Clay Intersections interview with Anna Lise De Lorenzo
Anna Lise De Lorenzo- CEO
How would you describe MakerSpace &company?
MS&co is a place for you to make things, surrounded by a wonderful creative community. We provide all the machinery and tools, the workspaces and the expert staff and teachers that enable you to make what ever you want! Anyone can take a class or become a member and use our tool "gym" independently. Whether you're a beginner starting out or you're growing your own creative enterprise and need an equipped workplace, everyone is welcome! Along with our ceramic studio (with 10 wheels, slab roller, work-benches, the best wedging bench in Australia and 2 kilns), we have a fully equipped wood workshop, metal workshop, textile studio, printmaking studio and co-working office. MakerSpace is a growing community of designers, fabricators, engineers, artists and makers.
Why is there a need for collective studios like MakerSpace&Co?
Sydney can be really tricky for makers - it's such an expensive city! Sharing resources makes so much sense! We provide access to a huge range of large scale machinery and tools that a start-up creative business or hobbyist would be hard-pressed to afford - let alone store! Many makers practice their craft in isolation, we think it's way more exciting to make within a skilled community where you can learn new techniques, problem-solve quickly and get inspired by the people around you. It's also really important that we provide flexible access for the wide range of people that need MakerSpace - our members can drop in occasionally and scale up as they need to: rent additional storage space, take on their own bench, book larger project spaces for ambitious builds, or take on their own studio - and once you move out to your own place, you are always welcome to come back.
What makes MakerSpace&Co Special?
Let's start with the top 3 things that make MakerSpace special! The most important is the people: We're so stoked to have such excellent humans at MakerSpace - both our members and our staff are so lovely, welcoming, and generous with their skills and knowledge. In Sydney, we offer the biggest range of machinery and tools in an openly accessible workshop available to everyone to use - and many of our machines are at an industrial scale, so you can make your ideas a reality regardless of their scale. To house all these great people and machines, the thing that surprises people the most is the size of our building - we have a 12000 square meter warehouse, and it's rather enormous. It's pretty special that anyone can take a class and then return as a member to do your own thing.
Ceramics and handicrafts have come back into fashion in recent years and people are looking for training. Who are the people coming to MakerSpace&Co?
Everyone! We have professional makers who run their business from here, but also people who've never made anything who come to take a class. Our favourite words we get to hear all the time: "I've always wanted to ..!" weld/throw clay/make wooden furniture... So many different people have ideas and dreams about the things they wish they could make - it's amazing that we get to help our local community fix things, bar and cafe owners design their own tableware, designers prototype their next big thing, artists take their work to the next level, engineers and inventors work on their ideas and hobbyists pursuing a creative pass-time.
What’s the unusual thing anyone has wanted to make at the studio?
Hmmm. One of our most crazy projects at the moment is Olly Boyett's Monowheel - it's a functioning, ride-in motorbike. We also get people wanting to make things that are pretty specific - like an adjustable log-holder for a very tall fellow so he can chop wood with an axe! And Xavier, our Ceramic Technician set himself the challenge to build a single object that would fill our biggest kiln - he's made a giant standing drum and it's beautiful!
Tell us what competitive approach or training you’ll take at the Creative Clay Challenge on 10 September.
We love the opportunity to show people how fun clay can be in any situation - we're in it for the creative challenge! Our team is bringing over 65 years of combined professional pottery experience, production pottery experience and industrial design experience - we're really excited about the prospect of collaborative "team ceramics" and the opportunity to see how different collectives approach making with clay!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Really, everyone who comes to see the MakerSpace says the same thing - you have to see it to believe it! Drop in any time, you're always welcome at MakerSpace!
They are also participating in The Creative Clay Challenge on 10 September. Book here
Read about the exhibition Clay Intersections here.
Images courtesy of MakerSpace &company.