Salon Divider

A few weeks ago a friend asked if I could help with a project for his wife’s new salon and I jumped at the opportunity.  I had been looking for a project that would mean using the big new 100W laser since it was donated.  My friend sent over a design and I got to cutting.

This is by far my favorite laser we have.  The software is easy to use and the laser makes aligning the uncut piece in the laser bed a breeze.  This project was also a chance to show off some of the new things I am learning in Blender to make a nice rendering of the final product.

The Ceramics Area Expansion!

What started as a humble ceramics area at the Lenox Building has grown to an amazing space at the Norwich Building.  Thanks to the popularity of the weekly event, Cerveza and Ceramics Wednesday, the ceramics area has grown in member ship popularity.  This larger area will allow us to attract more potters to join the Makerspace and grow our membership.  Our first tasks were putting down new epoxy floor and building a pallet rack.  Now that pallet rack has expanded drying cabinets thanks to a donation from Frontroom Studios in Bayview.  Now we have lots of room for pots of all sizes.

At the last space improvement day lots of people chipped in to help organize and clean our glaze and kiln rooms. As well as mounting a new sink. cleaning equipment, mopping, and adding a new storage for communal tools. A lot got accomplished but there is still more to do.

The studio is continuing to grow and still has plans for more equipment like new work tables, a dedicated table for the pug mill, and expanded throwing area. The plan below is a rough idea for the new expansion’s layout. There are much more in the works including new equipment and more events. 

Cerveza and Ceramics

Every Wednesday at for the past few months Jeff has been hosting “Cervesia and Ceramics”.  It’s an evening playing with clay fueled by the power of beer.  Over the past few months I have seen Jeff do wheel throwing classes, hand building seminars, and general clay based standup comedy (mostly while sitting at a wheel). 

Every week members stop by just to hang out a chat or to join us for a beer.  Some of those on lookers even get talked into getting their hands full of clay.  If you have never picked up a lump of clay ask Tom Klein about his experience a couple weeks ago when Jeff peer pressured him into sitting down at a wheel for the first time.  

Stop in tomorrow or any Wednesday.  The Milwaukee Makerspace is by far the best ceramics studio in the Milaukee area also the most affordable.

Burning Man Art in Hales Corners (Temporarily!)

Members of Milwaukee Makerspace, led by artist Kathy Cannistra, were bummed that they could not take their installation to Burning Man this year due to the event being canceled (like all other large-scale events this year) but they thought they could still put it on display while also helping draw some attention to Hales Corners’ restaurant Clifford’s Supper Club, which is owned by Kathy’s father.

A team of ten makers, friends, and family members helped build “Atomic Forest”. Between painting, sanding, soldering wires and custom-fabricating the metal components, the team estimates they spent 2,600 hours on the project. The sculptures debuted at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin in fall of 2019. After the exhibit closed, the giant flowers went into storage, and with Burning Man canceled, had nowhere to go, so Kathy thought that sharing the art with the community by putting them up at Clifford’s Supper Club would be a great way to provide an outdoor seating area allowing patrons to eat outside or simply enjoy the artwork.

The “stalk” of each flower rises from the center of a large table that also covers the underlying support structure. The “petals” are LED lights encased by white tubing looped back on itself. Each flower can run different colors and patterns, and grow dimmer as the evening winds down. Barriers separate the “garden” from the parking lot.

Within days of the flowers going up, the Hales Corners Village Trustees held an emergency vote by phone to have the installation removed. With so many restaurants struggling to survive, Kathy hoped that her art could offer a solution and some solace to the neighborhood and those looking to eat outdoors, but it looks like the city is not on-board with a temporary art exhibit meant to help a local restaurant that has served the community for over 60 years.

If you’re as upset about the Village Trustees decision as we are, please express your support for keeping the temporary installation up for the summer. Visit Support LED Artwork at Cliffords on Facebook and leave a comment.