Maker, Anne Heerdt, tells stories with one-of-a-kind crochet dragon puppets that she creates.

How did you get started with creating puppets?

I was doing before- and after-school programs at an elementary school. I would tell the kids stories which featured dragons, and, because I enjoyed crochet, I began to crochet dragon puppets.

I found doing crochet dragons fun to do because I could play with their shapes and be creative. Each dragon is unique and has a different personality.

So now I’ve created quite a cast of dragon puppet characters!

I create the dragons using recycled yarn and craft products. They have the added benefit of being affordable and sustainable.

What do you like about being a maker?

I’ve always been very creative. For example, when I was young, I liked to customize shirts and pants so they looked the way I wanted.

I see things as foundations to create what it is that I really want.

I like the maker movement because I find the term “artist” intimidating. It seems like if you’re an artist you have to be a professional; people have to agree your work is that of an “artist.” You are expected to have to have an art background.

The term “maker” means I can experiment and I don’t have to worry about whether it’s perfect or not. I can just have fun!

What do you like about the Maker Community?

I’m new to the maker community. I currently like hanging out with individual maker friends.

I would love to have a group of makers to get together with regularly. I find makers get me and what I do in a way that feels very supportive and inspiring.

What are you currently working on?

I’ve been working on crochet trees that stand up by themselves. In this way my dragons can live in a forest!

I’ve also begun crocheting octopus. I love how the legs dangle from the body. I can see my octopus joining my dragons as characters.

Oh and I have lots of great story ideas that can incorporate the puppets.

What’s your big audacious goal?

I’d love to go on silent retreats and fund the retreats through my maker activities.

What is your greatest challenge?

Being a creative person I have so many ideas I want to pursue at the same time! It’s hard having to choose only one thing.

I use mindfulness and meditation to center myself so I can bring my focus back to the task on hand.

What would surprise people to learn about you?

When I was a teenager I was really into the punk movement: combat boots, black on black clothing, listening to bands like the Clash and Minuteman.

And at the same time I was really into meditation and mindfulness. Like I’d meditate while I was in line to buy tickets.

Visit Ann and her dragon puppets at 2017 Maker Faire on Oct 14-15 @ The Denver Mart. Tickets and details are available at denver.makerfaire.com/faq/