Houston Makerspace has about three regular events each month. Without many windows to look into this universe of greenery and applied art, Maker Market Saturday seemed a good way to spend an afternoon and see what they’re all about.
The yard is filled with pop-up stands, full of craft jewelry for sale and artisan coffee brewed with water heated to a precision 90 degrees. The fenced area includes a greenhouse, a miniature botanical garden, plus a small herb garden and composing centre. Way behind the side of the building is a beehive, where Houston Makerspace’s honey comes in from a 3 mile radius or so (when the last batch was last available, it sold out within a single day).
The building itself is an old warehouse, with I-bar ribs and canvas lining the roof. Right inside the bay door, a DJ station pumps out grunge and indie hits. Just ahead is the office, where you can get your very own $20 HMS T-shirt, and past that, the classroom with its colour-matched chairs, festooned with ancient maps.
A break room is set up between the classroom and printing shop, with a mini-fridge and an urge to label your items inside, lest they get tossed or composted. The print-shop is huge, with screens on articulated merry-go-rounds, a large vinyl cutter, and a massive conveyer-belt heater to get those patterns set fast!
Another corner and you’re in the jewelry shop – the first one I’ve seen in this tour – with workstations set around lenses and fine-motor skill tools and tweezers. It’s fully equipped – there’s even a rock tumbler on hand, if you want to turn any random stone into a thing of beauty!
Getting out onto the main floor, there’s huge areas dedicated to woodworking and metalworking, plus the ceramics studio, right by the other side of the office. Some lined-off areas in the corner are studios, rented out by the space to particular artists, who toil in secrecy, trucking in sculptures and the like. The space also rents out co-working desks in the loft over the downstairs craft rooms. Many a cottage industry has started here, after a class or two on making-your-own crafts.
HMS is centrally located within the Metro, and most of the regular events are conveniently away from the peak traffic times. Of the two big spaces in Houston, this is definitely the one with the artistic crown. If you like working with your hands and having good vegetables, coffee, or beer, this is the chill place to do it.