Arts & Leisure

Mobile makerspace spotted in Vergennes

Did you see a trailer parked outside Aubuchon in Vergennes a couple weekends ago? It was big and teal, with the words “BUILDING ARTS” in big white letters. Well we found out what exactly was going on inside that trailer and it’s pretty cool. 

Ryan Pierson works for the Shelburne Craft School, and for the past six months has been building a mobile woodshed and maker-space to bring around the area and offer pop-up classes supporting volunteer carpentry and doing school demos. 

“The trailer is outfitted with state-of-the-art woodworking tools, along with digital fabrication devices such as 3D printers and laser cutters,” Pierson explained.  

Aubuchon was a sponsor of the project, which is why the trailer was found there three Saturday’s ago. Visitors were given a tour with the management team and Shelburne Craft School director Claire Gear.

Gear applied for and received grant funding for a new program that would draw on her architecture background with more building-scale projects, help the Craft School venture out into the community more with mobile classes and events, and open up more opportunities for collaboration with all kinds of partners. 

“The first initiative of the program, Building Arts, is this mobile maker-space that I designed and built over the past six months in Ferrisburgh,” explained Pierson. “The trailer is outfitted with everything needed for mobile woodworking classes, community design-build and volunteer carpentry projects, tech and digifab demos and supporting wide variety of other creative endeavors across Chittenden and all other counties. With solar on the roof and a battery bank powering tool battery chargers and corded tools such as our table saw, planer and laser cutter, we are truly a mobile workshop that can meet the people, materials, or ideas where they are. We are also excited to introduce digital fabrication technologies such as 3D Printing and CNC Laser Cutting to the craft school, blending traditional techniques with newer methods.”

Pierson’s background is in industrial design with a mix of both furniture making and software/web design. 

“The design of the interior of the trailer draws a lot of inspiration from people like Ron Paulk, a carpenter/designer from Washington state, with neat functionality like passive locking drawers and most things held in place without the need for straps or tie downs,” Pierson said. “The exterior branding is also something I created, utilizing the Craft Schools colors and set of icons I created to represent the broad array of tools and skills we hope to bring to people. The mission of the Craft School is to help people of all ages lead a more creative life and we hope this new program will continue to make that even more exciting, accessible and fun for all Vermonters.”

Pretty cool right?!

Keep your eyes peeled for this trailer cruising around Addison County. If you see it stop, and check it out — and craft something.

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