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Mark Fraunfelder on his DIY manifesto

June 3, 2010 | 12:30 pm


Mark Fraunfelder, one of the four founders of the vastly popular website BoingBoing, isn't just about the Internet. In fact, he's the editor of Make Magazine, which is all about creating things by hand -- anything from a simple home garden to things requiring sophisticated electronics, like a cat toy that Twitters when attacked by your feisty feline. Fraunfelder's DIY ethic is at the root of his new book, "Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World."

"I wanted to try to make some things by hand that I would normally just go out and buy," Fraunfelder told Brand X. "We are at an unusual point in our culture where it's unusual to have something handmade."

I don't want to sound like an evangelist for a movement, but I just am really enthusiastic about it. It's been a good experience for me. Everyone should give it a try and not get discouraged when things don't work out or you make mistakes. One thing I learned was getting past my fear of making mistakes. Even the best makers have failures sometimes and a certain kind of failure can lead to accidental innovation. To make something, it's a unique kind of reward that you can't get any other way. There's a Canadian Native American tribe and they have a saying that goes something like, "Joy is a well-made object, equaled only to the joy of making it."

Fraunfelder undertook some projects specifically for the book, many of which he keeps going. Brand X has a photo tour of his ongoing projects that makes me wish I had a yard big enough for bees.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Mark Fraunfelder with a painting he made. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times