When Jon Neal was a middle schooler, learning carpentry from his father, and building steam engine boats for science fairs, he didn’t imagine that one day he would be the COO of one of Cincinnati’s top maker spaces — he just wanted to make things. A couple of decades and a few coding courses later, his work at Hive13 champions a new mission: to prove that we are all better makers when we make together.
“It’s really awesome to be able to have a space to meet other people who are active in the maker community and who have different skills and different ideas,” says Neal. “It’s really good encouragement to be around other people who are making things.”
With no membership required and open, weekly meetings where makers can share ideas and feedback on projects, Hive13 is a great place, for new makers especially, to join the community. Additionally, by partnering with local organizations like the University of Cincinnati and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Hive13 is able to achieve outreach that extends far beyond the 3,500-square-foot facility. At a recent “pop-up makerspace” held in collaboration with the Cincinnati Art Academy, guests could try their hands at the banana piano or and even make their very own set of Post-It Note speakers.
Located in the Camp Washington neighborhood, the workshop also provides a unique opportunity for urban residents.
“You probably can’t fit a bunch of woodworking tools in your living room,” explains Neal. “I myself wouldn’t even have access to half of the tools that I do now.”
Complete with woodworking shop, fablab and even a kitchen, Hive13 has hosted projects ranging from eco-friendly electric motorcycles to gravity-defying parawings. And if you’ve never heard of power tool drag racing, be sure to stop by the Hive13 booth during Maker Faire, where they’ll prove that your old circular saw can do a lot more than what is written in the manual. Buy advance tickets today and save!
– Syron Townsend