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BWB NEWS 02/05/2019

Civic Ignition Grant Update: Sparkhaus Hub

New Zealand & Australia Leadership Gathering Civic Ignition Grant Winner
Project Name: Sparkhaus Studio, Burner Makerspace & Community Hub

One of our 2018 Civic Ignition Grant winners is Sparkhaus Studio, Burner Makerspace & Community Hub. 30 people participated in the development and execution of the project, and it’s already been experienced by more than a hundred community members:  Organizer Leanna Pugliese writes about their implementation process, and the success that they’re experiencing:

We’ve opened a burner makerspace! It is part theme camp storage, part workshop, located in Newcastle, an old industrial city 100 miles north of Sydney on the east coast of Australia. We have created a space where not only the local theme camps can come work on projects together, but the wider community can as well.  It was literally an empty pod in a warehouse; now with help from Burners Without Borders, it’s a multilevel space with 3D printing, laser cutting, industrial sewing machines, a mad electronics section, power tools, and all our theme camp gear in one place – wow!

We share the warehouse with several other community groups, including the Newcastle Men’s Shed, a league of older, retired (extraordinary) gentlemen who know their way around a bandsaw. To be honest, we weren’t quite sure how the collaboration was going to go, but after meeting the infectious enthusiasm of the burner community, they have opened up their doors to women members (first time ever!). We now share tools, machinery, and co-host collaborative workshops and community projects.

The Ignition grant funds have brought in much needed infrastructure (pallet racking), and have contributed towards mezzanine building supplies, and power tools.   

When asked which of the Burning Man Principles have been represented in this grant project, Sparkhouse responds:

Radical inclusion first comes to mind – Our Makerspace has been teaching laser cutting and 3D printing skills to everyone from kids to 70 year old retirees. We have formed tight bonds with other community groups within the warehouse, including Upcycle Newcastle, Curious Legends – a crew of large scale street puppeteers, and the Men’s Shed. They have embraced us, and us them and are excited to learn from each other.  Communal effort/participation – the makerspace didn’t build itself 🙂

Our local burner (and non burner) crew came out in force to pull this project together.

Lastly, decommodification: Instead of buying new tables, tool walls, etc we have skilled up on welding (thank you Men’s Shed!) and made some awesome tables and a mobile tool storage out of discarded pallet racking. Relationships have been made with some of the larger industrial acrylic/plastics companies in town to come and collect off cuts and waste that would otherwise be thrown into the garbage to use for laser cutting projects.

Big thank you to Burners without Borders, and the larger Burner community for all the support. Thank you for believing in our project.

To learn more, and to become a member or visit Sparkhouse in Newcastle, Australia, click Instagram: @sparkhausstudio Facebook: SparkhausStudio



One Response to “Civic Ignition Grant Update: Sparkhaus Hub”

  1. Captain Shea says:

    This is fantastic news! Congratulations to you & your volunteers, this will be the Gift that can give back in so many varieties!
    Well done y’all! I hope to come see this sometime, it was fun to learn about 3D printing at our BwB Burning Man camp. We have so many great opportunities for new skills that we can implement globally!
    I’m curious about 3D printing structures to help restore our coral reefs & I wouldn’t have made that connect if I hadn’t found this class at our camp! 🙂