Fall Is Here And Spark Is In Full Gear

Now that fall is in full swing, it’s the perfect time to visit the Spark space here in Greensboro. There’s a lot of exciting changes at Spark. We have a new Americorps member, Brittany Worsham, hailing from Detroit, Michigan.

Our upcoming workshops and classes include a bike repair workshop (October 8th), our monthly Repair Café with Flipped Vermont, and classes on 3D modeling and digital drawing. As always, we regularly offer training on our tech equipment and are willing to assist in your creative exploration. You can sign up for these classes here. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram @sparkvermont!

IMG_5173.JPG
IMG_0515.JPG

Summer at Spark!

We have had an exciting past ten days at Spark! We have welcomed 6 new Spark members and hosted more than 10 individuals visiting the space for the first time. Photographers and tinkerers learned to operate the large format printer and the laser machine during our Tuesday Training, and we hosted a class about 3D Modeling.

Our members have been creating some amazing projects too! Some highlights include Steve's Glover Day tokens and awards (run/bike the race Saturday to win one) and some incredible banners showing off Jasper Hill's Cellar, to name a few. Member Emily Cayer took advantage of the sound booth to interview for the Rise Up! baking podcast - give it a listen here.

It's so exciting to see what is being created and learned here in the Space and as part of our programs. Keep spreading the word, sharing ideas, creating, and collaborating.

Spark Spring Projects

Tobin Porter and his banner promoting  Front Seat Coffee , a cafe in Hardwick set to open this summer.

Tobin Porter and his banner promoting Front Seat Coffee, a cafe in Hardwick set to open this summer.

With spring in the air, members have been using Spark’s printers, laser machine, and computers to create exciting projects and materials. Using our large format printer, architects from the area have been printing blueprints and photographers fine art prints. We have also seen a few banners and signs that you might see around town or at the markets starting up.

The laser machine has proved useful for creating customized signs, plaques, and even glasses. The machine let us turn dollar store tumblers into customized “Spark” classes.

If you are interested in learning more about our tech, or have a project idea to try out, check out our equipment trainings on our classes and events calendar.

To learn more about or sign up to become a member, check out our membership page.

The Startup Series in Hardwick

IMG_4275.JPG

The Startup Series in Hardwick

Taught by Gwen Pokalo of the Center for Women & Enterprise in partnership with the WonderArts program Spark

During the past month, a dynamic group of community members has come together to explore their entrepreneurial visions as part of the Startup Series. In the first session, the group of 18 had fun exploring their visions and goals. During the next two sessions, everyone worked to refine their ideas for their endeavor and began to lay out the beginnings of a business plan.

Simply getting a group of creative people together to share ideas and get to know each other has been one of the most inspiring parts of running this class. The group has realized many common threads in the work each person is contributing to the community and is seeing opportunities for collaboration and mutual support!

IMG_4283.jpg

The series has also included concurrent sessions with a group of middle- and high- schoolers at Hazen Union. These students are learning about starting businesses and developing and pursuing their ideas. Some students are already making products or selling to distributors, while others have incredible ideas to pursue in the future.

WonderArts partnered with the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) to host the series in Hardwick and continue to provide resources and learning opportunities for entrepreneurs, creatives, and innovative thinkers in the Northeast Kingdom through the Spark project. Gwen Pokalo, the director for the Vermont branch of the CWE has led the group in visioning and goal setting and business plan basics.

The group is looking forward to three more classes to create business plans and learn about marketing and legal considerations.


Laser Cutting and Engraving - Christmas Ornaments!

This past week, our friends and members have been creating amazing ornaments and exploring the possibilities of our new laser cutter! So far, the software for creating a ‘print’ from the laser has been fairly easy to get the hang of and we have been able to transform scrap plywood into awesome designs. Along with creating ornaments to adorn Christmas trees, member Nancy Reige created an engraving from a picture of her dog in his memory.

getlargeimage.jpeg

After hatching the idea, the designer uses an an image, sketch, or design from online databases to create the template for an ornament, sign or engraving. Two young members Oliver and Nicholas, spent a few minutes searching for a usable drawing of an airplane in Google Images to create a unique ornament for their Christmas tree. Once the design is found or created, it is prepared using Retina Engrave, the browser-based software that interfaces with the machine. While all our creations were in wood, the machine can also cut or engrave acrylic, glass, leather and paper.

IMG_0168edit.jpg

This new machine offers the possibility to create unique signage, branded packaging, jewelry, gifts, print blocks and stamps. Check out goo.gl/jyoZQ8 for a huge variety of project ideas and inspiration employing our new machine!