About a year ago our newspaper reported that the Makersmiths organization was preparing to launch a new “makerspace” in Purcellville, rehabilitating a nine-acre, unused piece of Town property near the intersection of A and South 20th Streets. Thanks to a very successful Kickstarter campaign, which has raised over $16,000, it looks like they have made the break.
With founding roots in our area, Makersmiths are, at their core, ordinary people who love to make things, invent things and enjoy the spirit and camaraderie of people who like to do the same. In the process they share ideas, resources and tools – everything from high-tech printers and cutters to specialty carpentry tools. Their 3,000 sq. ft. Leesburg facility features a variety of what are known as flex spaces, including a woodshop, a metal shop, a vehicle shop, a craft room, an electronics/3D area, a general classroom and others. Shared tools and equipment include “old school” items relating to wood working, metal working and crafts, as well as “new school” items now in great demand. These include CNC machines – routers, grinders and milling machines run by computer instead of operated by hand.
Makersmith’s Leesburg space simply cannot keep up with the demand for facilities such as this, and the organization’s 20,000 sq. ft. Berryville warehouse is now bursting with donated equipment and supplies ready to be put to work by the group’s growing local membership.
Makers are self-funding. The Kickstarter campaign is the latest success in expanding the organization – adding a new pioneer community to the wilds and wonders –of western Loudoun.
Per a thank you message to donors from one of Makers’ founders, Tom Hill, “ … we [now] have the startup funds to get Makersmiths: Purcellville open and functioning with basic utilities. There’s more work ahead to make the place spiffy and get power up to full, but we took the first big step together.”
For updates on Makersmith’s Kickstarter campaign, and/or to contribute, go to www.makersmiths.org. The Makersmiths Facebook page is also a great source of information and fun.