July 2022 Newsletter

President's Message


The president leads and coordinates the day-to-day activities of the organization. The board of directors is the organization's strategic level and the president, officers, and stewards are at the operational level.

The president's duties include but are not limited to this list:

  • running the monthly member meeting
  • submitting a president's message for the newsletter
  • attending the board meetings
  • implementing organizational policy
  • filling in for key committee chairs when vacant
  • finding committee chairs and stewards
  • coordinating activities across stewards and committees
  • answering member questions
  • approving access rights for wild apricot (membership and website software)
  • building processes for the organization, like how someone gets door access
  • running a safety program
  • looking for better business opportunities
  • dealing with member conflicts
  • dealing with emergencies
  • accepting donations other than cash
  • coming up with business plans for new equipment

Makersmiths currently does not have a President.

Education Initiative

The Tinkercad workshops held at Makersmiths-Purcellville during the month of July were a huge success. This family-friendly event captivated three dads, two moms and seven youth entering grades 4-9 for four Friday afternoons. Retired teacher and Makersmiths member, Diane Painter, and Makersmiths member and professional Autocad user, Lukacs Burgher, led the workshops. During the workshops, participants viewed and followed along with the Tinkercad video tutorials created Promoambitions (https://promoambitions.com/tinkercad) to learn basic and advanced features of this easy to learn Computer-Assisted-Design (CAD) web-based program. Participants learned shape manipulation, scaling objects, the group/ungroup feature, how to use the align and flip tools, slicing of objects, keyboard shortcuts and so much more. On the last day of the workshop, participants learned to import, export, share and download files. Then they sent their creations to the 3D printers to print. A huge thanks to Natalia Burrus and her sons, Nick and Max, and our new 3D Printing Steward, Scott Silvers, for helping get the 3D printers up to the task of printing the objects made in the workshops.

Cameron's chicken creations

Aoz' house creation

Nick's sign for his bedroom door

In other Ed Initiative news:

Diane Painter completed a ReCharge Academy training in July that was held at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico. At the training, she met over 50 educators and Renewable Energy professionals to learn about industry research and development initiatives in the USA and Africa that Diane can share with youth completing KidWind projects this coming year. She also came away with interesting activities that we can create such as teaching about how the power grid works.

Anyone want to help make a power grid activity?

Here are two examples:

Power Grid 1

Power Grid 2

...or this solar panel stand that participants can use to show parallel and series circuits with solar panels? 

Parade! Floats!

Makersmiths once again joined the Purcellville 4th of July Parade with our Maker Spirit on display! Using four hand trucks and the creative efforts of many different member families Makersmiths showed what we can do.

First up, our lovely Butterfly float. Tammi Scannell created the butterfly on a CnC, Diane Painter painted it and made the flowers. Jennifer Chu and Ken F attached the butterfly and flowers to the garden floor. 

Tom Hill created a float that advertised Makersmiths and showed various signs made with a CnC, shown here in the "test run"

Adam Pricer and son Aoz made a robot float- with the arms rotating as the float moved along

KidWind Wind and Solar team members created a solar house with lights powered by a solar panel and incorporated the KidWind Kiosk project as its front door. There was a wind turbine behind the house with blades made by both wind turbine teams

Many thanks to Bob Cline’s neighbor who used his 1947 Farmwell tractor to pull the floats in the parade!

Did you know...

Makersmiths has a blog on their home page? 

Makersmiths is on Instagram?

Makersmiths has a YouTube page?

You can support Makersmiths using Amazon Smile for your purchases?

Girl Scouts at Makersmiths Leesburg!

Makersmiths recently hosted Girl Scout Service unit 37-1 for 2 days of their yearly week-long art camp. This is the second year for this troop and Jessee hopes it will become an annual tradition. The scouts learned about lasers and vector designs and then set to work on this year's project: fairy houses! Each girl sketched out their own design, and then sat at the computer to turn what began as a simple box file in an intricate house. Some of the scouts requested benches, bridges, curved roofs, and more. The designs were then laser cut and assembled. Fun was had by all including their instructor extraordinaire, Jessee Maloney!

Check out these great photos of the fairy houses put together. Are you interested in this as a class at MS-L? Let Jessee know!

Book Nook

Stosh Kowalski

Instead of building large projects like shelves and farmhouse tables, I decided to go in the other direction and try a book nook diorama.  A book nook is a tiny little room that you position between your books to give the illusion that that there is another world hidden behind your shelves. This is sometimes also referred to as a diorama or a bookshelf insert. 

The first (and sometimes hardest) part is deciding what you want to make - a scene from a favorite movie or book, or a general genre (like a Japanese anime street scene) or a forest setting? Google "book nook dioramas" and you'll see endless possibilities. After that there's planning and laying out your idea to (1) make sure it's feasible and (2) figuring what pieces, parts and small-scale construction you're going to need to do. 

Once I decided to do one of my favorite scene from Lord of the Rings and planning it out, I needed the box that everything goes in. As this was my first, I decided not to challenge myself too much and bought a laser cutter plan from the etsy shop of professional crafter Jen Schachter for $10 (https://www.etsy.com/shop/JenSchachter). Because you can modify the plans once you have them to any width, depth or height, it's a good design you can reuse. It’s also a design that splits in two for easier working, until you’re almost done and ready to fuse it together. 

As I was doing the scene of the Doors of Moria from LOTR, I needed a cliff and shoreline. I used pink foam board from Home Depot and easily carved it out with my Dremel and a sander bit. The door itself I did on the laser cutter and engraved in the door graphics, with a plan to light it from behind. For lighting I purchased the battery pack and LEDs from the very extensive, yet inexpensive selection at Evan Designs online. 

The next step was learning to make trees. After researching online, I decided to go with floral wire bunched up into a rough tree shape, covered with hot glue. With various acrylic paints, YouTube videos on the best way to apply them, and some mossy greenery from Michaels attached, they came out okay. I also used a wet-painting technique on the cliff and shore, and painted the rest of the inside of the box black. 

There are tons of options for a front piece, if you even choose to have one at all, but I ended up using more ¼” acrylic. I painted the backside then etched out The Doors of Durin in various Tolkien fonts. After making a wooden backside that would nest into the nook, I wired it up with more LEDs.  

After that it was down to pouring the epoxy for the water (a scary thing in itself) and details. YouTube videos again for learning how to not mess up the epoxy, the tinting and wavelets, and dismembered a plastic octopus from Michaels for the lake creature’s tentacles. 

Finally, I dressed up the front and outside the box, covering the rest of the box with printed-out fake book covers to make it integrate into the shelf. As you’ll see by the titles I went with a bit of snark. Happy to answer any questions.  

Upcoming Classes

Makersmiths is run by volunteers - you, too, can become an instructor and increase the number of class times we offer!


Cosplay - 8/4, 8/11, 8/18, 8/25

Intro to Fusion 360 CAD/CAM (2 sessions) - 8/5 and 8/6

Laser Cutter Intro - 8/9

Big Red CnC Operation - 8/11

Red Tool UV Printer - 8/15

Red Tool Woodworking - 8/16


Red Tool Woodworking Basics - 8/11

Red Tool Woodworking Adv - 8/14

Red Tool Metalworking Basics - 8/17

check back - new classes are offered all the time

Board/Officer Name



Brad Hess

Board Member


Bev Murdock

Board Member/Secretary


Dave Painter

Board Member


Jessee Maloney

Board Member


Jonathan White

Board Member/Chairperson


Scott Newman

Board Member


Mike DeWan

Board Member





John Dubelko



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

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