October 2021 Newsletter

Congrats to Jessee Maloney, placing 2nd in her neighborhood Halloween Decoration Contest. Can't wait to see Christmas!

President's Message

John Dubelko

Greetings Members,

We are approaching the holidays, and the workshops will be seeing even

more activity. Remember rule number one, be excellent to each other. We have online schedules to book several of the more popular tools. You can find them under members-only content at makersmiths.org. Those that use the schedule have priority over walk-ins. If you have a project that will need to stay overnight, coordinate with the room steward or talk with the site manager. It needs to be somewhere that will not impede others from using the space, and they can help you with that. Make sure your name, phone number, and the date are on the project.

A group would like Makersmiths to sponsor a Boy Scout Venturing Crew. Venturing is an inclusive program for males and females, ages 14-20 and you can find more information about it on the BSA website.  If you are interested in helping, please check out the scouting channel on Slack.  We are looking for someone to reestablish the scouting committee and be its chairperson.  At least three members have to be on the committee. They would be in charge of working out the details and bringing the motion for sponsorship to the board of directors. 

Lastly, there are some new ceramics classes posted.  Handbuilding 101 will have four sessions, one each week.  You will make different projects utilizing various techniques, including slab building, coil building, textures, and more.  Upon the completion of the class, students will have several finished pieces to take home.

Check out the events calendar at makersmith.org for more information and to sign



Happy Thanksgiving,

John Dubelko


Chairman's Statement

Dave Painter

At the Oct. 27th meeting, the Board of Directors voted to approve a few modifications and clarifications to the By Laws and Standing Rules.* Many of the changes and/or additions that the Board voted on are minor clarifications of policy but one of them bears highlighting here.  

“Presenters/instructors/organizers should make efforts to limit the impact of their class on other members' activity in the space and that those classes/workshops/events have priority in the space.”

Inevitably as membership, facility usage, and the demand for classes all grow, we will occasionally run into conflicts. The above change to the standing rules seeks to alleviate this problem. In plain language:

- Classes/Workshops/events have priority over other activities.

- Presenters/Instructors/organizers should strive to limit the impact of their activity on the space as much as possible.

Suggestions for members;
It is always a good idea to check the calendar to see what activities are scheduled before heading to either location to work on a project. If a class is scheduled in the area in which you wish to work then you may need to come at a different time.

Be aware that the noise you make can be a problem even if there is no activity scheduled in the space you’re working in. For example, if a class is scheduled in the green room in Purcellville and the wood working shop is free there is still a problem if you are running the dust collector and the planer in the wood shop as the class in the green room won’t be able to hear their instructor. The same can be said for running the laser in Leesburg when there is a class going on in the main room.

Suggestions for Presenters/Instructors/Organizers;
When planning a class/workshop/activity try to choose a time when the space is not at peak demand. Early mornings or later afternoons on the weekends are often good. Before scheduling an event check the calendar for other classes/workshops/activities to avoid conflicts. Try to minimize your impact on the space so that other activities can still take place without conflicts.

* The minutes of Board meetings may be reviewed by members by going to the Makersmiths web site, clicking the “Get To Know Us” tab, clicking on “Wiki” and then choosing “Meeting Notes- Board of Directors”, and choosing the meeting you’re interested in by date.

Kid Friendly Makersmith Events

There are a number of initiatives that are coming up that may be of interest to families. First up is a Create Dried Flower Thanksgiving Themed Plaques taught by Diane Painter and Tammi Scannel on Thursday November 4 from 6-8pm at MS-Leesburg. Diane and Tammi have been drying summer flowers and laser cutting plaques to cover with the dried flowers. Please register https://www.makersmiths.org/event-4509433

Is your child interested in science and green energy initiatives? Please come to the KidWind information meeting to learn more about the national Kidwind.org challenge initiatives on Sat. Nov 6 2pm at MS-Purcellville. In the past two years, Makersmiths’ middle school and high school teams have won several Virginia state awards for their wind turbine and solar panel projects.  At this meeting, we will determine student interest and form teams for this year’s March 2022 challenge competitions. Please register at  https://www.makersmiths.org/event-4483501

Would you like to make designer soaps as holiday gifts? Please join us for a Holiday Gift Soap Making Workshop Dec 11 from 1-3pm at MS-Purcellville. To register, go to  https://www.makersmiths.org/event-4500140

Looking ahead to March 2022 when Loudoun County Public Schools has its annual Maker Faire. Students can enter their maker-made projects. Diane Painter is on the planning committee for that so stay tuned for more announcements.

