• 04/10/2021 2:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Jessee Maloney, owner and operator of the brand Art School Dropout for the last 18 years (https://www.artschooldropout.net), is a professional quilter and freelance artist. She joined Makersmiths in 2017 to learn how to use the laser cutter.  Since then she has learned to use the 3D printers, vinyl cutter, t-shirt press, welding equipment, woodshop, and CNC machines to make the art work and products that she sells online and at various craft shows and conventions.  Jessee also assists our Cosplay members in helping them design and sew costumes.  During our COVD-19 initiatives, she made many face masks and has helped been instrumental in developing the new member orientation classes.

  • 04/07/2021 7:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Welcome to Spring! Makersmiths gardeners are busy and now have a volunteer horticulturist to advise them. Both Leesburg and Purcellville have garden space, and Makersmiths has a plot at the community gardens at Ida Lee.

    The Board has approved a UV flatbed printer for Makersmiths. Print samples are available at Makersmiths Leesburg to get a good look at what a UV printer can do, including monogrammed golf balls, printed acrylics, boxes, trophies, control boards, gauges, puzzles, and much more.

    While the pandemic is hopefully waning, we still need to remain vigilant and follow the CDC and Virginia guidance on group gatherings.  Members must wear a face mask at all times while inside our buildings and adhere to social distancing guidelines.  Each site has hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for use in the facilities.  We have begun to offer limited in-person classes with one instructor and up to three students per class. All classes can be found on the Makersmiths website: https://makersmiths.org/events

    While the pandemic continues, we are providing Associate Members full access to both the Leesburg and Purcellville spaces after they have taken New Member Orientation and at least one Red Tool Class.  A Red Tool is a machine or tool with the potential for personal injury or damage if misused.  Red Tool classes are available through the tool/room steward or the events link above.  Red Tool training is required for woodshops, metal shops, welding areas, CNC machines, and laser cutters.

  • 03/08/2021 11:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This March, the theme of Women’s History Month is “Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).” Women make up 48 percent of the workforce, but make up less than a third of STEM workers.

    The burgeoning makerspace movement provides advantages for startups and entrepreneurs, and the most beneficial parts are the resources it provides and the connections members make…surrounded by like-minded, creative people sharing support, ideas, and opportunities—possibly sparking a collaboration.

    We have many resourceful women that have been members for several years contributing to our community, some are highlighted here.

    Beverly Murdock, a Makersmiths member since 2017, is a multi-talented maker. By trade, she is an engineer who consults in program management, compliance, and technology strategy in the wireless telecommunications industry.  She grew up woodworking with her dad. Off hours, she enjoys cake decorating, nature photography, a variety of crafts, home renovation, and helping friends and family solve problems by making things.  She uses the laser cutter for everything from etching pumpkins to wall signs. This Christmas, she and her sister constructed giant nutcrackers that evolved into hosting a class for friends to do theirs.

    Erin Werling, a Makersmiths member since 2015, currently serves on the Board of Directors for Makersmiths. She loves to sew, quilt, and use her Cricut machine to create all kinds of things such as cutouts to make paper flowers. She even learned basic blacksmithing skills at Makersmiths-Purcellville! As a Makersmiths community outreach volunteer, Erin participated in a maker fare hosted by Loudoun County’s Rust Library to teach families how to make sidewalk chalk! Erin and fellow Makersmiths member, Jessee Maloney, like to host Crafts Nights at Makersmiths-Leesburg twice a month, and hopes to resume this family-friendly event at Makersmiths once COVID-19 restrictions end.   

    Jessee Maloney, owner and operator of the brand Art School Dropout for the last 18 years (https://www.artschooldropout.net), is a professional quilter and freelance artist. She joined Makersmiths in 2017 to learn how to use the laser cutter, and since then is now skilled using 3D printers, the vinyl cutter, t-shirt press, welding equipment, woodshop, and CNC machines to make her art work and products that she sells online and at various craft shows and conventions.  Jessee also assists our Cosplay members in helping them design and sew costumes.  During our COVD-19 initiatives, she made many face masks and has helped onboard members virtually. 

    Julie Borneman joined Makersmiths in 2018. Julie is a VNLA Certified Horticulturist Chesapeake Bay Landscaping certified. She also currently serves on the Rural Economic Development Council for Loudoun County and runs her business, Watermark Woods Native Plant Nursery (https://www.watermarkwoods.com) in Hamilton, Virginia, the only pesticide-free nursery in Loudoun County. She has her own workshop at the nursery, and makes various welded and ceramics garden art that grace native plant gardens. She is also currently serving on the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy as the board president.  As a Makersmiths member, she has shared her ceramics skills in our ceramics shop, such as teaching how to make these nested soap dishes.

