The Akron Makerspace

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The Akron Makerspace

By Liz Bennett

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What is Akron Makerspace? Only one of the most amazing hidden gems Akron has to offer! Seriously-- if I would have known about this place last year when I graduated from The University of Akron, I would have signed up to become a member immediately. Not only is it a perfect place for three-dimensional artists to thrive, it is a welcoming place for anyone who has an interest in learning and creating. This place is PACKED with creative technology, technological resources, and welcoming and knowledgeable peers. It only took one tour to convince me I needed to become a member, and I’ve been back several times since with friends and plans to keep attending regularly. 

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Can I say that they have basically everything? I mean, I could write a small book just trying to explain all of their equipment! Here are a few examples of what they have for members to use in the shop: 

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The first things I noticed were metalworking related, as I am a metalsmith and get most excited by metalworking and things that enable me to do that. There’s various welding and soldering methods provided, a kiln to facilitate casting, a cold saw, a metal lathe, oh- and there’s also a FORGE.  On the less industrious side, they have dapping tools, and letter and number stamps. A lot of this equipment would be so hard for a budding metalsmith to get their hands on due to high costs and lack of space, not to mention running and maintaining, but at the Akron Makerspace, it’s all available for use!

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My attention was quickly stolen away by the CNC machine and the woodshop. Even someone like me who has no experience using this machine could take a class here and be fully prepared to whip up a personal project in no time. If you prefer wood-working equipment that airs on the simpler side, you can also find that here, as all the basics are provided from cutting to sanding. There’s also a wood lathe, so pretty much any woodworking project you can think of can be completed here from start to finish. Get creative!

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Honestly, in order to get a complete understanding of just how fully stocked Akron Makerspace is with incredibly useful equipment, you’d have to go…say on a Tuesday night at 7pm when they have open house and get a tour. To give you a bigger idea, they also have a 3D printer, a laser engraver, a vacuum casting machine, a bike shop, a glass fusing kiln, and a soft goods crafting area fully stocked with sewing equipment. 

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So what’s stopping you?! Go check out this wonderful resource Akron has, and get started on your latest project idea while you meet some pretty rad people. The Akron Makerspace can be found at 48 Summit St, Akron OH, 44308 which is basically right across from Summit Art Space. Visit their website akronmakerspace.org  for more details on free events, classes, and more. Hope to see you there!

 

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Crafty Mart Team Profiles: Dylan Lubinsky

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Crafty Mart Team Profiles: Dylan Lubinsky

Hello world!  My name is Dylan Lubinsky, and I am the Social Media intern at Crafty Mart.  I am a senior at the University of Akron, and my hobbies include writing autobiographies, recording music for my 3 soundcloud followers, and self-depreciation.

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When I'm not making fun of the medium I'm using to communicate, I really enjoy reading about unknowable cosmic horrors.  My favorite stories from this genre include Ex Oblivione and The Colour out of Space by H.P. Lovecraft, and Uzumaki by Junji Ito.  If you enjoy reading books with less tentacles, I've also recently enjoyed The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky.  

I value creativity and the arts extremely highly, and am thrilled to help promote it.  I've always thought that this quote from the '89 film Dead Poets Society summarized it the best: "...Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for".  

I've always expressed myself through music, and found that creating my own as well as consuming what others have created to be therapeutic.  Because creating art has helped me so much on a personal level, I am very happy to be working with a company which supports local arts. 

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A Message From Our Friends at Darice

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A Message From Our Friends at Darice

Most of us know that Northeast Ohio is basically the Silicon Valley of the craft world with JoAnn Fabrics and Pat Catan's headquartered here, but did you know about Darice? This craft supply wholesaler has a showroom in Strongsville, and is a great option for makers ordering items in bulk. With the holiday shows right around the corner, Crafty Mart has partnered with them to bring you some great deals. Check it out!

Don't forget to subscribe to Crafty Mart's maker e-newsletter for other great deals and local opportunities!

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Crafty Mart Canton: 5 Reasons You Shouldn't Miss It!

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Crafty Mart Canton: 5 Reasons You Shouldn't Miss It!

July 7th, 2017 will be Crafty Mart’s third year at Canton First Friday in July! The Pop Up Market will set up shop from 4-8pm at the Canton Museum of Art with some vendors and kid-friendly crafts. So, let’s talk about some reasons why you should come to downtown Canton and visit us!

 1. Amazing Local Vendors

We know you love supporting Summit County vendors. However, for Canton First Friday, we are showcasing several talented artisans from Stark County along with some Crafty Mart regulars and other favorites from Northeast Ohio.

Lucie Shearer Art, The Wholesome Hive, The Robot Consortium, Stage Struck Puppets

 

 Here’s a list of this year’s vendors with links to their websites:

Gypsy Moth Vintage

Renaissance Woman

Teecycleshop

Wonder Lust Concepts

The Robot Consortium

Gingerly Made

MNK Candle

Threadbare Beauty

Knitgrrl Studio

Jarzartglass

Plan 10 Photodesign

PluckHouse

Stage Struck Puppets

Pratherton home of pratherteam

Rubber City Prints, Inc.