A Three-tiered Turkey for your Thanksgiving Decor

Sign up for the Nov 4 Create Dried Flower Thanksgiving Themed Plaques 

Holiday Soaps make great stocking stuffers and hostess gifts!

Sign up for the December 11th Holiday Gift Soap Making Workshop

From COVID Creative Outlet to My Own Business

Kristina Rall

My passion for woodworking was born when I built a custom pantry after the wire shelves in ours began pulling away from the wall. Then I made a few desks at the start of COVID lockdown. One thing led to another and the more skills I developed, through watching YouTube videos and practicing, the more I wanted to learn.

I have never been an artsy person. I hated art class in school and can’t draw at all but after taking the laser engraving class, a whole new world opened up. I created epoxy inlay boards. My first was a seahorse for our swim club’s 4th of July raffle and from there, it has grown into a small business. I have a great group of friends who saw what I was doing and asked me to make boards for them. They would give me a general idea of what they want and I’d take it from there. Every board I have made is special - another seahorse, a University of Tennessee “T”, a memory board of a fallen soldier. I have several Christmas gift orders in progress - a blue crab, a surfboard, and the name of a beach house.

My current order is for the man who sold me my first walnut boards. Without his generosity, I would not be where I am a year later. He is getting married in a few weeks and asked me to make boards for their wedding party, each with the state of Virginia engraved and filled with either blue or clear epoxy. I’m surprising him and his fiancée with a special board made from a cutoff of the very first maple board I bought from him. I’m not sure why I kept it but I’m glad I did. 

Woodworking has become my passion. It gives me an outlet for my newfound creativity and keeps me active. I’m looking forward to possibly sharing what I have learned and love with others at Makersmiths through classes.

IG: @kaperswoodworks



Making Halloween

Jessee Maloney

For the past 3 years, my husband and I have been decorating our house in a very vibrant version of Beetlejuice. We were born in the early 80’s and grew up in the 90’s, so we both have fond memories of the movie AND the animated show. So we pull from both. 

It started with a 9’ blow up sandworm and each year we add a new spotlight or something. However, this year we went the extra mile with custom printed signs, flower arrangements, a Beetlejuice mannequin and more. 


I'm often asked where my ideas come from, and it’s hard to say, actually. They just appear in my head, or, for example, with my flower arrangements, I see one element like the vinyl masks and I just let my brain run with it. I had the image of what I wanted back in April 2021. I ordered the masks from Amazon in June, picked up the inexpensive flower pots from Lowes in July, and started keeping an eye out for faux flowers on sale around the same time.

To start, I rifled my recycle bin and loaded up the two flower pots with paper and bubble wrap. After smashing it down, I added a huge piece of scrap foam on top of each, placed a weight on top and used expanding foam around the edges and underneath to fill voids. This gave me a nice foundation to work with. 

The masks presented me with just as many small steps as the flower pots. Turns out, you can’t just fill a mask with expanding foam! It loses it shape that way. So I filled each one with scrap foam, or, in the case of Barbara, an actual foam head. And little by little I filled in the gaps. This process took about two weeks since I was very meticulously filling them. I even had to clamp the teeth on one so they didn’t fill with foam and get all blobby looking. Once they were all dry and hardened, I used a sharp pvc pipe to stick them into the flower pots.

I learned quickly that it’s actually hard to find inexpensive flowers in black btw. I exhausted my options at all the local craft stores and dollar stores, and had to start looking for alternatives. So after lots of research, and some tests, I found you can spray paint faux flowers with a special paint meant just for them. Sadly though, a lot of stores were sold out of black. It took me weeks to find any. So in the meantime, I also found that artist grade acrylic spray paint works as well, since it’s less harsh. You need to spray a UV resistant clear coat for flowers on it afterwards. The clear coat is way easier to get my hands on. I spent about 3 weeks off and on painting flowers in between other projects. Towards the end I had better luck finding fun flowers since Halloween decorations were out. I’m glad I did, too, because the time crunch forced me to use colors not originally in my plan, but ones that worked beautifully, like those red flowers and purplish hanging ones. 

The final assembly for these took about 4 hours with the help from my 11yr old daughter. I did the flowers on the sides and she did the ones in the front. We left the back blank, since they were going up against a wall. 

We’ve had these things outside for two weeks and they still look fantastic. They were a huge hit on Halloween too. 

Let this inspire a few extra touches to your Winter Holiday decorations!