    Tami Scannell and her husband, Pat, are founding members of Makersmiths. Tami has a long history of adventure and creativity.  She skied for the United States Ski Team in the sport of inverted aerials, coached the largest freestyle skiing program in the nation and her corporate career included marketing for Olympic sports, telecommunications and technology. At Makersmiths, Tami enjoys using the CNC, laser cutter, woodshop, blacksmithing, kilns and welding equipment. Her favorite projects include: A welded wine bottle Christmas tree, mentored by Jim Waldron. Christmas ornaments and signs for Snickers Gap Christmas Tree Farm. An ocean themed towel rack on the CNC, supervised and guided by Jim.  To date her "piece de resistance", is a replica of the Thomas Jefferson revolving book stand, she built under the tutelage of Mike Dewan. One of the few times, in 30 years, she was able to give Patrick something he needed and did not have.  For Tami it is curative and rewarding to make items that solve for a need or create something that gives joy. Tami states the hidden beauty of Makersmiths is getting to know other makers, sharing ideas, learning and celebrating the accomplishments of working together. Makersmiths is a unique community of ingenious and inspiring people for whom she is incredibly thankful for. The only downside is, not having enough time to do all of the projects on her wish list.

    Tami states the hidden beauty of Makersmiths is getting to know other makers, sharing ideas, learning and celebrating the accomplishments of working together. Makersmiths is a unique community of ingenious and inspiring people for whom she is incredibly thankful for. The only downside is, not having enough time to do all of the projects on her wish list.

    Her next projects include: 

    * Pounding out an Irish Kilt Pin

    * Building a toilet paper dispenser, in the wall  that automatically replaces itself and discards the inner cardboard roll  

    * Catching up with Dave Painter to make a casting of a brass moon candle holder

    These are just a handful of the amazing women that we are lucky to call members, and we'd love to wish each and every one of them a Happy Women's Month!

  • 03/07/2020 7:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When giving tours at Makersmiths we are often asked, "What do you offer for kids?" There are a number of educational initiatives Makersmiths members offer to families. This is one. It is called the KidWind Challenge. We have five middle school students that Makersmiths members volunteer to mentor.  Jennifer Chu is pictured here working with students to learn to measure the pitch of the wind turbine blades the student on the right designed and created using woodworking skills. The five Middle School KidWind team members are preparing for the Northern Virginia Challenge on April 14, 2020 at the 4H Center in Front Royal, VA. They will enter the basic challenge event using a Vernier generator and a gearbox that another Makersmiths member, Ralph Pugh, is helping the students design and create. Prior to this KidWind Challenge event, the students will display their work at the Loudoun County Public Schools Student Maker Showcase on March 26, 2020 from 5:30-7:30 PM at the Academies of Loudoun. Won't you join us that night to meet our KidWind team and to also see the Shoo-B Robot research team, also mentored by Makersmiths members Dave Painter and Mark Millsap? For more information about these events, please visit:

    LCPS Student Maker Showcase
    Northern Virginia KidWind Challenge

  • 10/05/2019 11:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On October 5, 2019, Makersmiths-Purcellville lit up its forge! We held an Open House from 1-4pm to share with the community of makers our newest making addition! If you missed the Forge Open House, please come visit us any Tuesday evening from 6-8 PM for a tour of our space. Address is 785 S. 20th Street, Purcellville, VA 20132. 

  • 10/02/2019 2:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Sept. 28 and 29, 2019, three Makersmiths members held "how-to" workshops at Rust Library in Leesburg during the library's weekend How-to Festival. On Saturday, Diane Painter taught adults and children how to make glycerin-based soaps. Dave Painter set up his laptop and a desktop CNC machine to show library visitors how he uses his computer and the CNC to create plagues. On Sunday, Erin Werling had a huge crowd at her sidewalk chalk-making station! This was a great example of how community-based maker spaces and libraries can work together to help the public understand the function and fun of maker spaces!

