Meet the Makers: Steve Nordhauser

Welcome to the first of our series introducing you to the Makers who will be presenting their projects at the Troy Mini Maker Faire on August 27!

Steve Nordhauser is a longtime member of the Tech Valley Center of Gravity makerspace. Last year his glass engraving set-up was a hit at the TVCOG booth at World Maker Faire New York.

At the Troy Mini Maker Faire, Steve will be demonstrating the techniques for chemical etching and power engraving. Chemical etching uses a mask to protect areas that you don’t want etched by a commercial etching paste. Power engraving involves a rotary diamond burr in a motorized tool for grinding the surface of the glass. You can get a preview by checking out his Instructables page.

Here’s what Steve has to say about the Maker Faire experience:

Steve Nordhauser

What do you like about exhibiting at Maker Faire?

Making things is fun.  I enjoy building, creating, and working with tools.  I want to share that fun with others.  In the middle of all the mayhem of the World Maker Faire New York in 2015, nothing was more exhilarating than teaching people to engrave glass in the TVCOG booth.  They were excited about learning a new skill and walked away with a sense of accomplishment (and a piece of art they created).  I suspect it was a lot like teaching school where every student was excited about learning.

What’s your favorite thing about visiting Maker Faire?

Maker Faires are a great place to learn.  I read, watch YouTube videos, and take on-line classes, but Maker Faires will expose you to new ideas and the people who are passionate about those ideas faster than any other way.

How do you see Maker Faires contributing to their communities?

One of the great things about Maker Faires is the number of families that attend.  It is very typical to see entire families sharing the experience and discussing what they see.  Imagine 90,000 people, many of them from 8-18 years old, and the only use they have for cell phones is to take photos and videos.  No one ignoring their surroundings, engrossed in some on-line experience.  It really happens.  I leave a Maker Faire feeling optimistic about future generations.  Families involved with each other, kids excited about creating, people sharing.  It is all there — everything I think we need to have a great future.

So, yes, I am excited about being a maker.  That is why I am a member at COG.  We are a group of like-minded people.  It doesn’t matter if your interest is in textiles, welding, electronics, 3D printing or something a bit esoteric, our common thread is that we all like to create and enjoy sharing that excitement with others.  It is as close to a daily Maker Faire as you can get.

If you would like to have your own Maker exhibit at this year’s Troy Mini Maker Faire, the Call for Makers is open until August 1. Just fill out the online application form and let us know what you’re like to do. It’s free!

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