Kelly Rohr Designs

Crocheted by Amy

Lindsey Jo Scott - Art

Lucie Shearer Art

Champaign Paper

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Cool Critters

Annie J Williams

Cass White Ceramics

NOT Wasted

The Wholesome Hive

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 Our Daily Bread Bakery

 

2. FREE Admission

Maybe we should call it “No Pay Friday” because admission is free to both the Pop Up Market AND the Canton Museum of Art Galleries! Before or after shopping for your favorite handmade items make sure you check out the Museum’s current exhibitions which include Avatars: Relics from the Future and In Praise of Women: Works from the Permanent Collection. The permanent collection is nationally recognized and highlights American watercolors and ceramics. For more information visit the Canton Museum of Art website HERE.

Ceramic art by Gary Spinosa on display at the Avatars exhibit

 

3. Your Very Own Terrarium

At Crafty Mart Canton, Every Blooming Thing Akron will be sponsoring a terrarium workshop. The cost depends on the size of the container you choose and starts at $25. It includes everything you will need to create a succulent garden. This cool craft is family friendly so bring everyone and be prepared to get a little messy!

 Succulents from Every Blooming Thing Akron

4. Something for the Kids

Crafty Mart will be organizing a free “Make It and Take It” station for children. This fun craft is always a major hit and will take place in the main lobby of the museum. But hey adults, psst: there will be a special beer tasting too!

 

5. A Ten-Year History

This year, Canton First Friday and Arts in Stark will be celebrating 10 years of a great community event. Of course, like any birthday, THERE WILL BE CAKE! At 6:15, the first 500 people to arrive at the information tent will score a piece of yummy cake.

After hanging out with Crafty Mart, stick around for fireworks at 9:45. Visit the First Friday event page, HERE, for a closer look at the fun-filled schedule.

 Actually, there are more like 1,000 reasons why you should come to the Canton Museum of Art on Friday, July 7th and visit Crafty Mart from 4-8pm, but then you’d still be here reading instead of navigating to the Facebook event HERE and clicking on “Going”. See you there!

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Coworking at OSC Tech Lab

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Coworking at OSC Tech Lab

The following blog post is brought to you by our friendly neighborhood intern, Julian, who is working with Crafty Mart thanks to a partnership with the University of Akron's EX[L] Center.

Creative. Community. These are words I’ve been seeing a lot lately. My work with the University of Akron’s EX[L] Center always involves student creativity and is focused on the Akron community. A research project I am currently assisting with is all about helping a community. The words are part of Crafty Mart’s mission statement. So, it was no surprise that the words creative and community came up several times in my interview with OSC Tech Lab’s founder Nick Petroski.

Creativity and community are exactly what were on Nick’s mind when he envisioned a better space for professionals to do their work. As a Wall Street equity analyst, he found that many offices and other public places where people spend time working lack the collaborative and networked feel he and others were seeking. Coffee and sandwich shops were not cutting it either. These public, yet often singular and lonely, environments can be stifling to the creative process. In 2014, Nick opened OSC Tech Lab as an answer to this problem.

OSC Tech Lab is a co-working space located in downtown Akron on Exchange Street above the Thai restaurant Pad Thai. When it opened, it was the only co-working space in the area. Together, Nick and his wife, Meghan Geotz, keep it running for many professionals including freelancers, startups, writers, coders, and graphic designers. Akron’s art and culture publication, The Devil Strip, also calls the Lab its home. Besides desks and four walls, Nick says that there are other things that “take the frustration out of working.”

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Around the Lab, there are many accessible outlets. All kinds of chargers can be provided. Various computer components like monitors, keyboards, and other things are available to members. If someone needs to practice a presentation there is a room with a projector. The couches provide a respite from sitting at a desk and there are open areas, enclosed offices, and meeting rooms. However, OSC Tech Lab is not just about a fantastic space.

Nick stresses that professionals simply looking for space should re-evaluate their search priorities and consider the benefits of working alongside other people from different fields. His company is essentially “selling a community.” Within a co-working community, Nick argues that productivity increases because of the motivational environment. Members are “challenged by” and “learn from” other members.

There is a network of employment that is about more than just pushing a business onto someone else or trying to get leads on jobs. It is about a collaborative effort where members can bounce ideas or problems off each other. Many members become friends outside of work which creates more natural opportunities in the future.

In the spirit of community, Lab members often have lunch together as a whole. Unlike other offices, there is no dress code. The space is very come-as- you-are.

When I entered OSC Tech Lab, I found Nick in shorts and a t-shirt. He embraces the idea of keeping the environment “100% organic.” People should be comfortable when they work. If a suit and tie is part of someone’s natural state then they should wear that. The main idea is that there are no impediments to any creative flow.

Crafty Mart espouses creativity and community. OSC Tech Lab shows that the two are important in a variety of other fields. Creativity and community working in concert will help propel Akron into a great future. So, thank you to Nick, Meghan, and the OSC Tech Lab members for upholding these two concepts and feeding the future of this awesome city!

Thanks, Julian! You can learn more about OSC Tech Lab on their website, and make sure to take them up on their offer of free co-working every Thursday! Make sure to sign up for Crafty Mart's e-newsletter as we highlight more of the amazing opportunities and resources for creatives in and around Akron!

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