Spacecraft Studios invites you to launch your own creativity.

This 21st century community crafts studio is bridging the gap between Making and Education

Screen shot 2013-10-16 at 1.32.19 PM

Where: Charleston, SC


Digital Fabrication Tools:     Handibot Smart Power Tool, Makerbot Replicator 2, Makerbot Digitizer, Sawgrass Technologies’ FabricMaker

“Come one! Come All!” shouts the website of Spacecraft Studios. “Inviting makers, inventors, crafters, stitchers, builders, artisans, poets, printers, hackers, optimists, friends, acquaintances, students, nutters, industrialists, sisters, brothers, pranksters, designers, cronies, farmers, entrepreneurs, teachers, critics, hula hoopers, illustrators, cat herders, and astronauts!”

Spacecraft Studios' Allison Merrick

Spacecraft Studios’ Allison Merrick

Allison Merrick opened SpaceCraft Studios in July 2012 as a workshop for DIY makers and crafters in the Charleston, South Carolina area. SpaceCraft Studios is a unique blend of a workroom studio and retail shop. It’s a venue for a variety of types of classes featuring hands-on learning, including adult classes such as sewing, knitting, crocheting, weaving, felting, etc., as well as screenprinting, terrariums, jewelry-making, paper-making, bookbinding, soap-making, glass etching, bicycle maintenance and repair, picture framing, and more. There are many workshops for children, too. And there’s a retail shop featuring modern, hand-crafted gifts and DIY kits.


Screen shot 2013-10-16 at 1.31.55 PM Screen shot 2013-10-16 at 1.31.38 PM

Tools of the trade.

The workroom is well stocked with the tools — both traditional and “new digital” — for making. This includes the Handibot Smart Power Tool. Allison and her husband Dan, a software engineer, participated in the Handibot Kickstarter campaign in the summer of 2013; they received a Handibot Smart Tool and training session as their contributor reward.

Allison Merrick and Dan Bradley picked up their Handibot and received training at ShopBot Headquarters in Durham, North Carolina

Allison Merrick and Dan Bradley picked up their Handibot and received training at ShopBot Headquarters in Durham, North Carolina

Allison expressed her interest in the Handibot:  “I want to learn all I can about this technology so I can turn around and introduce it to others and teach them how to integrate it into making.” Dan is fascinated by the possibilities of app development for the tool, which has at its core the idea that anyone will be empowered to make because it can be app-driven — there’s no need for extensive knowledge & training in CAD or using CNC tools.

Along with their Handibot Smart Power Tool, the studio is equipped with a FabricMaker desktop digital fabric printing system, Makerbot Replicator 2 and Makerbot Digitizer, as well as scores of the typical traditional tools and supplies you’d expect to see in a crafting space.




Handibot training with ShopBot's Sallye Coyle

Handibot training with ShopBot’s Sallye Coyle

Why Making is so important: “Making things is how we learn, and expand our creativity.”

Allison explains, “I started having the idea for this 8 or 9 years ago while living and working in San Francisco, where I was involved in the beginning expressions of the Maker movement — while also working at my ‘day job’ as web producer for a non-profit research group that empowers teachers with new technologies. To me there’s a natural connection point between Making and educating people. We learn by making things. So as I dreamed of having my own company, I saw a need for a place where people can gather and be inspired and make things. A customer said to me recently that being in the studio is like ‘Pinterest in person.’ Another has said, ‘When I’m here I feel like I want to make things.'”

About Allison.

Allison herself has “been making things her entire life.” Her professional experience has spanned such roles as sewing instructor, jewelry designer, web content producer, human resources associate, national marketing rep, event planner, chocolate shop manager, rockstar handler, and even a mermaid (really!).

Allison also produces the Google Teacher Academy to help primary and secondary educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies  — in her words, “to help teachers use these new tools and technologies in ways that are meaningful for their students.”

She sums up Spacecraft Studios like this: “While the studio is set up for-profit, I feel that it is mission-driven.  I want to help empower everyone in my community to start Making themselves, and see where it can take them. We’ve very much about being Local, supporting Local production. We want to help the USA maker movement to grow.”

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.