This summer, local nonprofit Waterloo Arts will be bringing back last year’s Round Robin summer arts camp. Waterloo Arts’ Board President Danielle Uva enrolled her two boys, 10 and 7, at the time in the camp last summer. Her children went to several camps that summer, but Round Robin she says, “was by far their favorite camp.” They found the time spent with professional artists in their own spaces and the galleries and studios around Waterloo where the camp is held to be intimate and, therefore, more engaging. The setup of the camp is such that students learn from professional artists about a new medium each day, such as ceramics or printing, and make a small project in the day’s medium.
Waterloo Arts itself is a community space, and the organization encourages a culture where the students to feel ownership over the space and freedom to experiment. The instruction and setting made the students feel like they were part of something bigger than themselves, and a year later, Uva’s children still talk about what they did at Waterloo. For instance, the students screen printed T-shirts last year, and the boys take great pride in wearing something that they conceived and made. Not only do they still wear the shirts though, they even reflect on what they would change about their design. They felt empowered to make something completely their own, and they self-reflect on the process.
There was one day of the camp last year when the students focused on fiber art and were taught at Praxis how to dye fabric and how to felt. Praxis is a nonprofit organization that functions as a cooperative textile studio, offering classes, studio space, and communal space for all fiber arts processes such as weaving, fabric design, and spinning yarn. Jessica Pinsky, executive director, expects students this year to focus on felting. Pinsky’s goal for the students is to get them thinking about where the fabric comes from and how it is made—how their blanket started out as fiber which was turned into cloth and then eventually a blanket their parents bought at a store. Pinsky hopes that students feel empowered by being able to create something. The process of having an idea and following it through the process of execution to create a tangible item gives people of any age the feeling of ownership.
This year, the two-week long camp will run twice, July 9-20 and July 23-August 3, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon and is only $200 for two weeks. It is open to children ages 6-13. This year’s iteration of the camp will be similar to last year’s: students will be taught daily by professional, local artists who specialize in fiber arts, ceramics, printing, street art, graphic design, woodworking, yoga, stained glass, and more. Each day of the camp focuses on one of these specialties, and the students get to know and use the different maker-spaces and galleries on Waterloo. They will visit and/or work with Praxis Fiber Workshop; Brick Ceramic + Design Studio; Agnes Studio; Rust, Dust & Other Four-Letter Words; Tattoo and Graffiti Artist Chris Poke; Azure Stained Glass; Pop Life Yoga Studio; and others.
HGR Industrial Surplus is invested in S.T.E.[A.]M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education and engaging young people in activities that encourage them to choose career fields in these areas. To that end, we’ve made a donation earmarked for the art camp to Waterloo Arts. If you don’t have kids in this age bracket to send, you might consider another method of support as an investment in our community and our children.
For more information, to donate or to register for the camp, visit waterlooarts.org.
(Q&A with Brian Schaffran, owner, Skidmark Garage, a community motorcycle garage)
When and why did you move back to Cleveland and buy your first motorcycle?
I moved back to Cleveland from Los Angeles in 2000 after going through a divorce and not being able to rent an apartment due to my abysmal credit. I was essentially homeless and moved from friend’s place to friend’s place for several months before biting the bullet and coming back home to live in my childhood bedroom and finish my teaching degree at CSU. On my way to school one morning in 2001, I spotted an old motorcycle for sale in some guy’s front yard. Like deep shag carpeting, it was 70’s ugly, but it beckoned. I had never owned a motorcycle up to that point, but for some reason I was drawn in immediately. I bought it, and because I knew nothing about it, I soon took it to the nearest Honda motorcycle dealer hoping to get it tuned up. Well, most dealerships won’t work on old bikes – and with good reason. When you fix something on an old bike, something else breaks soon afterward – something unrelated – and the timing of the next broken item points to the last person to work on it. So, a service department at a dealership begins losing its ass on having to fix and fix and fix because it all appears to be the dealership’s fault that things keep breaking.
What motorcycles do you now own?
