New tools offer new possibilities for community
By Jenn Watt
Published July 31, 2018
Tools available to the public at the Centre for Making, based at Haliburton School of Art + Design, have been finding use in the business community.
The space offers equipment that can engrave, cut, print, build and embroider, and staff dedicated to helping people put their ideas into practice.
Noelia Marziali, Community of Making animator, says while the space has seen its share of artists making and shaping their ideas with new technology, the applications of the equipment has attracted those from other industries.
“Nick Elliot of Mountain Customs, a carpentry and custom building local business, came in and tested out making coasters with his logo engraved on them. The concept was to use these coasters as a promotional item along with custom bar tops he designs,” she said via email.
The process included trial and error, but was quick and inexpensive, said Elliot.
“[I] sent Noelia the JPG and she transferred it to the required program for the laser etching/burning CNC machine,” he said via email. “Together we sized the coasters and the logo placement. The whole process took less than an hour to complete. Afterwards I took them to my shop to sand and seal them.”
Elliot said the coasters will be used for marketing his construction company, which builds “everything from decks to complete homes” as well as custom concrete countertops.
“A set of drink coasters are given to clients as a courtesy,” he said.
“There is an hourly rate for the time you are at the Centre for Making however it is very reasonable. The little finishing touches we leave our clients are priceless and the Centre for Making is making it possible.”
Next, Elliot said he’d like to make company shirts and hats, using the embroidery machine.
Mike Jaycock has also been itching to get stitching.
“I have a design that I want to put into a cap. This machine will do caps as well. Here again you can do a design in two or three colours and load in the thread and take in your JPG and away you go,” he said.
“You don’t even have to know how to sew; just let the machine do it.”
Although he hasn’t yet made the ballcap, Jaycock has been a regular fixture at the Centre for Making, where he’s made several items.
“I was making some templates. I took greyscale JPGs in and after a little bit of fiddling I got the right balance I was looking for. And I was able to engrave those in Plexi. They provided templates for rolling the clay into the templates so that I actually have relief elements to apply for some of the work I was doing. I did a moose. I did a wolf. I did a leaping fox. I did a blue heron as well. Just beautiful equipment. The results were quite wonderful,” he said.
Marziali’s sister, Paola Marziali, used the centre to make stamps for her online business, Cueva Craft. She used an eraser as the material and a laser cutter to carve out the image to make the stamp.
“I make jewelry and such and I wanted to make little business cards. I wanted to be able to modify them myself. I made a logo stamp so I could stamp it on different coloured paper,” she said.
Paola had never used a laser cutter before and her sister helped her use Adobe Illustrator on the computer so her logo could be transferred onto the machine.
She said she was happy with the stamp and was looking forward to trying out other resources at the centre.
“Not everyone can have a laser cutter in their house. It’s awesome to have public access to these machines and different materials and also help to guide you along,” she said.
While Noelia Marziali’s job is to guide the public through the process of using the tools available, Scott Walling, HSAD assistant, helps with the equipment.
The Community of Making is holding “Monday Make Day” each Monday through to the end of August from 10 a.m. to noon. There is guided use of the equipment, which includes a 3D printer, laser engraver, vinyl cutter, plotter printer, embroidery machine, industrial sewing machine and more.
There is also a pop-up maker hub, featuring introductions to tools and resources, at the Dysart and Minden branches of the library on select Monday and Thursday afternoons. Check social media for details. You can contact Scott Walling at 705-457-1680; or Noelia Marziali at 705-457-2241.