A membership driven maker’s space in Picton is supporting the restoration efforts at Glenwood Cemetery.
Studio Barn is a shared community studio at the former land ambulance station at 12 MacSteven Drive and is the brain child of Jay Elbourne and Courtney Black.
Elbourne likens Studio Barn to a gym in that members have access to high-quality equipment at a monthly rate.
“It’s the same idea, if you want to use the equipment or the space, it’s here to use and it’s not tying up space in your home,” Elbourne told the Gazette.
A commercial woodworking shop, a computer lab complete with a 3-D printer, a textiles space and a photography studio are just some of the offerings at the expansive location in northeast Picton
Elbourne said maker space concepts like the Studio Barn have exploded in the United States over the past decade.
In 2011, then-U.S. President Barrack Obama heralded an initiative to place more maker spaces, both co-operative and membership driven, in urban settings and the facilities have exploded in popularity
Elbourne and Black both discussed the concept and agreed that such a facility would work in this region.
“It was something we were both into and since Picton and Prince Edward County is so artistically driven, this is the ideal setting,” Black said.
With textiles, ceramics and furniture making spaces, the Studio Barn provides a lot of different types of studio space in one location.
“The woodworking shop is the largest aspect we have right now but we’ve got a lot of other disciplines that appeal to artists,” Elbourne added.
The commercial woodworking shop offers an impressive array of devices including a planer, a jointer, two mitre saws, a band saw and a lathe where in the toughest wood projects can be realized.
“The commercial planer can handle even the toughest types of wood,” Black added.
The shop is available to those that purchase a full maker membership and undertake either a three hour or nine hour course.
“We have a full, nine hour introduction workshop where you build projects with each device and leave with a commercially made item you’ve built yourself,” Elbourne explained.
In the adjacent studio, there’s textile and sewing machine space as well as an electronics bench for circuits and soldering.
In addition to art creation, the building has hosted Annual General Meetings for Not-for-Profit groups like the Prince Edward Learning Centre and Creative Rural Minds.
Studio Barn also organizes artist-led workshops that allows passionate makers and innovators to pass on their craft while earning some income.
In August, there will be a two-day introduction into woodworking, a session on designing floater frames, drawing landscape pieces and website creation.
“I think the most important message is that people can really use it for what ever they need it for. Somebody doing woodworking or a band needing rehearsal space,” Elbourne added. “Those are two very different disciplines and needs but we can accommodate everyone. We are open to suggestions and we’ll work with anyone.”
It’s that spirit of community and shared experiences that have prompted Elbourne and Black to donate ten per cent of every membership sold in the month of August to the Glenwood restoration efforts.
In late June, vandals knocked over and damaged over 170 monuments and memorials at Picton’s largest cemetery.
Restoration costs are expected to eclipse $150,000.
“We know Glenwood is facing a huge challenge, we’ve reached out with this offer and they are very appreciative,” said Elbourne.
For more information on Studio Barn, membership rates, hours of operation and facilities, please visit www.studiobarn.org or call 613-885-4323.