  • 06/18/2019 6:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On June 1st, 2019, Makersmiths had a team of six members participate in the Relay for Life of Loudoun County in the Villages of Leesburg near Wegmans. As a 1st year team, we finished as #18 of 47 total teams and raised over $1,980! The Leesburg event has raised just under $160,000 this year! Our booth received a lot of attention from Relay participants, as well as local shoppers. We raffled off several handmade items that were made and donated by our members including: resin river serving boards, horseshoe coat racks, homemade soaps, a quilt, challenge coin stands, and horseshoe wine racks. T-rex, aka Makersaurus, made several appearances sporting his Makersmiths t-shirt and he was a huge hit with people of all ages. He estimates that he was asked to take over 100 photos with people. We are already looking forward to next year’s Relay!

    Contributed by Jennifer Netsch

  • 03/16/2019 12:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On March 15, 2019, the Makersmiths' KidWind Middle School Team (Wind Overload) and Makersmiths' KidWind High School Team (Too HAWT to Handle) entered the Northern Virginia KidWind Challenge. The event was hosted by Shenandoah University and sponsored by James Madison University, Dominion Energy and others. The day was jammed packed with multiple events. Each team had to take a team quiz and participate in an instant problem-solving challenge. Then their turbines that they designed and built at Makersmiths and to be "tested" in wind tunnels to determine how much energy they can produce. Finally, they met with judges to explain the decision-making, design and construction processes they experienced when making their turbines. The highest of their trial run wind tunnel testing scores were recorded and combined with their knowledge scores and the judges' interview scores. The combined scores determined the winners of the Northern Virginia KidWind Challenge. The High School Team won first place in their Advanced Challenge division and now the team qualifies to go on to National KidWind competition (https://www.kidwindchallenge.org/p/28-2019-national-challenge). Although the Middle School team did not qualify for national competition, they did win awards for KNOWLEDGE and for Best Blade Design in the middle school division. Congrats to team members and their coaches! To learn more about the KidWind initiative at Makersmiths and see photos from the event, please visit https://sites.google.com/a/makersmiths.org/kidwind-challenge-teams/

  • 11/05/2018 3:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On November 3, 2018, Makersmiths held KidWind Energy workshops in each location (Leesburg and Purcellville) for children in elementary through high school and their parents. The purpose of the workshops was to learn about wind energy, the difference between wind mills and wind turbines, and the best way to construct wind turbines to produce energy. The workshops were led by Remy Pangle from James Madison University, a KidWind Challenge coach and coordinator for KidWind-VA. Diane Painter and seven other Makersmiths members assisted in the workshops or gave facility tours to the families. At the end of the workshops, the children were invited to learn more about KidWind Challenge-VA. They were encouraged to form teams at their schools, or to join a Makersmiths sponsored middle or high school school challenge team. Registration for the Makersmiths Middle School team for students in grades 4-8 or Makersmiths High School team for students in grades 9-12 is still open through November 10, 2018. Go to https://makersmiths.org/event-3123069 to register. Any questions? Contact diane.painter@makersmiths.org. 

  • 10/28/2018 12:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Saturday, Oct. 27, four Loudoun County fathers and their children completed a Creepy Bot workshop at Makersmiths-Purcellville. The purpose of the workshop was to review the Virginia's Standards of Learning (SOLs) on Force, Motion and Energy (specifically the Simple and Compound Machines Curriculum) as the participants assembled the Creepy Bot's parts (levers, wheels and axles, screws) to make a compound machine (the Creepy Bot). The Creepy Bot kit parts were made by Makersmiths' instructor, Ralph Pugh. Ralph downloaded the plans for the Creepy Bot from Clayton Boyer's Web site, modified them to make it easy to assemble for children working with a parent, then used the Makersmiths laser cutter to cut out the pieces. At the end of the workshop, children held Creepy Bot races! Our next family-oriented workshop is Nov. 8 from 5-6:30 PM at Makersmiths-Purcellville when participants will make soaps the whole family will enjoy! To register, go to https://makersmiths.org/event-3098468

Come see us

Makersmiths Leesburg: 106 Royal St SW, Leesburg, VA 20175
Makersmiths Purcellville: 785 S. 20th St, Purcellville, VA 20132

You can also watch Virtual Tours on our YouTube Channel!                                 

Join us

Normally the best way to get to know us better is to just come on by during one of our Open Houses:

  • Leesburg Open House: Thursdays 6-8pm
  • Purcellville Open House: Tuesdays 6-8pm

You can email info@makersmiths.org to request a tour if those days don't work for you. We're here to help get you making the best way we can!  


Makersmiths is a 501(c) non-profit organization.  106 Royal St SW, Leesburg, VA 20175

Makersmiths Anti-Discrimination Policy: Makersmiths does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.

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