Arts & Craftsman Workshop
Walk into the Arts & Craftsman Workshop at 308 SW Van Buren and your senses come alive. You will hear whirring and pounding from different types of machinery as chairs are being built; see vivid colors as a local artist pours acrylic paint onto a piece of wood; smell the fumes as someone heats metal to create a weld; taste the bite of sawdust in the air; and feel the weight of tools in your hand that you may never have held before. But most importantly, your sixth sense will tell you that this creative space is a maker’s paradise.
David and Deborah Corr opened the Arts & Craftsman Workshop to provide a much-needed makerspace for individuals to pursue creative projects, share skills with others and socialize with other like-minded doers. The large open floor plan allows people to bring in oversized materials for a variety of projects and creates opportunity for even more specialized equipment. The makerspace contains a 3D printer, lathe, saws, laser cutter and etcher, sewing and embroidery machines, leathermaking tools, rotary attachments that can spin tumblers and coffee mugs, and much more. New equipment is added as customer demand dictates; the latest addition will include a new forge for working with metal.
The Arts & Craftsman Workshop allows hobbyists, artists, inventors and entrepreneurs to develop prototypes, master old skills or learn new ones in a safe, monitored environment with the added bonus that those messy materials are in someone else’s space. Members value the makerspace not only because it contains a variety of equipment that would be too expensive for most individuals to own but also because of the collaboration and skill sharing between members.
“We have people who look across the room and think, ‘wow, that looks interesting. I wonder if I could do that?” What they find is, that if they ask, they can do that because that person they have been watching will likely help them,” David said.
The 2,500 square-foot makerspace has 24/7 access for members, who pay a monthly fee: $50 for students; $75 for individuals; and $100 for a family household. Regular hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Tables are on wheels so they can be moved and reconfigured to accommodate a particular need, and locker rental is available for material storage. Individuals are responsible for their own consumables, such as paint, sandpaper, glue and nails. With 6,000 square feet in the building, the Corrs are able to offer office space and a conference room often used for local podcasts and video production.
While members come in to work on their own projects master skills, David and Deborah hope to use the space to encourage people to learn new ones. They plan to offer a variety of classes and workshops from woodworking to painting to even knife making to show that anyone can be a maker with the right tools and the right instruction. They also participate in Teen STEAM programming with the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library.
While the space provides members with the tools they need to fulfill their maker visions, David and Deborah say they wouldn’t have been able to fulfill their own business vision without the tools provided by Envista. With seamless banking and an understanding financial partner, the Corrs are making their business dreams a reality.