Tinkerer’s and hobbyists can rejoice, as a local maker organization has set up shop in downtown Leesburg, with plans on expansion to Purcellville.
Makersmiths is settling into its new home at 106 Royal St. SW, fresh off a move from its former quarters on Lawson Road in the town’s industrial district. Makersmiths co-owner Mark Millsap said the move to a bigger space with improved public visibility has already proven to be a boon to the organization, with the location and particularly access to First Friday festivities already is bringing in a lot of new faces.
The space also has a more conducive layout to Makersmiths’ goals of providing a tinkerer’s wonderland, with tools like a laser cutter, CNC (computer numeric tool for prototyping and production), and RaspberryPi (which teaches basic computer science), all laid out in separate workspaces with complementary supplies. The new location has more separate rooms and even some dedicated office space.
As with its predecessor, the new Leesburg Makersmiths hosts weekly open houses on Thursday nights to attract local enthusiasts and potential new members. Several levels of membership are open, including a full membership where a member has 24/7 access to the space.
With one move under its belt, attention now turns to the organization’s Purcellville project, which hopes to be open within the next few months. Every Saturday is a work day for the Makersmiths family as people pitch in with the various construction projects to get the facility ready to open. Millsap said the opening date for that location is still months away.
The new makerspace, in addition to the larger square footage, will provide an opportunity to attract western Loudoun’s burgeoning arts community with the many toys at its disposal. The Purcellville makerspace will have a kiln and full ceramics studio; plus the entire contents of a professional framing shop that were donated to the organization, among other things.
The ability to attract different users to both the Leesburg and Purcellville locations, with different tools available at each, is big plus for the Makersmiths’ leadership, Millsap said.
The Purcellville Markersmith is at 785 S. 20th St., and members of the public are welcome to come out on Saturdays to help with the ongoing construction projects on site.
For more information about either makerspace, go to makersmiths.org.