The Makery offers affordable art classes to the downtown community

As students walk past the Fraser Centre construction site, they may notice a new local establishment that is already open for business at 209 W. Calder Way.

The Makery, a new arts and crafts studio, first opened its doors this past June. It was not until September, however, that the store began to take shape.

The Makery offers a variety of art classes including modern sewing, pottery, jewelry design, glass fusion, photography, mixed media collage and knitting, Makery store owner Amy Frank said.

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Kasey Lam (junior-marketing) works on a leather keychain at The Makery on Sunday, Jan. 24.

The Makery also supports local artists by offering hand-made products within the store, Frank said.

“In June, we were mostly installing in the place while also offering event-based workshops, but it wasn’t until after Labor Day that we began operating with regular office hours,” Frank said.

With the Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon approaching, many student organizations have been taking art classes at the Makery and selling the crafts they make to fundraise.

Alpha Kappa Psi, a business fraternity, took part in The Makery’s leather tassel keychain-making class this past Sunday night for this purpose, Alpha Kappa Psi Secretary Brynne Travis said. Travis said she learned about The Makery through an entrepreneurial exposition where Frank spoke about her new business and the classes The Makery offered.

“This could be a place for everyone to create something unique, and people of all artistic levels can find something that interests them,” Travis (senior-entrepreneurship) said.

While many THON members can be found taking classes at The Makery, the workspace does not have a target audience.

“We want The Makery to be available for everyone. You don’t have to be an art student to create something great,” Frank said.

While The Makery has recently seen a surge in student customers, the art classes are for people of all ages, Frank said.

In addition to classes, The Makery also hosts arts and craft parties and events. On Feb. 5, it will be hosting its “make and mingle” night, allowing members of the community to bond over crafts.

Starting in February, customers will be able to reserve workspace and use The Makery’s art supplies to work independently. Frank said she believes this new development will give students the opportunity to work on a creative project on their own time.

“Students already have a busy schedule with their classes and by offering them the chance to work independently, students aren’t limited by their schedule,” Frank said.

The cost to reserve workspace will be $5 for students and $10 for non-students. The cost of classes can range anywhere from $15 to $50, however, a student membership is available for $20 per month. Students can also receive one course credit with an annual innovator membership, Frank said.

While some classes require certain techniques and skills, most are beginner-level, multimedia instructor Kim Hunziker said.

“Everyone has art in them, it’s just a matter of finding a way to express it,” Hunziker said.

To read the article which was originally published on The Daily Collegian, click here.

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