Communal making has had a long history in America. Paul Revere worked in a silversmith shop. Betsy Ross ran a family upholstery and flag-making business. George Washington Carver pioneered the mobile maker lab — his “Jesup wagons” brought education, tools and techniques to farmers in the field. Today, maker spaces provide people with the resources to prototype a product, learn new skills, find a like-minded community and even launch a business. The last few years have seen a renaissance in maker spaces, with the independent shops, startups and community organizations opening shared workshops in every state.
In upstate New York, Etsy co-founder and former CEO Rob Kalin recently started The Catskill Mill, a community of ceramicists, woodworkers, leatherworkers and textile artisans all under one roof in a former furniture factory. In San Francisco, a group of feminist activists founded Double Union to support women within the maker movement. In Nashville, Fort Houston is an incubator for 70 local artists and designers — it even includes a motorcycle shop! And in Portland, design destination Beam & Anchor reserves its second floor studios for local designers and craftspeople. The common thread between all these organizations is an interest in sharing space and knowledge to help grow local economies.
For makers seeking studios, or even just anyone interested in the maker movement, we’ve rounded up a short list of spaces in every American state. To keep the guide going, add your recommendations in the comments below!
Illustration by Kristen Solecki