Dec. 4 2013 12:26 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

The Electric Giraffe, a large-scale robotic animal by Lindsay Lawlor


San Diego’s first-ever Mini Maker Faire is an interactive showcase of inventors, engineers, brewers, garage tinkerers and other folks who make cool stuff. A handful of local makers, event producers and community activists came together to form Change Hive, the soon-to-beofficial nonprofit that’s behind the event. The new group hopes to one day grow the fair to be as massive as the big-name maker gatherings in the Bay Area, New York and Rome.

“But even though it’s called ‘mini,’ it’s really not going to be small at all,” explained Katie Rast, one of the founders of Change Hive. “We have over 100 makers exhibiting their inventions.”

If you still have an image in your head of a quaint craft fair filled with vendors trying to sell their goods, erase it. The Mini Maker Faire will feature things like handmade drones, electric carts and a two-story-tall robotic giraffe. There will be interactive workshops teaching attendees how to solder and make miniature rockets. Plus, a long list of speakers at the event includes Qualcomm’s chief technology officer, Matthew Gro, and the editor-in-chief of Maker magazine. The point of the event isn’t commercial at all, Rast says; it’s to connect local inventors to the community and inspire others to join their ranks.

“We would like to basically encourage people in their craft,” Rast says. “So, whatever you’re into— if you’re a maker who makes beer or a maker who builds custom bicycles—we want to showcase all of this exciting local invention.”

The Mini Maker Faire will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds (2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.). There’ll also be a preview event for the fair and holiday soirée at Makers Quarter (735 15th St. in East Village) from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. Get $10 tickets for each event at the door.


At UC Berkley, Alice Waters majored in French cultural studies, a degree that might be scoffed at today but which put her on a path to worldwide fame. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, the founder of the acclaimed Chez Panisse will sign copies of her new book, The Art of Simple Food II, at The Chino Farm (6123 Calzada del Bosque in Rancho Santa Fe) as part of the Good Earth Great Chefs series. Waters will be joined by wine geek Kermit Lynch, who’ll sign copies of his latest, Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer’s Tour of France. The event will include live music, eats from Bottaro Woodfired Pizza and tastes of Ballast Point beers and Kermit Lynch-selected wines. Books can be pre-purchased at


Paul Turounet spent years on the U.S.- Mexico border building an impressive body of work that takes a striking look at the immigrant experience. He’s well-known for that imagery, but with Gardens of Paradise, his solo show opening from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at jdc Fine Art (2400 Kettner Blvd. in Little Italy), the photographer establishes himself as more of a conceptual artist than a documentarian. Turounet’s large-format photos are the result of his many explorations of the notorious Las Vegas Strip. He captures images of the cards given out by girls-for-hire and, by carefully composing the shots around the found objects and incorporating bits and pieces of the shiny Vegas façade—flowers and fountains—he asks viewers to reconsider the tossed-away images’ significance and prevalence.

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email Kinsee Morlan.