April/May 2024 Newsletter

Monthly Membership Meeting

    June 5 7:30pm to 8:30pm

7pm for social and goofing off


Leesburg Workday June 8 9am - 2pm

check the white board in the main room for additional tasks

Purcellville Workday June 1  9am - 2pm

There's something for everyone - get those volunteer hours in!


New Member Orientation

MS-L June 3 6:30-8:00 pm

MS-P June 17 6:30-8:00 pm

register online


Makersmiths Education Initiatives

Diane Painter

La Wai

All the students on this high school KidWind solar team were on Makersmiths’ KidWind teams for several years. This year they were coached by Makersmiths’ members Justin McMillen and Maria Busuioceanu. The La Wai team won first place at both the Northern VA Regional KidWind Solar Challenge on March 14, 2024 and the Virginia State KidWind Solar Challenge on April 6, 2024.  At the regional event, the team was also given the Dream Big Award for their forward-thinking water distillation project run by solar power. They headed to the KidWind Worlds event in Minneapolis, MN that was held in the Minneapolis Convention Center May 5-8, 2024. Five teams came from Taiwan and other teams came from Mexico to join teams from the USA. 

Makersmiths' High School Team are Solar Champions!


The 2024 KidWind Worlds Experience

Coach Maria Busuioceanu

Makersmiths is pleased to announce that our very own High School KidWind team "La Wai" claimed the #1 spot at the KidWind National Solar competition in Minneapolis, MN this month! The six-student team and their coaches started meeting weekly at the Leesburg Makersmiths in November to devise and execute a solar-powered project. Their desalination machine showcased many of the skills and tools built at the Makersmiths, including a laser-cut acrylic set-up, complex electronics, and 3d printed parts. Their project and skills were put to the test at the National competition, including a renewable energy quiz, siting challenge, and project demonstration/presentation. Congratulations to Evie, Max, Jocelyn, Soren, Scar, and Zara (and coaches Justin and Maria) for their accomplishments!

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Renewable Energy Academy

Are you a homeschool parent, school teacher, scout leader, 4-H leader, a Makersmiths youth instructor? Are you looking for STEM activities that can be used to teach science curriculum? Do you need lessons and resources that can be used with youth wanting to earn a badge or build renewable energy projects?   The Renewable Energy Academy at James Madison University from June 24-28 from 9am-3pm will provide you with in-depth content sessions and hands-on experiences that cover a myriad of renewable energy curricula. In addition, participants will learn how to apply these resources to wind and solar KidWind challenges. Tours of local renewable energy facilities are also planned. Makersmiths’ member, Diane Painter, will be one of the instructors of this academy. She is one of Makersmiths’ KidWind coaches.

The $555.00 Program fee includes lodging, meals, and kit materials. A commuter rate is also available. Specific questions? Email panglerm@jmu.edu.

Register here

did you know...

you can find the newsletters from the last several years archived on our website?

I heard...

that Makersmiths was in the news! Thanks, Myron Rosmarin, for catching this scoop in the May issue of Northern Virginia Magazine!


4th of July Parade Float Build

Each year, MS-Purcellville enters the 4th of July parade in Purcellville. As you can see by the picture, we use handcarts with a board attached and build up from there! We are only limited by our imaginations! This family-friendly build event will be held on two Saturday afternoons in the Green Room, June 22 and 29 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. We would love new members and old-timer members to come, and bring a youth to help us build a cart! Come one day or both days!

We will supply the carts, the boards, various tools, hot glue, and craft supplies. No particular skills are needed, just a willingness to design, build, and have fun! Registration is free, but please register so we know to expect you! Go to https://makersmiths.org/event-5745346.

Can't make a build event but want to participate in the parade to represent Makersmiths? Please let Tom Hill know who is organizing our participation in the parade.