Since buying that CB750, I have since acquired several more old Hondas – a CB350, a CX500, a Goldwing, a 1965 Dream, and a CB500. But who has time to work on a bike when trying to keep a business alive? Not only do I not work on other people’s motorcycles, but I don’t even work on my own. For starters, I am not allowed to work on anyone else’s motorcycle. Otherwise, Skidmark Garage can be reclassified as a traditional mechanic’s garage and subject to all kinds of city, county, and state regulations. Also, since I spend every waking moment trying to get the word out about this place, I not only have no time to fix my motorcycles, but I also have no time to ride. For the most part, I haven’t ridden in a good two or three years. I used to ride every day, rain or shine, from March until December. Back then, I needed it to remind me to enjoy life while working for The Man. Now, I’m The Man, and I don’t have that overwhelming urge to ride like I used to. I’m just as happy to see the members of Skidmark Garage ride out on something they built or fixed themselves.
What’s it been like to be a business owner?
Being a business owner means fighting to keep my dream a reality every single day. My girlfriend, Molly Vaughan, works very hard to keep me grounded and does her best to remind me that balance in one’s life is important. Skidmark’s published hours, as expansive as they may appear, are actually non-stop. It is a rare occasion these days to find nobody working on a motorcycle at any given hour of the day or night. This place is almost never empty of souls. I’ve poured my entire being into this business – a business that is so foreign to most that advertising is typically not possible. Owning this business has meant educating people about a business concept that simply does not exist in most Americans’ brains. Now that the concept is starting to catch on, traditional marketing might be able to actually do some good. I am here a LOT.
Why did you locate where you are now?
It’s important for Skidmark Garage to be located in the same building as other creatives and makers. Soulcraft Woodshop has virtually the same business model as Skidmark Garage (member-based and DIY), and we were in the same building previous to the current location. A few years ago, when Soulcraft spoke of putting together a collaborative that included Ingenuity Cleveland and ReBuilders Xchange, I insisted Skidmark be a part of it. This new location afforded Skidmark three times the square footage at a lower monthly rent than the previous location. The current owners of this building were sympathetic to all of our start-up statuses and seemed to buy into our effort for collaboration. Being in this building with so many creative people is important for those creative types. They feed off each other and help each other constantly. We’ve got quite the collection of oddballs in this building. I’m proud to be included, although I do not consider myself creative…at all.
Any plans for expansion?
Skidmark now has 10 fully stocked bays, but it will be 12 bays in another month or so. The membership plateaued at about 20 members for a year or two, and then doubled in the last few months since the motorcycle show at the IX Center in January. Climbing to 40 members has been eye opening with regard to space usage. There’s rarely more than 8 people working on their motorcycles at once, but if the trend continues, I may need to up the amount of bays to 14.
Where do you get items for your garage?
Key to the success of this place is access to used machinery, carts and shelving from HGR Industrial Surplus. When I opened Skidmark, I’d never heard of HGR. The guys from Soulcraft made me aware of it, and my outlook immediately changed. The tough thing about HGR is the tendency for me to drift toward hoarding. I want every machine in that place. I can convince myself that the members of Skidmark will benefit from an envelope-stuffing machine if you give me enough time. But with space being the premium here, shelving and carts are way more valuable than I would have ever guessed. I’m hoping to score a Bridgeport and a lathe sooner than later.
How do you deal with the disappearance of tools?
Years ago, when discussing my dream of opening a community motorcycle garage, EVERYONE’S first response was a question about how am I going to guard against theft of tools? So, I made plans to prevent it, plans to monitor everything, plans to replace stolen items…but none of it ever came to be. Nobody has ever stolen so much as a screwdriver from Skidmark Garage. The members feel ownership of everything in here and have no interest in stealing what they already feel is their own.
Do people help each other out?
The beauty of Skidmark Garage is the willingness of everyone to help each other. All members are expected to help and can expect to receive help. Between the Wi-Fi, the library of manuals that Clymer/Haynes donated, and the knowledge of the people in the garage, just about any problem can be solved. We have a few members here who are extremely knowledgeable about certain aspects of motorcycles, and even though they very well could ask for compensation for their assistance, they never do. It is a community in the truest sense of the word.
Are members allowed to bring guests or helpers with them?
I encourage members to bring their friends to help. Wrenching on a bike with a friend or two is a great way to hang out and be productive. It’s a great way to learn and meet other people. Some members bring their kids, some bring their spouse, some bring parents. The more the merrier.
Is there an insurance liability concern?
The liability on such a business was a huge concern – not only for Skidmark Garage, but for the other 40 community motorcycle garages around the world. Obviously, Soulcraft Woodshop had the same issue — What insurance company will insure all the tools AND the regular Joe off the street using potentially dangerous tools? Thankfully, Soulcraft found the perfect insurance company for them, and they were able to insure Skidmark, as well.
