Another new business in the Sheaborhood, Garage Guild, brings to life Michelle Lowman’s vision to form a craft shop while allowing “Sheabors” to design and make items such as knitted socks, wood carvings or even electronic 3D art.
Somewhere in between a craft corner and a trade type instructional site, Garage Guild is a mom and pop shop where you can let your imagination run wild. Determined to share her passion for knitting, weaving, carving, teaching and learning how to do difficult things, Michelle Lowman opened a maker’s space, just south of the infamous corner of 32nd Street and Shea.
In her own words, Michelle shares a deeper look at the inspiration to start her business and more of what is found inside her shop.
Q. What inspired you to open Garage Guild?
A. My grandfather was a carpenter, as is my dad. My mom is an artist and crafter, so it’s pretty natural that I would end up doing crafty types of things too! I’ve also added a major “nerd” component because of my background in IT and tech publishing: I used to edit and publish books on maker topics like robotics, 3D printing, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc., and I spent years getting to know the amazing people who invent this stuff and teach it. I decided a few years ago that I would eventually open my own maker’s space, and this year was just the right time to do it…everything just came together.
Q. What types of things can you make at Garage Guild?
A. If you can think of it, we can probably help you make it! We have equipment and experience in making things out of yarn, fabric, wood and plastic, etc. We have a CNC router for carving and engraving, and a 3D printer if you want to prototype something or you need a custom part for your project.
Q. What does that mean? Can you give an example?
A. For example, let’s say you want to make a custom woven rug; we can help you do everything from:
Carving your own drop spindle, spinning your fiber into yarn, building your own loom with hand tools or with the CNC and 3D printer. Then, after the basics are done, we can help design the rug on a computer, tablet or paper and use the loom you made to weave the rug!
Sound overwhelming to do it all? No worries, you can do just one component to get started – whatever works for you!
Q. Do people have to bring their own supplies?
A. Not necessarily. If you are coming to just use the space and tools to make something you’ve already planned, you’ll want to bring your own tools.
We do have a craft stash of yarn, fabric, wood cutoffs, and a ton of cardboard for prototyping and crafting. We also have some supplies (yarn, carving blocks, etc.) for sale at the front of the shop. If you don’t see what you need, ask. I don’t want expense to be a barrier to creativity, so together we can figure it out.
We also have kits and supplies bundled into classes that start this month! So, for example, if you take a carving class, the tools and wood will be included and will be yours to keep.
Q. Any upcoming classes out there?
A. Absolutely! Classes and events can be found on our website www.garageguild.com and The Garage Guild LLC Facebook page, including themed movie nights (we just got our license to show movies!) — so if you want to hang out, learn to make things, and watch a fun movie, we’ll have lots of those types of events.
Here are a few classes coming up:
Whittle a Whimsy (carving a ball in a cage out of a single block of wood), Relief Carving: Make a Clock Face, Spinning Yarn with a Drop Spindle, Make a Tapestry Loom, Design and Make a Keepsake Box, Sewing by Hand: Make a Sit-Upon, Build a BuddyBot with Arduino (including how to solder), Raspberry Pi Exploration (learning Linux, scripting, simple projects), Safety classes for tools like the table saw, scroll saw, and mini-lathe and lastly how to Make a Cigar Box Guitar (or Ukulele).
Garage Guild adventure simply requires a monthly membership to suit your needs. Student discount memberships starting at $30 per month, while family and premium memberships start at $120. Garage Guild allows you to use their space, tools and supplies. Find more information at garageguild.com