Athens MakerSpace, 751 W. Union St., hosts artists of all skill levels. People of all ages are welcome to come craft. The MakerSpace holds workshops to encourage newcomers to embrace their creativity in a sustainable, imaginative way.
The MakerSpace will host a series of Abstract Metal Art and Sculpture workshops on Sept. 21, Sept. 28 and Oct. 26. The workshops will present attendees with various scrap metals and discarded parts and, with the help of an instructor, make the pieces into something beautiful.
Athens MakerSpace is a part of ReUse Industries, a local nonprofit organization that collects discarded or used objects, for repurposing in the MakerSpace and resell in ReUse Thrift Store. ReUse Industries relocated to West Union from Columbus Road this past summer.
The goal of ReUse Industries is to create local economic development by harnessing craftsmanship skills, as well as reusing found man-made objects instead of discarding them, Erin Hogan, manager of Athens MakerSpace and ReUse on Union, said.
ReUse Industries also promotes the concept of “upcycling.”
“Upcycling is taking things that could be reused or thrown away and remaking and recommitting them,” Hogan said.
Hogan has been “upcycling” since an early age. After learning how to sew, she started taking apart clothing and creating new garments with old materials.
Upcycling can give scraps and used objects a longer lifespan and more respected purpose.
“It also helps with waste,” Hogan said. Upcycling is also sustainable, as it is essentially rescuing things from being discarded.
The MakerSpace is a great spot for upcycling. Along with obsolete supplies, the MakerSpace provides all the needed equipment to create something unique and new.
The MakerSpace has specialized, large tools the average person probably wouldn’t have for themselves, Travis Allman, manager of ReUse Thrift Store, said.
The MakerSpace caters to many hobbies and crafting activities.
“They have all kinds of workshops: wood, metal, sewing and electronic,” Allman said. “It’s definitely for tinkerers — people who like to tinker around.”
Liz King, a machinist, and an instructor at MakerSpace, will be instructing the Abstract Metal Art & Sculpture workshops. She teaches intro to welding and ladies intro to welding, too.
Every ladies intro to welding workshop with King has been sold out, Hogan said.
This is the first art workshop she’s done, King said. She is excited about the artistic inspiration the scrap will bring to people.
“I don’t know what artistic things they’ll do with the pieces,” she said. “But we’ll see what they make.”
King personally enjoys making creative tables from metal scrap, old tools or other parts.Her favorite thing about the workshops is the activity of upcycling.
“It’s reducing any waste that would be there,” she said. “Obviously you can sell scrap metal for cheap, but you can increase the value significantly if you can recycle it right there.”
King brings miscellaneous metal objects from her employer for the workshops.
“I’ll be using scrap metal from my employer’s old parts without specific uses,” King said. “Otherwise it would have gone to the landfill.”
Each workshop will be the same, but the scrap for each one will certainly be different, King said. The same exact parts cannot be found twice.
King wanted her class to be affordable to those who have never experienced the MakerSpace.
“This is one of the cheaper classes offered,” King said. “I thought there might be people on the outskirts that didn’t want to pay that much for a class for a one-time deal.”
There are no prerequisites for the workshops, but a familiarity with welding definitely makes the class easier, King said.
But that shouldn’t discourage people from coming. King hopes this will be a new experience for some, and that they would want to come back.
Participants should wear jeans, long-sleeve shirts, closed-toed shoes and tie their hair back. All other safety equipment will be provided. Participants can bring their own scrap, too.