Makerspace provides clay, tools and instructions to Clay Night participants, but the rest is up to them. | Georgie de Mattos/Mustang News

Will Peischel
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Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, but Sara Schultz opts to wear her paint on her pants.

Maybe there’s something liberating about losing the smock and accepting the smudges — or maybe she just forgot to put her smock on in the first place. Whatever the answer is, Schultz sits right at home in the “adult playland” of MakerSpace in San Luis Obispo.

On Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m. at MakerSpace, Schultz and her painting pants are in charge. After all, it is Clay Night. Between offering thoughtful direction to the participants and advising someone on throwing a ceramic piece, she explained what landed her there.

“Well, I was looking for a welding class and I found this place online,” the clay guru said. “They were like, ‘We’re looking for teachers and we need someone to do ceramics.’ I just kind of poked my head in and it worked out.”

Schultz may have found her place, but between laughs she made a confession: “I still haven’t taken the welding class yet.”

For being a single “space,” MakerSpace offers an astounding number of technical and art-related options. If you were wondering, there’s even a doily machine.

I repeat: a doily machine.

Watch the audio slideshow to learn more about MakerSpace. Click “captions” to identify each speaker.

Slideshow by Georgie de Mattos

Nathan Holben works as the welding guru and stand-in tour guide at MakerSpace. The space offers opportunities for artistic fulfillment — even beyond the doily machine.

“We’re basically just providing a space where you can put creative people together where they can collaborate on projects or take the class they really need to take,” he said. “If they have a class they’re interested in, they’re welcome to take it. It’s good because if you have this project in mind and you’re not skilled in the craft you need to do it, you come here — there’s more likely than not someone who will be able to help you with whatever it is.”

Holben went on to explain that when students don’t have the opportunity to work with the tools they need, MakerSpace offers a solution.

“This is a place where people can have access to thousands of dollars of tools for 45 bucks,” he said.

Those thousands of dollars of tools span from a few 3-D printers to music-making software to a laser engraver to conventional carpentry machines.

That’s what MakerSpace is all about: sharing ideas and content to help everyone in a friendly, utilitarian manner.

3D printer guru Nate Brading elaborated on the benefits of the three 3D printers on site in such a way that aligned perfectly with the dogma of MakerSpace. Inspiration can be instilled in anybody; with tools and an encouraging space to create, a lot is possible.

“That’s really how these things evolve so fast,” he said. “If you keep it all to yourself, you’re limited to the amount of minds that you have. It’s crazy what an open source world can really let us accomplish.”

Schultz and her pants fall right into that category as well. MakerSpace is somewhere she can share her love for getting messy.

“There’s something so playful about being in mud,” Schultz said. “It unleashes this thing in you. It’s very calming and chilling and not a stressful environment at all. When you leave, you just kind of leave feeling really good, like you went to a yoga class, or on a five-mile run or something. I think it’s really good for people to experience, even if just as a one time thing.”

See it all for yourself at the MakerSpace open house on Dec. 6.

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