Explore Your Creativity in the Ceramics Studio

Bo Wernick

The ceramics studio is the perfect place to explore your creativity, spend time with friends, or learn some new skills. The weather is looking great so we will be offering new classes all through the spring and summer. Classic classes like pottery wheel intro and hand building intro are a great choice with friends and family. Some new offerings like coil pot building, ceramics for the garden, and spiral pattern bowls are a great choice for those with some experience looking to expand their skills. All classes will be available on the calendar, but high demand classes (like the wheel) will be offered to those on the waiting list a few days early. To get added to the wait list please put your name in here: https://makersmiths.org/Request-Class.For those looking to step out on their own and work independently, the space is open 24/7 for members, no signoffs required. Bring your own materials, or use some of the clay and glazes we provide. You can get the gate codes here: https://makersmiths.org/ms-p-code. Be sure to show your love for the space and clean up afterward. We will be firing all pots (glazed and greenware) at least once a month, more often if there is enough demand. Just put your projects on the shelf in the kiln room with your name and the date engraved on the bottom. (initials are fine). We offer notepads and pens if your work is too wet to pick up, and we will engrave it for you before firing. It’s always great to see the project our community is making, so hop on in and show us what you got. Here are some photos of the great projects our fellow clay crew has made so far this year.


Come Chill Out at MS-P!

The HVAC is set to cool you down. HVAC instructions for the wood and metal shop are here

Art in Town Hall with the Purcellville Makersmiths

The Purcellville Arts Council is hosting an art show featuring artists from the Purcellville Makersmiths. To be part of the show, please complete this application by August 31, 2024. The art show will be October 1 - December 31, 2024. There will be a reception during that period where artists are encouraged to invite friends and family to view all of the art on display and participate in a Q&A. 

Got a Green Thumb?

Or not! All are welcome to plant over in the Makersmiths' community plot at Ida Lee. Check out the #gardening channel in Slack. 

Crafting for Fun and Function

Diane Painter

Did you know that once a month at MSP we have a sewing circle? Hosted by Amy Copeland the second Wednesday evening of the month from 6PM-8PM, members and guests of Makersmiths meet to share ideas and projects they are working on. During our May gathering, Jennifer Chu worked on repairing a pair of jeans, Herb Buttorff learned to custom-make shades that he can use in his van, Diane Painter created a pattern for waterproof bags she wants to make for the wind tunnel fans to keep them dry when transporting them to KidWind Challenges. Amy hand-stitched a fancy dress, but mostly she helped Herb with his project. Diane also shared an idea for a beginning sewing class that Amy is working to develop. Do you have a desire to learn to sew? Send a direct message in Slack to Amy Copeland to let her know your needs! Please also join our sewing circle by registering for the event shown on the Makersmiths’ Events and Classes calendar.

In the past 18 months, Diane Painter completed several online courses with Jennifer Maker and Kirsten Abbey to learn various ways a Cricut Maker 3 can be used to create crafts such as custom greeting cards, paper and crepe flowers, customized cotton t-shirts and bags, and creating leather objects. Do you own a Cricut cutting machine but know little about how to use it? Perhaps you do not own one, but would like to learn how to use the Cricut Maker 3 at MSL and the Cricut Explore at MSP?  This summer, Diane would like to offer Cricut classes. Please direct message her in Slack to let her know what you would like to learn about the Cricut.

Jessee Maloney offered a Lego Letter Press workshop in May. What a fun way to repurpose all those legos children and their adult “lego” friends have accumulated over the years!

From #Whatcha_make_today

Dana Eddy, getting the hang of the sublimation printer on slate, with an assist from Diane Bollinger


and sublimation printing on a wind spinner as well! Nice work!

and now a word from our members...

Robin Hudspeth Schenck

I joined Makersmiths after creating an anniversary gift for my husband last year. It was our 5th anniversary and the traditional gift is wood. After spending a lonely 3 months on my balcony working on my gift, so my husband wouldn’t see, I learned of Makersmiths. I joined the next day! I knew having access to the right tools would be way better than sawing and sanding with a miter box, handsaw, and sandpaper sheets. What I didn’t know, was how amazing the community is! I loved working on the wood project, but I was missing something. People! Sharing! Synergy! I refer to Makersmiths as my “Happy Place,” and soul-filling.

