Jason Davies: From Maker to Seller
Jason Davies, one of Bellingham Makerspace’s founders, teachers and operations managers, is now selling creations at the Makerspace. He took the time to answer a few questions about his journey from maker to seller.
His first memories as a maker were as a child, handing tools to his father, who built a log splitter on an old boat trailer when Jason was six. “I was always disappointed in my artistic skills and felt I could never realize the thing that was in my head using my skillset until I learned how to use digital design tools like Photoshop and Illustrator. When I paired those tools with a vinyl cutter, 3D printer and laser cutter, it opened up a new world for me. I could design on the computer and make a real thing in real life!”
Jason teaches classes in using the laser cutter, one of his favorite tools. “I love to find any excuse to use the laser cutter. I keep thinking of new ways to use it! I’m usually cutting 1/8-inch plywood to make store displays, art objects, Christmas ornaments and signs for around the Makerspace.” He also teaches classes in the vinyl cutter and vector graphics. He helps develop other teachers and classes. You can sign up for classes here.
Jason is planning several programs at the Makerspace, including “a vocational and skill-training skateboard-making program for at-risk youth as well as a group that makes needed items for rescue animals (like 3D printed wheelchairs and carts).” If you want to help, contact Jason at [email protected].
Jason makes gifts for friends and family that later develop into products to sell. One of his most popular projects have been “custom car emblems that reference fictional starships” including an emblem of “FALCON: Millennium Edition.” His brother loved the gift. Jason has sold them on Esty. There are also some for sale in the Makerspace retail center. He is also selling laser-engraved gifts and a finger-labyrinth with a Lord of the Rings theme, pictured below.
Jason closed on an encouraging note. “Making stuff is fun and your fellow Makerspace members are an invaluable resource to help you along the way. Bring in your projects; ask about other’s work. Our maker community is a FANTASTIC asset for collaboration, learning and inspiration. Take advantage!”
Makers Making Change Donation
Eighty percent of people living with a disability use some kind of aid or assistive device on a daily basis to increase their independence. However, the cost of many assistive technologies can be prohibitively expensive and people may not be able to acquire the assistive devices they need to fully participate in our communities. For many, the accommodations they need are not often addressed through standard commercial offerings and frequently need customization to be effective. A lack of access to affordable assistive technologies further isolates and marginalizes people with disabilities and limits their full inclusion in our communities. There is an untapped potential in the maker community that can positively impact the lives of people with disabilities.
Bellingham Makerspace’s Mary Elliott is the Washington State Chapter Leader for Makers Making Change, a nonprofit organization based in Canada. Makers Making Change offers a platform for makers to volunteer their time to fabricate a solution for someone in need of assistive technology. Their website, makersmakingchange.com, contains a repository of designs and projects. People with disabilities and their families can request a project that they feel will help address their barriers.
The Canadian government has told Makers Making Change that they can no longer fund events in the United States, so they have donated the contents of their storage locker in Blaine to the Makerspace so that we may continue to serve people with assistive technology needs. The locker contains Arduinos, soldering irons, and other equipment. Bellingham Makerspace is deeply grateful for this donation and opportunity.