The grand opening of Gillette College's Area 59 was today and we brought our red ribbon to welcome them to our community.
Senator Mike Enzi was one of the many people who turned out to tour Area 59 and see what Wyoming's newest makerspace is all about. The open source facility is for people of all ages in Campbell County that want to learn more about manufacturing, designing, and engineering. It contains 3D printers, laser cutters, a woodworking shop and even two robotic arms for anyone to use who wants to learn.
The "big idea" behind the space is to take an idea from thought to concept to prototype that then enables an entrepreneur to create and package a product for sale. This came true this month with Director Ian Scott's idea to create a toy top to give away at the grand opening, which from idea to design to production took one day.
"Literally he was taking a shower one day and he had the idea 'I should make these tops and be able to ship them out as a product.'," said Trevor, an Area 59 student at the ribbon cutting. "If it's something in your brain, it's something you can make."
Using computer schematics, they both 3D printed and woodworked the tops, as well as printing out the packaging for them. Trevor says he's working on a design for 3D printed guitars. The building is also the home of a new VEX robotics team, for kids ages 8 - 14.
Area 59 is located at 3207 South Douglas Highway. To find out more about how to get involved, visit them at Area-59.com.
Erica Kissack launched Elegant Kreations in April after spending ten years working in jewelry.
"I've always wanted to have my own store," she told Energizers and clients on October 9, when she cut the red ribbon on her Chamber membership.
While she currently is still working on her gemologist degree and will soon be able to do appraisals, she goldsmiths out of her home and attends trade shows and will make appointments with clients in person to make sure they get exactly what they are hoping for from their jewelry.
(You can see more photos on our Facebook page.)
One of her favorite techniques is a Japanese metalworking procedure called mokume-gane, which produces a finish that looks like wood grain. She brought with her gold, silver, and copper pieces showing off the look.
"I'm just like any other store where you can order a piece and get something in. I have mountings and loose stones, you name it I can make it," she says.
In addition to her own work, she sells vintage jewelry pieces, and leather- and knife-work from other local artisans, as well.
"I like to help local artists and sell their good work."
Every member that joins the Chamber of Commerce is entitled to a ribbon cutting event. Our Chamber Ambassadors, the Energizers, attend ribbon cutting events to network and learn about your business. You get to use the big scissors and cut the red ribbon on your Chamber membership!