Wade Hutchins discusses his work designing educational kiosks for organizations such as the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and finding inspiration for his work in nature and in pop culture.
Nick Kaufmann talk about the art of audio recording, capturing the sounds and the texture, even the changing landscape, of a city.
Ed King talks about his work as a cartoonist and the importance of good writing as the foundation of good gag cartoons. He also discusses his process of making maps of towns that illustrate local businesses.
Hafid Lalaoui talks about how he discovered photography and how he has documented life in both Morocco and Portland, Maine, with his camera. He also talks about his transition to digital photography from film.
Emily Loker of Portland, Maine, discusses music, ceramics, and writing. She talks about the financial constraints of certain kinds of making and about the intersections of art and activism.
Steve Luttrell discusses his poetry, the founding of the poetry journal, The Café Review, and his interests in music. In addition to writing poetry, Luttrell is a drummer in a band.
Kathleen March talks about color, about fiber arts as both textural and textual, and about book arts and the idea of books as home. She also touches on feminist theory and on the need for the arts and humanities in today's society.
In this interview, Ann Morrissey, formerly of Yarmouth, Maine, discusses quilting and writing. Ann Morrissey passed away in 2017.
Munira Naqui talks her process of working with encaustic, the autobiographical nature of her art, and about the challenges of balancing making art with raising a family.
Betty-Jane Shreve of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, talks about the decorative wastepaper baskets she makes and how she went from working as a nurse to pursuing this creative interest.