The creative industrial makers who run The Foundery in Port Covington are inviting the public to come see how they work this Friday.
The maker space’s free public open house and tool demo on Friday evening will offer demonstrations of how to make liquid nitrogen ice cream, weld small campfire stoves, etch pieces of acrylic and insert lighting for LED signs and use a wood lathe. Those hoping to not only witness the working process, but also take some of it home, can enter raffles to win the LED signs and stoves made right before their eyes.
The Foundery is an industrial maker and educational space located on W. Dickman Street in Port Covington. The staff there train everyday Baltimoreans taking courses in industrial trades, from textiles and woodworking to welding and 3D modeling. This Friday will mark the space’s fourth open house since it first moved to Port Covington last June. Before that, it operated out of a building about one-tenth of its current size downtown since 2013.
CEO Jason Hardebeck said in a phone interview that each open house offers a way for the public to enter the space they may view as reserved for only those already working in these specific fields.
“A lot of times too there’s this perception that you need to be a maker or know how to use all the tools, and that’s the opposite of what this place is about,” he said.
The last open house was expected to draw only 50 or 60 people, but wound up with 120 attendees, he said. Each one is family-friendly, he noted, pointing out that most of the attendees at the most recent event were kids.
The Foundery opened as a hub for all across Baltimore who want to learn or expand their skills in industrial trades. Nine months since it moved to City Garage in Port Covington, it’s already served as a base for a so-called manufacturing boot camp sponsored by Sagamore and corporate and nonprofit partners. Companies covered classes and memberships for the first graduating class of eight pupils, who received instruction in woodworking, textiles, 3-D printing and other skills and, in the end, found new jobs in those trades.
“Our tagline is community access to industrial-grade tools and training,” said Hardebeck. “Our goal is really to introduce as many people as possible to the tools and kind of equipment you would find in a workshop or a factory.”
Between 50 and 60 people have already signed up for the open house scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday, he said. Registration is open on The Foundery’s website under “Spring Kick-off Open House.”