The first occurred June 2017 and led to two more which engaged 36 residents for the first-time in learning about tools, developing skills and teamwork, and designing a small-scale frame. Emily Bunker led these workshops with Chester community builders like Bonita Taylor who participated in Public Workshop’s Building Heroes program and honed her skills in the Chester Made makerspace.

Bonita shows off her wood work from her building hero training

Bonita Taylor rocking her “i am a building hero” t-shirt and showing off everything she created while becoming a building hero.

a group of women huddle around the table reviewing their wood work

Emily Bunker worked with Laurie Zierer and other workshop participants to design, measure, cut, and create their own one-of-a-kind picture frame.

“My involvement here started with building the space, but what I really got excited about was starting to teach a class here, which was the frame class. I learned a lot about myself but also about everyone here, because everyone here has their own history and skills to bring.” –Emily Bunker

The workshop group poses in a giant frame in the makerspace

Participants walked away with the skills and know-how to make their own personal frames, and they left behind beautifully framed memories of building this shared space in Chester.

Emily and Debbie smiling over Debbie's handy work

Skilled framing is a trade that many people lack access and resources to enjoy. But workshops like this one give everyone the opportunity to take care of their special photos and works of art.

male participant using the power saw to make a cut

Learning the steps to create personalized frames may also inspire a new hobby or tradition that will cultivate confidence and the belief that anything can be built in this space and city.

These small builds acted as a catalyst for more complex projects to take home, including our Tools 101 workshops, or for larger structures produced for public spaces.