From left, Joshua Hobbs,, Maurice Jones and Joshua Gallegos, watch balls bounce around and travel on a Lego-built machine called "The Great Ball
From left, Joshua Hobbs,, Maurice Jones and Joshua Gallegos, watch balls bounce around and travel on a Lego-built machine called "The Great Ball Contraption" by Sam Bridgham on Saturday at the Farmington Public Library. (Jon Austria /The Daily Times)

FARMINGTON — Children were given the opportunity to share their talents and teach others during "Youth Make-Do Saturday" at the Farmington Public Library.

"Youth Make-Do" is one of the library's makers' fairs, which are like craft fairs except, instead of buying crafts, the maker teaches people how to create the items.

The fairs began a few months ago and have grown in popularity. Flo Trujillo, the library's youth services coordinator, said she hopes the youth fair will help expand the program even further by encouraging the parents to get involved in the maker fairs. She said the library is hoping to put on a family maker fair sometime in 2014.

Trujillo said the library received great response from the children and most of the children who attend the library's various youth programs decided to demonstrate their talents.

"I really wanted to empower the youth," Trujillo said.

She said she liked seeing that the parents were helping their children with the crafts.

"It's all about families and what they can do together," she said.

The experience of Kieli Hershman, 12, showed how crafts can bring a family together. Every year during spring break, she visits her grandmother in Phoenix, Ariz. About four years ago, her grandmother introduced her to gourd art.

"I thought it was the coolest thing," Hershman said.

The first thing she ever made was a brightly painted hot air balloon gourd. Since then, she has expanded her art to other items, including a swan based on the book "The Trumpet of the Swan" by E. B. White.

Hershman has been showing her gourd art at the San Juan County Fair for the past few years and has even won prizes, including best in show.

"Kids just want to stand there all day looking at it because they don't know what it is," she said.

Emily Rawson, right, and Aleah Klitzke practice hand-knitting during the "Youth Maker Fair," on Saturday at the Farmington Public Library.
Emily Rawson, right, and Aleah Klitzke practice hand-knitting during the "Youth Maker Fair," on Saturday at the Farmington Public Library. (Jon Austria / The Daily Times)

Hershman said she wanted to show off her gourd art at the "Youth Make-Do" because she hopes it will inspire other kids to start doing gourd art "so I can see what they enter in the fair."

She said she would like to take pictures of other kid's art to send her grandmother. She still paints gourds with her grandmother when she visits over spring break.

"The best part is spending time with my grandma," she said.

One of the major attractions also showed the power of family. On the far side of the room, a series of Lego robots created by Sam Bridgham of Durango, Colo. were displayed. Bridgham started making them when his son became curious about how paper airplanes work. He built a launcher that would always launch the plane the same way, with the same strength and angle.

He said he used Legos because he had a lot lying around and they are good for building prototypes quickly.

"You can pretty much build any mechanical device out of Legos," he said.

Other booths showed off talents children learned on their own.

Maddy Easley, 10, taught other children how to do paper quilling. Easley learned the art form, which creates art woven with paper, from a book she bought during a school book fair two years ago.

She said she started by making flowers and has expanded since then. Some of the objects she displayed included paper dresses and a cat face modeled on her new cat Lola.

She said she chose to teach others the art form because "it seemed really easy and I thought it would be really eye catching."

The booths showed off a variety of talents, including duct tape art, bristle bots -- robots made using toothbrushes -- and musical techniques.

Joseph Hernandez, 12, taught other children how to make ladder bracelets, something he learned from a friend.

"It's basically for survival, but I just do it for fun," he said.

Ever since his friend taught him how to make them he has been experimenting with materials and techniques.

"I have a lot of free time at my house so I just decided to start making them," he said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.