The Iron Range Makerspace (IRM) has been open in Hibbing for five years; yet people still ask, “What is that yellow building?” Some have heard it’s a makerspace; but I wonder what a makerspace is!
A makerspace is a shop, a personal factory. It is member-based; people pay a monthly fee to use the facility and have access to EVERYTHING, so a makerspace is much cooler than a gym! This one has a gym and lots of heavy industrial equipment to DO stuff with.
A celebration is planned for Saturday, June 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join us for some interactive fun!
In Hibbing, in this yellow building, people have access to over $500,000 in resources and nearly 12,000 square feet of retail. There is the High Tech Shop, Woodshop, Fabrication Bay, commercial kitchen, gym and a retail front with opportunities for members to sell what they make. Johnson Upholstery has transferred all of its activities to this Makerspace.
Training is available on all equipment, so members often try out tools they’ve never used before. IRM takes care of the maintenance and cleaning. Members provide their own raw materials. Products can be sold directly to customers or through IRM’s retail section.
IRM has created a culture of manufacturing and supports entrepreneurs and innovation. It has become a community of creators. Individuals help each other grow, try new ideas and equipment, like laser watercolor paper cutting and more! Free introductory courses are offered to members and experienced workers available to help in stores. Individual members can also offer paid courses at IRM, usually with a member discount. The forge was very popular. Most events are shared on Facebook.
Many members run their own businesses from the Iron Range Maker space, meet customers, and sell in the retail space. For example, “Silk Scarf Painting with Charlotte” had its most profitable year in 2021, selling primarily directly to IRM customers.
Artisans and makers produce everything from A to Z, including many types of art, blacksmithing, clothing, coffee mugs, crochet items, designs, face masks, prints, epoxy river tables, fire rings, holidays, home decor, ice fishing spears. , jewelry, knitting, knives, laser engraving, paintings, photography, plaques, saw blade cutouts, scarves, carving, seasonal items, shawls, signs, stained glass, stickers, T-shirts, trophies, woodworking, and more other custom, special order items along these lines. The industrial kitchen hosted canning and cooking classes, a gourmet 4-course Mediterranean dinner, as well as the production of commercial food and bakery products.
This summer, the Iron Range Makerspace celebrates its fifth anniversary in this yellow building. We invite the whole range to stop by for a free visit. Visits are FREE. The IRM is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
Special events to celebrate the anniversary include: Saturday, June 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Iron Range Makerspace celebrates five years of making! Outside, visit the ‘Go Figur’ food truck and ‘The Northern Star Bakery’ tent. Inside, join us for a special handmade tiered cake and admire the non-matching cake, also tiered but constructed from metal, wood and plastic. Also during the event:
Shop new inventory on the retail front. Meet Andrew, the owner of the Iron Range Makerspace, at the bar and tell him what you’d like to see in a second Hibbing building he’s buying. Check out the vendors at the craft fair as you browse the stores.
Enjoy special interactive creative experiences for all ages for FREE. Make a leather keychain. Learn how to create color patterns with Shibori folding and food coloring. Try non-traditional acrylic paint without a brush – not finger paint, but other readily available “tools”. Dab on some alcohol ink and see what you create. Watch demonstrations of the robot from the Hibbing High School First Robotics team.
From 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., Joe Hanegmon will play the accordion; expect traditional accordion music and feel free to sing along. From 1 to 2 p.m., members of Crescendo’s youth and community orchestras will perform delightful folk melodies and fiddle pieces. From 2-4 p.m., John Backman will host an Open Jam Session with familiar tunes and welcome all instruments and singers. There is no charge, but tips are certainly welcome.
Want to know more? Consult the website, www.ironrangemakerspace.com. Find us on Facebook. Call or text 218-966-1192. Visit this yellow building on Highway 169, located at 704 West 41st Street, Hibbing, MN.
Charlotte Hanegmon is the Energizer of the Iron Range Makerspace in Hibbing.