Fast forward a year, the traditional 6th year anniversary gift is iron. I looked to Makersmiths to see what skills I could learn to create a gift. I was overjoyed when I found I could turn a gift idea into an experience I could share with someone I love, in a place I love.

Jim was so knowledgeable and answered several questions. He provided an incredible forging class that my husband and I took together (way better than sanding on the balcony alone for months). Neither of us had any experience in metalworking or forging. Jim gave us really cool background information on forging and was so fun to learn from. He walked us through the steps of making Viking Pizza Axes.

Jim shared that in Norse mythology, dwarves were the ones who forged weapons for the gods. My 5’ 2.5” tall self enjoyed forging alongside 2 very tall men [insert Thor joke here].
My Makersmiths journey started from making an anniversary gift by myself, yet has grown into and continues with a gift experience my hubs and I could create together with the amazing talent and teachings of Jim.

The Makersmiths’ community is so supportive!! It’s a great place to be!


Michael Davis

Ever since joining Makersmiths several years ago, I've never had a shortage of projects, only a shortage of time to complete them.

I tend to be known as a jack of all trades but unfortunately welding wasn't one of them. I'd been wanting to take a welding class for a long time but lacked an overwhelming driver for doing it.

Finally after fighting with the makeshift rigging that held my hoist to the trollies on my gantry crane, I decided this was the motivation I needed and signed up for the first available MIG welding class. 

Mike Payne was my instructor (one of many of our fabulous welding instructors) and within an afternoon I was ready to take on my first welding project.

Some quick design work, a 1/4" plywood mockup and a trip to Winchester Metals and I was ready to build the perfect mount for my hoist.

Looking back on how simple it was, I don't know why I waited so long!


Thanks to Diane B for sublimation printer class last night, I like to make silly things for friends...

Russ Kelz

Did you know...

Makersmiths has a blog on their home page? 

Makersmiths is on Instagram?

Makersmiths has a YouTube page?

The Newsletter could always use some new blood - share your projects, pitch some article ideas, tell me about something cool you've seen in your Maker travels! 

Red Tool Classes are an important step in your Maker journey!


More classes will be added at MS-L through out the month

Sublimation Printing - 6/10, 6/26

Chess Night - 5/27

Wood Bowl Turning - 5/28

Red Tool Training UV Printer - 5/29

Laser Cutter Rotary Tool - 6/8

Pre-Teen & Teen Intro to Bookbinding: Post It Note Books - 6/17


Red Tool Media Blast Cabinet, Powder Coating, and Paint Booth - 5/28, 6/4

Sewing Circle - 6/12

Red Tool Woodworking Basics - 6/13

Red Tool Woodworking Adv - 6/16

Red Tool Metalworking Basics - 6/19

MIG Welding Beginning Workshop - 5/31

Blacksmith Power Hammer Red Tool - 6/2

Blacksmithing Knife and Pfriem - 6/2-6/5 3 sessions

Circuit Workshop Working with Leather - 6/7

Beginning Blacksmithing: Viking Pizza Axe - 6/16

Beginning Blacksmithing: Dragon Scale Poker - 6/16

Scrappy Stained Glass Suncatchers - 6/16

4th of July Parade Float Build - 6/22-6/29 2 sessions

Makersmiths runs on volunteers!

Consider teaching a class or holding a workshop

check out the #class_planning_and_requests channel on Slack and join a meeting to get some help with your idea!

check back on the website - new classes are added all the time


Dean Williamson

Makersmiths has lots of cool and useful tools, machines, and equipment.  Many of them require training or authorization before you can use the equipment.  The training can be as simple as an orientation, to a more formal “red tool” class, to demonstrating proficiency to the tool steward.  Such mandatory training helps ensure that all users understand how to use the equipment properly and safely, thus helping to keep the equipment running smoothly and minimize maintenance downtime as well as ensuring the safety of our members.

