A makerspace is a place with tools, technology, workspace, and equipment for people to make things. It's a place where people come together to cultivate and share a wide variety of crafts, skills, and art forms for personal, professional, and community goals. They operate much like a gym, but instead of exercise equipment there are tools and technology, and instead of trying to get fit, people are there to learn a new skill, develop or scale up a business idea, gain credentialing for employment mobility or career transition, or to simply tinker, fix, or repair everyday household items. They are awesome, in other words.
If Phase I of the building renovation goes to plan, Makers Mill should be open during Fall 2021. While final details are still being worked on, it’s anticipated there will be a soft opening in late summer first to provide an orientation for interested makers, followed by a basic schedule of programs.
Ongoing programs will include:
- WORKSHOPS & CLASSES - build a chair, design a website, weld a plant holder, create earrings, craft a silver ring, work with circuit boards - you get the picture.
- TOOL LENDING LIBRARY - borrow a few tools for a project at home.
- REPAIR CAFES - learn how to mend or fix a broken appliance, lamp, yard tool, clothing.
- TOOL TRAINING - learn how to use tools and equipment safely, as well as some tricks of the trades.
- ENTREPRENEUR PITCH EVENTS - think local Shark Tank!
- SEASONAL TRADITIONS - Seed and Plant Swaps, Make a Halloween Costume, Wreath Making, Winter Boot Repair, Yard Tool Sharpening, DIY Ski Tuning and Bicycle Tune-Ups, and Tool Sale Fundraiser.
We’re still working on a range of membership options that best suit different needs, and once they’re decided, a new page for membership sign-up will be added to this website. At that time we’ll also alert everyone via an email blast, social media, and press release.
We envision having a variety of membership levels such as:
- Day, Weekend, Monthly, Annual
- Student, Senior, Veteran, Guest
- Scholarship, Supporter
- Space Rental
Yes, and no. Members will have access to the various workspaces and tools at their convenience - like a gym. However, there will also be plenty of workshops, classes, and events that are open to the public, for which Members may enjoy a discount or waiver on admission. There will also be options for Members to invite Guests; Open House and Facility Tour Days, and Youth Programs, etc.
Yes. Because the makerspace workshops contain equipment and tools that are potentially dangerous to someone who has not been trained on them, general memberships will be limited to those 18+. So as to include our younger innovators and creatives, there will be specific programs available that cater just to them.
We are committed to making Makers Mill as accessible as possible, not only for people with different physical abilities but also for different learning styles, emotional intelligence, languages, and cultures. All members are required to undertake safety training and certification on some of the tools and equipment. Most importantly, we are committed to improving the accessibility of our makerspace over time and welcome any and all feedback toward achieving this goal.
Yes there are designated off-street parking spaces around the Makers Mill building, including 2 designated as accessible.
It is our goal to have all workshops set up with the basic tools and equipment required to run the scheduled programs and classes on offer. We are still working on building up this inventory through donations and sponsorships of tools, equipment, and cash. A complete list of tools and equipment available in each workshop will be posted to this website prior to the makerspace opening and classes being announced.
Even with prior experience, some of our tools will require training and all members will have an orientation in the facility that includes signing a formal Membership Agreement.
Our goal is to make it so that you won't want or need to! That being said, we can anticipate instances where it might make sense for members to bring their own tools, and the policies around doing so will be outlined in a Membership Agreement. This agreement will also address things such as safety, etiquette, ventilation, clearances, storage, and maintenance and cleaning procedures. We will offer secured lockers onsite for members who want to keep tools onsite instead of schlepping them back and forth from home.
If you are regularly using the shop areas and require basic safety gear, it is recommended to bring your own. We will offer secured lockers onsite for members who want to keep tools onsite instead of schlepping them back and forth from home.
Yes! Please call the office at 603-569-1500 to arrange a donation to our Tool Kitty Campaign.
Yes. We will have a few small studios for rent for those looking to do a longer-term project and leave it, and their tools, in one place. There will also be flexible space available for businesses and educational institutions to rent for workforce training and certification programs.
We are so glad you asked! We chose Makers Mill for a variety of reasons. First, it’s a nod to what came before in this particular part of town, the steam-powered mill of S.W. Clow and Company that operated along Back Bay during the turn of the twentieth century. The symbolism of the mill seemed too serendipitous to pass up. It represents a key element of our mission: transformation. Whether it’s a sawmill, gristmill, steel mill, or paper mill, you take a raw product and transform it into something else with a new purpose or use. That’s exactly what we plan to do at the Makers Mill! Enter the building with an idea or goal, be met with tools, equipment, mentors, collaborators, and a creative working environment, and leave the space with a new skill, or maybe a product prototype, or a lead on an apprenticeship, or a business plan. A mill also exemplifies a sense of industry and the trades, which aligns with our vocational and workforce goals. We also just really enjoyed how it sounds and rolls off the tongue; Makers Mill.