Dungeons & Dragons at Makersmiths

Have you ever wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons but didn't know how? Do you have fond memories of weekend afternoons spent with friends rolling the dice hoping your Palidin gets a critical hit? Well, friends, you are in luck! Every two weeks on Sundays and Thursdays, our Dungeons and Dragons Role Playing Gaming group meets up at MS-L or MS-P - check the new color coded calendar for exact times and locations! 

The best part? You don't need to have been a lifelong player! This game is designed for people to jump in at any time, and is great for people of all ages.  New players are welcome! 

Contact Anthony at anthony.lesink@makersmiths.org for more info.

~ photos by Kevin Stanton

Painting Miniatures

Remember painting lead figures of D&D characters years ago? Thankfully, we have an unleaded option for you - and for anyone wanting to paint up any kind of miniature, not just gaming figures. Your creativity is your only limit!

The Painting Miniatures class is two sessions, each running 2 1/2 - 3 hours long, where the instructor will show you how to paint your miniature. The first session has everyone painting the same character so you can learn together. Then, you put your newfound skills to use in the second session painting a figure you choose from those the instructor has available. You walk away with a painted figure after each session!

Consider these for Holiday Gifts and sign up for a November Class!

Contact Brian at gethunit001@gmail.com or on Slack for more info about Painting Miniatures.

Just a quick sidenote - the class uses 3D resin figures. Want to expand your hobby and be on your path to designing your very own miniatures, start to finish? The 3D Resin Printer 101 class is a great place to begin your journey.

Ask Michael James at michael.james@makersmith.org about Elegoo Mars Resin Printer (donated by Elegoo!!) for more information about upcoming 3D Resin Printer 101 classes and possible follow on classes.

Coming up Roses


1" copper tube x 18" cut into approximately 3" pieces

1/4 inch copper tube (stem)



Belt Sander

Spindle Sander

Propane Torch

Anneal the pieces, cut them lengthwise, hammer flat, anneal again. Work fast! Copper hardens quickly!

Drill a 9/32" hole in each piece for the 1/4" copper tubing stem. Cut a shape somewhat resembling a barbell out of each one, leaving the hole in the center. 

Use the leftover piece to make into a four leaf sepal.

Hammer using both flat face to thin the petals and a chisel hammer to texture lines into the petals. Bend the top of the stem over to catch the pieces, feed them down the stem and solder the base of the stack. 

Bend and curl the leaves up and inward in an overlapping and alternating fashion to create the rose.

*search YouTube tutorials for "copper rose" to see some great visuals.

This is Jeffrey Kannegeisser's first attempt at a copper rose. Absolutely beautiful!

He plans to make more and is happy to answer any questions you may have - reach out on Slack.


Upcoming Workday for Frame Shop! The vinyl siding needs to go up and we need helping hands to make it happen. If you have knowledge or tools to help with this project, we'd love to talk to you as well! Contact Teresia Scott by email or on Slack.


We have been working very hard on updating the Leesburg location to be even more inclusive, comfortable and usable. This past week we disposed of several outdated pieces of equipment and furniture to make room for even better pieces and for more workspace!

To add on to this cleaning and rearranging momentum, we will be having TWO workdays this month. One on our normal second Saturday of the month, the 13th, and then the next day Sunday the 14th. We are hoping this gives everyone who wants to fulfill their volunteer hours a chance to do so. Plus, it means we can work on bigger projects over a two day span.

If you can’t make either of these days, please let Jessee know on Slack or by email and she can pass on a solo project that can be done anytime.

As always, thank you to everyone who has volunteered and helped make our ideas a reality.

What's New? 

The Events Calendar is now color coded for easy identification of location, virtual, meeting type, work days, and private events.

There are a lot of great upcoming classes to help you get your Holiday Maker game going! Check out the Red Tool Classes to get certified in your tool of choice so you have time to get some practice in.

If the class you are interested in is full, check with the instructor to find out when another class may be happening in the future so they know if there is interest in more instruction.

Tell your friends about our Open House Nights at MS-P on Tuesdays and MS-L on Thursdays. Can't make those nights? Reach out and see if there is another time that works for your friends to get a tour of the facilities. For instant gratification when you are telling friends about our amazing spaces, you can pull up our online site tours on YouTube - MS-P and MS-L - and be sure to let them know it has only improved from when those were recorded!

Makersmiths Leesburg: 106 Royal St SW, Leesburg, VA 20175

Makersmiths Purcellville: 785 S. 20th St, Purcellville, VA 20132