If you’re the creative type, Dayton has plenty of fabulous makerspaces where you can enjoy collaboration and support. Maybe it’s a sign that maker culture is spreading because modern life doesn’t always give us enough opportunities to craft things with our hands. Here are 7 of our favorite places where you can have fun and use your imagination.
JLM Glass Studio:
You want an expert around when you’re learning how to inflate hot molten glass fresh out of the furnace. Josh Merritt, the owner of JLM Glass Studio, has more than 10 years of experience. That includes apprenticing at Glass by James Michael & Co. and studying in the glass program at The Ohio State University. JLM offers a variety of classes suitable for beginners, with plenty of holiday themes like Christmas tree ornaments and Halloween pumpkins. There’s also a special class for couples where each of you can pick a color, make a heart, and then combine them into one everlasting memory. Private sessions are also available for individuals and groups. Class prices start at $50. (Dayton)
Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil:
Are you tired of people telling you not to play with fire? Modern blacksmithing is a rapidly-growing world, according to the founders of Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil (SOFA). After all, there’s more to blacksmithing than shoeing horses. You could have a rewarding career making ornamental features for homes and businesses or use your metalworking skills as part of your personal or professional artistic journey. If you have your heart set on those horses, you’ll still need blacksmithing skills to become a farrier. SOFA provides an excellent introduction with a basic 10 week blacksmithing course for $300. If you’re in a hurry to forge something quick, there’s a bottle opener workshop, and the open forging sessions are just $5, and open to anyone over 14. (Troy)
St. Anne’s Cheese Company:
Cheese lovers will feel right at home at the St. Anne’s Cheese Company where dairy products run in the family. The founder’s grandfather was an immigrant from Czechoslovakia who became the first milkman in his new neighborhood in Oklahoma. Today, St. Anne’s Cheese is seeking to add cheese to the menu for the Farm to Table movement that has done so much for local produce and meat. Their hands-on classes offer a range of experiences for all ages and interests. That includes a version of the traditional paint and sip night with extra good cheese, fondue making, and kefir and kraut lessons. For greater immersion into cheese and butter making, you can also customize private events for any group or occasion. It’s all part of their mission to utilize local dairy farms and partner with cheese companies in the Midwest. Class prices start at $20. (Dayton)
By now you probably know that STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics. BuidItChallenge is a nonprofit that coordinates STEAM events for schools and other organizations. They challenge students to build an original game, gadget or model from ordinary materials and recyclables. Entries are judged by a panel of professional engineers, designers, and builders. All the students enjoy an important learning experience, and the winners get prizes at a special awards ceremony. Adults can join in the fun too. They always need more volunteer judges with STEAM expertise, and adults from any background can volunteer in other capacities. To learn more about BuildIt and talk with them in person, visit their booth at events like the annual Dayton TechFest. (Dayton)
Miami Valley Knitting Guild:
YouTube videos could never replace a good old knitting circle. Our local Miami Valley Knitting Guild welcomes master knitters and absolute beginners. Their website calendar is always full of fun and educational events. That includes monthly meetings and more informal social knittings, usually in the morning or during the lunch hour. You can attend the meetings for free or become a member to receive the newsletter Beyond the Stitch. They also travel to various events throughout the Miami Valley providing demonstrations and knitting lessons. While you’re online, check out their Charity Knitting page too. You can knit blankets, chemo hats, and various school color products for people in need and students. They even provide the yarn for their monthly Knitted Knockers group that produces breast prostheses for women who have undergone a mastectomy. (Dayton)
Wright Memorial Public Library Makerboxes:
Sometimes making stuff can be as convenient as visiting your local library. For example, the Wright Memorial Public Library has Makerboxes that you can take home to work on. You can start a new hobby, make a gift, or just add to your learning and skills. The wide variety of kits includes activities related to computers, coding, gaming, science, aviation, cooking, pottery, building, movie making, music, podcasting, needlework, and more. You’ll need to sign a liability waiver, and then the supplies are yours for 3 weeks at a time. Maybe you’ll pick the Makey Makey Box where you learn to map keys on your computer keyboard to carrots or any conductive object. Maybe you’ll want the Cake Pan Collection with specialty cake pans, donut molds, and cookie cutters so you can bake treats at home. (Dayton)
Of course, you can’t talk about makerspaces without mentioning 3D printing. Proto BuildBar is one place you can count on for a fun and exciting experience that brings together people of all ages and experience levels. There are no membership fees or commitments required so you can just drop in. In the belief that creativity requires a full stomach, they offer a full coffee and espresso bar, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and snacks, pastries, and pizza. If you want to take a break, you can also enjoy their lounge seating, music, books, magazines, and games like Tesla v Edison and their own Guinness World Record Largest Claw Game. The schedule of classes and events includes local favorites like the monthly Couples Soldering Night for $60. (Dayton)For quality appliance repair and service, contact us at Authorized Service in Dayton. Our technicians provide prompt and dependable service all over the Miami Valley.