The New Windsor Makers Studio
By Anna Horsnell
Windsor is home to an exciting new community space where anyone can explore their creative side. From photography to sewing to woodworking, the opportunities are almost endless and everyone is welcome. This is a place to try something new, share what you know, or work together on a community project. This is the new Windsor Makers Studio at 21 Gerrish Street.
Stepping through the door is to step into big open spaces generously divided into various creative work areas, including a textile studio for sewing and other needle work, an impressive wood-working shop, a painting and drawing studio, a clay-modelling area, and so much more. There are also comfortable sitting areas where you might sit to learn cross-stitch or try your hand at knitting. This is a spacious building with ample and flexible rooms for private workshops or classes, and each area is stocked with supplies needed to begin creating. In addition, a bold and colourful window display welcomes visitors to the retail section which features the work of local artists and craftspeople. Whether you are a tourist or live in the area, this is a tempting spot to browse for gifts or something special for your own home.
In keeping with the creative spirit, the overall intent is to allow the makery to be guided by community interest; to follow the needs and desires of those who come here to make things. Promotional Director Maggie Bell explains, “[The Makers Studio] will be whatever people make it. The community will decide where it goes, how it evolves. We want people to explore their artistic side, whatever that may be. This is about bringing people together. That’s the goal.”
Memberships became available on November 1, providing people with open access to the various studio spaces. An individual or family membership enables you to work on your own project, sign up for a specific workshop or class, or come to a free open studio session when a local artisan is available to provide a guiding hand. The calendar of events provides a wide array of subjects from paper and glue to metalworking. Take a workshop on copyright or leather tooling. The choice is yours. “Everyone has a creative side,” suggests Bell, “This place is where you can come to discover what it is you can do creatively without a huge investment. A day pass allows you to do that. People may stay at home and just think about things. Perhaps they just need a place to try.”
If someone is looking for a particular skill or craft, the Makers Studio will be happy to try to facilitate that request and make it happen. If someone has a creative ability they would like to teach others, there is room here to do that. Imagination is encouraged. The doors are open to anyone of any age with an emphasis on serving communities in this part of our province. In future, Bell envisions the Makers Studio full of people socializing as they enjoy learning to make things, and as a place where established artists feel they have furthered their own careers.
Studio Manager Caet Moir oversees day to day operations and is also responsible for the informative and user-friendly website which features membership benefits and policies, a calendar of upcoming events, and overall details about the Makers Studio.
This is a fascinating time for rediscovering old skills familiar to past generations and encouraging communities to find their inner strengths. The Windsor Makers Studio fits the bill nicely. Stop in during the open house on November 17, or visit windsormakersstudio.com. Interested artists may contact Maggie Bell directly at 902-456-4410 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.