Below is a list of the tool groups which require training and for which we are tracking authorizations, or tool “sign-offs”. The tool steward(s) are listed next to each tool group, along with the method by which to get authorized to use the tools independently. Please contact the steward for more information about each tool. This list is not exhaustive of the tools available at Makersmiths and is updated regularly as we get new equipment or as needed.

The most current version of this list is posted on the Makersmiths wiki under “Tools, Materials & Training”.  Please check out the list.  You might discover a new tool that you didn’t realize Makersmiths had.

Tool GroupSteward(s)Authorization Method
MS - New Member OrientationMark MillsapNew Member Orientation Class
MS - 3D Printer FDMScott SilversRed Tool Class
MS - 3D Printer SLAScott Silvers
Jessee Maloney
Red Tool Class
MS - Lasercutter AdvancedJohn Dubelko
Jessee Maloney
John Carter
Red Tool Class
MS - Lasercutter BasicJohn Dubelko
Jesse Maloney
John Carter
Red Tool Class
MS - Lasercutter RotaryJohn Dubelko
Jesse Maloney
John Carter
Red Tool Class
MS-L - AnodizingBrad HessContact Steward
MS-L - Big RedJonathan White
Brad Hess
Red Tool Class
MS-L - Metal ShopBrad HessContact Steward
MS-L - Powder CoatingBrad HessContact Steward
MS-L - Router TableMike DeWanContact Steward
MS-L - Sawstop AdvancedMike DeWanContact Steward
MS-L - Sewing MachinesJessee MaloneyContact Steward
MS-L - TormachBrad HessContact Steward
MS-L - UV PrinterJohn Carter
Jessee Maloney
Red Tool Class
MS-L - UV Printer RotaryJohn Carter
Jessee Maloney
Red Tool Class
MS-L - WoodshopMike DeWanRed Tool Class
MS-L - WoodturningBryan Boston
Ken Fuentecilla
Red Tool Class
MS-P - BlacksmithingAdam "Squirrl" McClintock
Jim Waldron
Red Tool Workshop
MS-P - Blast CabinetEvin GranoContact Steward
MS-P - EBFJim Waldron
Jonathan White
Red Tool Class and subsequent check-ride
MS-P - Gorton MillDave PainterContact Steward
MS-P - KilnBo WernickContact Steward
MS-P - Metal AdvancedDave Painter
Jim Waldron
Contact Steward
MS-P - Metal BasicDave Painter
Jim Waldron
Red Tool Class
MS-P - Metal LatheDave PainterContact Steward
MS-P - Plasma CNCJim WaldronContact Steward
MS-P - Plasma CutterJim WaldronContact Steward for proficiency demonstration
MS-P - Powder CoatingEvin GranoContact Steward
MS-P - Power HammerAdam "Squirrl" McClintockRed Tool Class
MS-P - Sewing MachineJim WaldronContact Steward
MS-P - Surface GrinderDave PainterContact Steward
MS-P - Welding - GasJim Waldron
John Johnson
Proficiency demonstration sign-off from any of: Jim Waldron, John Johnson
MS-P - Welding - MIGJim Waldron
John Johnson
Proficiency demonstration sign-off from any of: Jim Waldron, John Johnson, Dilip Patel
MS-P - Welding - StickJim Waldron
John Johnson
Proficiency demonstration sign-off from any of: Jim Waldron, John Johnson, Skip Smith
MS-P - Welding - TIGJim Waldron
John Johnson
Proficiency demonstration sign-off from any of: Jim Waldron, John Johnson
MS-P - Woodshop AdvancedDave PainterRed Tool Class
MS-P - Woodshop BasicDave PainterRed Tool Class
MS-P - WoodturningBryan BostonContact Steward

Board/Officer Name



Brad Hess

Board Member


Bev Murdock

Board Member/Secretary


Scott Silvers

Board Member


Jessee Maloney

Board Member


Jonathan White

Board Member/Chairperson


Jennifer Chu

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