DISCOVER: Houston Makerspace

Friday, May 23, 2014

A couple Thursdays ago, I was invited to attend the VIP/Media Pre-Launch Soiree for a new creative space in Houston called Houston Makerspace.  Prior to this invitation I had heard things here and there about this space, and was very intrigued to go see it in person. What is Houston Makerspace? It's essentially a warehouse turned into a space where Makers (craftsmen) can come and work on items in their particular crafts. Crafts range from metalworking, woodworking, sewing, jewelry making and more. Upon my arrival at Houston Makerspace for the event, I was eager to take a tour and the lovely Ahshia Berry, Owner of From A to B and PR Rep for Houston Makerspace took me on a tour starting from the outside! 

Houston Makerspace is located at 100 Hutchinson in Houston's Eado Neighborhood. Eado itself refers to everything East of Downtown Houston (Minute Maid Park) but Eado further splits into East End, East Wood, etc. HMS is apart of East End and participates in the East End Chamber of Commerce and The Greater East End Management District.  They are located only a few blocks away from East Wood. HMS consumes an impressive amount of space: 10,000 sq. ft.  The outdoor green space has been sponsored by Edible Growth Resources with future plans to build outside tables for makers who want to work outside.  All of the parking around HMS belongs to HMS and is free. You can opt to park no the street or in the parking lot.

HMS' outside wall has been tagged with a small mural (you can see at the faaarrr left corner of the picture above.) The local graffiti artists will return to paint a mural across the entire outside wall that will include the HMS logo.  The public entrance to HMS is through the pictured door above.  People can walk in to obtain more information about HMS. Members will have a separate entrance through a key card system.

Members will have a separate door to enter the facility that will be managed with a key-card system. The entire building has an alarm system.  Current membership to HMS is $150, and give you access to all of the shop, labs and the co-working areas. Members also receive free coffee, tea and water. HMS's water sponsor this year is Evamore! 

This is command center & kitchen.  Here there will be a coffee machine, microwave and free water sponsored by Evamore. Members can eat their lunch at the table.  

When you come through the general public door you arrive in the lobby.  All of the photos were taken by Alex Barber, a member of the Houston Maker Space Volunteer Team.  All of the photos are of Makers and the frames were made by makers.   A maker is an artisan or craftsman that uses the facilities at Houston Makerspace. Every Monday, Houston Makerspace does a demo on the website called “Meet your Maker” Mondays.   All of the furniture in the lobby was sponsored by Magpies and Peacocks.  The lobby is decorated more than other areas of HMS since this is where people can come in to learn about HMS. 

Jessica, one of the co-founders of HMS, is in the process of creating this Geranium wall in the lobby
The lamps were made by Amanda Medsger, another Maker. 
The counter was built by Makers Pete Grody and Esmin out of donated wood from a bungalow in The Heights through Magpies & Peacocks.
On the bottom floor immediately through the parking lot entrance is the wood shop and the metal shop. The wood shop was donated to HMS via Magpies and Peacocks and Lincoln Electric donated the metal shop. We have a tool shed that will be locked. We wanted it to be nice, but not too glammed up because it’s an artist’s warehouse. 

This is the PC-Mac Lab. R &D Paco donated the computers and the makers made the desk.  At this point I had to interject and ask Ahshia how they found all these makers?  To me it seemed that they were waiting with baited breath for a space like this.  

"There’s a whole craft phenomenon happening in Houston. People are looking for spaces to create." ~Ahshia Berry

Claire Webb from By Claire Webb, manages the jewelry shop.  Each section has a manager, the laser-cutting department is managed by John Ginny, etc. Eventually a wall will drop to separate the jewelry making space from the sewing space, because if one side is dealing with fabric and the other side is working with metal for jewelry you want to have a barrier for the smell.   The managers also host classes. Claire Webb does one class a month. You can register for other classes at HMS by going HERE.

This is the wrapo-protoyping lab.  It has a letter press, which we love! Travis from SpaceCity Sign and Print is in charge of the letter press.

Jessica has been putting this space together for over year.  She officially received the keys in December 2013, and began moving equipment in, in January.  This space is a lot bigger than the original plan.  Jessica thought she'd start out with a smaller space, but when the price is right, the price is right! 

Magpies and Peacocks own an office space inside HMS.  They have decorated it with artistic pictures and paper flowers by Belushka.  The upstairs space will be built out to include more offices.  Patrons will be able to rent these offices. HMS closes at 9pm, but if you rent an office you'll receive a key card to come in after hours.     

If you are not a member you have the option of renting space for an event.  You can rent the classroom for a class or workshop.  HMS plans to have 'drop-in' co-working hours where you can drop-in and co-work in the spaces if they aren't reserved for a class. 

The Classroom with a gigantic chalkboard wall
Photography Studio
Special camera equipment to take pictures of your products.
HMS has future plans to turn this building (the one on the left) into a recording studio

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