Today is October 2, 2015.  I was planning on doing this on September 21 (Equinox), and having it run until December 21 (Winter Solstice).  But things happened, and I got behind. So I’m extending the Autumnal Maker School until December 29.

What do you have to do to be a part of the Autumn Maker School? Read on and find out!

It’s not hard, of course.  Make ten useful things, and document them.

Now, a thing:  

  1. can be a physical object
  2. can be a software/digital object, e.g., a computer program
  3. can be a copy of someone else’s thing
  4. can be a variation on someone else’s thing
  5. can be original to you

Useful is a little bit trickier to define, but here goes.

  1. It’s not merely decorative.
  2. It fulfills a function.
  3. It does a task or could do a task
  4. It has use, either to you or to someone else
  5. It holds, operates, works, defines, delimits, controls, or otherwise functions.

Document is also slightly tricky, but we could say that you should:

  1. write about, and photograph the thing
  2. Use the thing and explain how that went.
  3. explain how the thing was made or how others could make something similar
  4. post that stuff online so others can read it.
  5. Link back here so others can find it.
  6. Use the thing in good health and happiness.

Now, some of my readers have never made a thing before at all.  So, you could make a thing from Instructables.com.  Or you could make a thing from robives.com, if you’re mechanically inclined, or like paper craft. There’s also this cool paper globe that you can download for free — a globe is a functional thing, right?  I think you could also make the platonic solids, though these are more decorative than functional.

Or maybe you’re making a Halloween costume or learning to sew — I say “functional” because it’s wearable. Or maybe you’re going to build a version of a game.  Or a craft box for a kid you know, for Christmas. Or maybe some Fire Cider is on your list for this year.  Or maybe you’re going to learn how to code something more useful than another FlappyBird game.

Some of my readers are magical people, too.  And believe me, I get that. So if the things that you make are a magical wand and a lamen (chest pectoral) or a magical notebook, or your own set of Tattwa Cards or Tarot cards I’ll understand that those are functional, too (though pride of place is given to the robe, here).

You have a lot of options here, folks.  And I’m a forgiving task-master.  If you don’t get everything right away, or you make something more decorative than useful, I’l be understanding and forgiving. Believe me, I will.   But what I want from you is a commitment to the work of making things, and an understanding welling up within you that making things is fundamentally a different kind of learning experience than managing things.

Try it out. You might wind up liking it.

Update: 23 November

As of Today, I can say that I’ve completed 12 projects toward the Autumnal Maker School project. I have made a

I think this means that I graduate from my own school’s fall term.  How about you?  Have you graduated yet?