The Auburn MakerSpace, located in the Auburn Activity Center at Les Gove Park, offers a variety of opportunities to get creative.
Equipped with a laser cutter, 3-D printer, vinyl cutter and heat press along with dozens of smaller tools, the sky is pretty much the limit at the Auburn MakerSpace.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MakerSpace offered a variety of in-person programming where people could make projects from laser engraved glassware to wooden puzzles. Those programs were called “make and takes,” recreation coordinator Kjerstin Lange said.
Of course, the pandemic threw a wrench in things and the MakerSpace wasn’t open for several months. To work around that, staff began offering what they call “take and makes,” Lange said, where people could get all the supplies needed to make a certain project.
“Something we started during COVID that really took off is we started doing take and make classes, so we sell kits that have all the supplies and instructions,” Lange said. “Since we weren’t doing anything in-house with COVID, people really loved being able to pick these up at the door and then do them at home.”
The take and make projects typically consist of laser-cut wood pieces, paint, glue and anything else needed to make a project. Some of the projects include a geometric puzzle that when put together creates a dog face you can paint.
For the holidays, the MakerSpace is offering several holiday-themed projects including vintage sled door hangers, wooden gingerbread houses and cookie trays for Santa as take-and-makes, Lange said.
The kits range in price from $8 to around $40 depending on the projects, Lange said. MakerSpace tries to keep costs low so the projects are accessible to everyone. There are also scholarships available for people who need it, Lange said.
Currently, the MakerSpace is centered on their Epilog Laser cutter, Lange said. The EpilogLaser allows creators to cut and engrave a variety of materials including wood, metal, plastic and glass, Lange said. People have used the resources at the MakerSpace to create art for themselves or to sell.
“We’ve been primarily doing things with the Epilog Laser. It’s a really popular machine and it has a lot of really fun capabilities,” Lange said.
One of the best aspects of the MakerSpace is the social atmosphere, Lange said. People sign up for classes with friends and family members or meet new people who are like minded, Lange said.
“It’s kind of nice when you’re working on a creative project to have other people around to share ideas and see what they’re working on,” Lange said. “One of the things we love is it’s really a place to do things with friends and family. We typically have groups that sign up for the programs.”
Currently the MakerSpace is only open for programs. However, they plan to return to having “open make” sessions where people who have been trained to use the machines can come and work on whatever they want, Lange said.
Lange is currently working to find someone qualified to train members of the public so they can restart the open make sessions. Before the pandemic, the Auburn MakerSpace typically held about 12 open make sessions a month, Lange said.
“That’s a primary goal is to get back to having the space open and providing people space to work on large scale projects,” Lange said.
For more information on the Auburn MakerSpace and to view upcoming programs, visit the City of Auburn website at auburnwa.gov.