BELMAR, NJ — If you’re intrigued by the emerging technology of 3D printing or looking to immerse yourself in the time-honored technique of quilting, the Belmar Community Makerspace is hosting workshops in both outlets of creativity.

The free classes are currently being offered at the Makerspace, located at Belmar Community Center/Library Annex at 503 Seventh Avenue. A project of the Belmar Public Library, the innovative hub is uniquely designed for creators, builders, innovators and artists at every skills level.

“Introduction to 3D Printing,” will be held on February 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. The workshops will be led by Louise Krasniewicz, a Belmar-based artist who is widely known for her award-winning work in miniatures — a specialty that she has discovered works hand-in-hand with the technology.

Sign Up for E-News

In addition to introducing workshop participants to this fun and interesting tool — and how it can be useful for them in myriad ways — she also will explain how her first foray into the technology was prompted by her need to create a miniature room box exhibit for the Philadelphia Flower Show.

In creating her small-scale diorama — a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “The Birds — she realized she would need hundreds of tiny birds. “When I priced them at $30 a bird, I knew I needed a better solution,” Krasniewicz said. “So I bought a 3D printer, downloaded 3D data models of the birds and after editing them, printed about 200 birds.”

During the workshops, she will work with participants in searching websites that offer thousands of free 3D models of items they may want to produce. “I will show them how to download them, prepare them for the printer and then print them,” she said.

Krasniewicz also has selected a small articulated slug — a kind of “fidget object” — to print. “It will be a fun way to demonstrate how you can print objects that have joints and are flexible.”

As a bonus, she will also be talking about a collection of 3D scans of museum objects from around the world that can be printed in any size at home. “Called 'Scan the World,'  the project is an amazing way to share cultural knowledge," said Krasniewicz, who is currently using it herself to download and print models of goddesses for an upcoming exhibit at the Belmar Arts Center.

Basic Sewing Expands to Quilting and Sewing Workshop

The Makerspace’s weekly basic sewing classes, which are held every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m., will now encompass the technique of quilting — an ideal specialty for the cold, winter months.

Instructor Carol Robbins of Bradley Beach focuses on utilizing quilting and sewing techniques and best practices taught and shared among participants. Its open format allows for people of all skill levels to participate — from novices and hobbyists to seasoned professionals.

The Makerspace is designed so that participants can lay out large swaths of fabric for pattern cutting or working on such large projects as drapes and blankets, among others. Creating a community quilt may be considered as a future project.

The workshop is not limited to quilting. Participants can also work on their own sewing projects, while sharing time with others holding similar interests.

Belmar Community Makerspace: Where Opportunities for Creativity are Boundless

The Belmar Community Makerspace is designed for people to both learn and refine their skills, whether they take a workshop or class, or visit during open hours to work in their own personal projects.

The new facility, which opened last October, includes 3D printers, computers, sewing machines, video and photography equipment, basic workshop and electronic supplies, and a large flat-screen television for workshop instruction and presentations.

“The Makerspace is open to the public for 3D printing, digital scanning of old slides and negatives, and the use of the photo/video studio,” said library assistant Luis Pulido, who manages the Makerspace, situated on the second floor at 503 Seventh Avenue. “Also, we have four Apple computers available for use for work on projects, such as photo editing and web-based applications.”

Pulido said the facility is looking for donations of sewing machines in good working condition to supplement the two machines already in use.

Open hours are available from 3 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

For workshops and classes, no experience is necessary, and there are no prerequisites. “So you can jump in at any time,” Pulido said. Classes are typically open to individuals age 12 and older.

The Makerspace is open to Belmar residents and nonresidents. Belmar Public Library cards are not necessary to take classes and workshops, but are required of those looking to work independently on personal projects in the Makerspace. 

To register for a workshop, class or open session, click here. For a rundown of upcoming workshops and classes, visit the Belmar Public Library website, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information, call the Belmar Public Library at 732 681-0775 or email Pulido at lpulido@belmar.com.

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 at no charge. Sign up for its free daily e-News, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.

Download the free TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.