Brooklyn’s bespoke makerspaces: Craftsman Ave, Supersmith, SPark Workshop
This week, we take a look at a trio of Brooklyn makerspaces where you can learn, build and manufacture. And if you can’t do any (yet), each one has a helpful community who can collaborate, encourage and teach you along the way. NYC manufacturing is growing, and one of the hot spots is around wood and metal fabrication. From bespoke products to custom furniture to smart, interactive displays, there’s tremendous opportunity for New Yorkers to turn creativity into a business. Or, at least an awesome side hustle while you spend days at Huge or KPMG. Check out Craftsman Ave, Supersmith and Spark Workshop.
If Kinfolk opened a fabrication space, the 1,500-foot Craftsman Ave would be it. With leather couches, big wooden tables and reclaimed typewriters, Craftsman inspires creativity. For $40 (the price of just ten eight lattes!), you can get a daily pass and access to more than a dozen essential machines, WiFi and the lounge. A monthly membership is $180 and includes an hour of shop training while the $250 premium monthly includes all that as well as a storage locker and a three-hour class. Pass + membership info
Craftsman Ave classes cut across metal and woodworking, jewelry design, tech and leather products. Enter Peter Ragonetti’s design class and leave with a portable, bluetooth speaker. Evan Crane’s four-hour intro to metal fabrication will have you on the way to bending like Magneto. For a bit more shine, Megan Isaacs leads you through metal bracelet-making classes. She’s designed for Diane Von Furstenberg and Kenneth Cole, so you’re in good hands. In January, Craftsman will launch a new series of classes as well, so stay tuned.
If you don’t need classes, more power to ya! The fully-equipped studio space has a MIG 175 Welder, Oxy torch, sandblaster, drill press, table saw, chop saw, band saw, jig saw, belt sander, grinding and buffing wheel, air compressor, flex shaft, angle grinders, vinyl cutter, drills and other hand-tools.
Just a year old, the massive members-only Supersmith already has a waitlist for both dedicated and part-time slots. If you do join the Supersmith community, you’ll get unlimited access to the 3000-sf fabrication floor, all woodworking and metalworking tools, a paint & finishing room, ceramics kiln, photo studio, conference room, a kitchen and storage.
Supersmith memberships will open up soon, and for non-members, there’s a lineup of classes to hone your skills, and each includes materials and hands-on machine experience. Resident artists Emilie Ritzmann and Caroline Hayward teach ceramic slip casting; you’ll leave with an original piece. Bob Biondi will teach you how to build a wooden boat frame. Roger Carmona of Kremer Pigments shows students how to dye, pigment and stain woods.
Supersmith’s 20 members can showcase their craft at the onsite Shook + Co retail shop. The array of home decor and furniture is a nice addition in the pedestrian-friendly Red Hook neighborhood, and they’re launching an online store soon. Members receive discounted prices at the shop and preferential registration and discounts for classes and events.
SPark Workshop is tucked away within the flourishing Sunset Park’s Industry City. Machines include a drill press, compressor, dust collector, board planer, disk and belt sander, jigsaw, table saw, radial arm saw, band saw, sliding chop saw, panel saw, as well as various hand and power tools. To accommodate a community that’s fabricating big wooden products, SPark just secured a spacious, renovated warehouse.
SPark offers deep curriculum that last six weeks or back-to-back weekend days for $200 to $500. They’ll take you through all the secrets of woodworking, laser cutting and engraving.
SPark also offers three types of memberships. A Shop Membership gives you access from 5am to 1am as well as a meeting room, kitchen and class discount. Shop and Storage includes a locker and renting a private or shared studio ensures you 24-hour access.