Has someone ever dropped a bike, not paid and not come back?
Since opening Skidmark in spring 2015, there have been a few people who have effectively abandoned their motorcycles. They are not reachable in any fashion; therefore, the bikes take up precious room, and I have no recourse. Maybe I’ll hang them from the ceiling just to get them out of the way. At this point, I don’t even want money from them. I just want the bikes gone.
I see that you offer beginner welding classes. What do students do in the classes?
Every month, Skidmark and Soulcraft jointly host a MIG welding workshop. So far, since the workshop is for beginners, nothing but scrap metal gets welded. Nobody is building any structures of any kind in that workshop, they’re mostly learning how to lay down a few different kind of welds. Recently, we’ve added a TIG welding workshop, which sold out before it was even advertised. MOTUL Oil is coming into Skidmark to offer free oil changes to the members of Skidmark, and during Fuel Cleveland there will be a few demonstrations/workshops in which to take part. I would really like to have a women’s only night that encourages the ladies to fix their own motorcycles and shows them not only the basics, but some of the more advanced functions and how to fix them when those systems fail. Women have not been encouraged to learn how to wrench on machines. This needs to change — not just for the survival of the motorcycle industry, but for the survival of everything. It’s crazy to say, but women are possibly this country’s largest untapped resource.
What inspires you?
I’m continually inspired by the process of learning. That feeling is life-changing. I did everything I could to get my students to experience it when I was a teacher, and I get all excited when I see someone in Skidmark Garage learning. More learning happens in Skidmark Garage than in ANY high school. Real and legitimate learning happens when you “do.” Sitting in a classroom forces a teacher to try and recreate the “doing” in order to wake up that internal motivation to learn. There are few things more difficult than trying to get kids to learn through abstract exercises. There is nothing abstract inside these walls. The learning, the doing, the experiencing, the community — it’s all real; it all matters; and it all makes a difference.
Any words of advice to motorcyclists?
If I could bend the ear of every motorcyclist on the planet, I would explain to them the importance of knowing your machine. When your car breaks down, you’re stranded. When your motorcycle breaks down, you might end up dumping it, and you are exposed to the elements once you have to stop. There are so many other factors that make motorcycling far more risky (and therefore rewarding) than driving a car. A motorcyclist, especially one riding a vintage motorcycle, MUST know how to troubleshoot and at least patch most issues to get him/her to the next safe spot. Every motorcyclist should know where the nearest community motorcycle garage is located, because the owners of these garages and their members are there to help.
My next move is to get a mobile shop class going. Through my non-profit, Skidmark CLE, I will be taking a large trailer to three high schools (or middle schools) per day, getting a dozen kids out to the trailer, and teaching them how to break down an entire motorcycle, take the engine apart, and then reassemble the whole thing. It will culminate in starting the motorcycle at the end of the semester. Shop class does not exist in most high schools, thanks to state-mandated testing. Too many kids are graduating from high school without being even close to well-rounded. The shop class is not intended to push the students toward a life of mechanics, rather it is to give them a real sense of learning — nothing abstract will happen in that trailer. They’ll learn how to use basic tools, how to use the metric system, how an internal combustion engine works, how to read an instruction manual, and how to work together as a team. I don’t think I can provide anything more important to these kids than giving them the confidence to manipulate a machine and to fix something that is broken. Once they experience real learning inside the Skidmark CLE mobile shop class, they’ll be eager to learn in other areas of their lives. I hope to have this program rolling by spring semester 2019. With this mobile shop class, the school does not need to invest in the tools, the classroom, or the teacher. I have a handful of schools willing to sign up; I just need more funders to make it possible. This program will have profound and long-lasting effects on Cleveland. Using the hands and the brains at the same time to accomplish real goals will positively change the life of every student that takes the class.
In 1904, George Hewlett founded Cleveland Union Engineering Company in Cleveland’s Flats area. The company handled industrial metal manufacturing, welding, fabrication and steel erection. Hewlett’s daughter married John Geiger, who is the grandfather of the current owner, also John Geiger, and great-grandfather of Jake who also works for the company. In the 1920s, it began to develop and build equipment for the distillery and brewing industries to clean and pasturize milk jugs and beer bottles, hence a name change to Beverage Engineering. In the 1940s, it moved to its current location on Lakewood Heights Boulevard and transitioned its focus from beverage machines to machining for the war effort, and in 1957 it found its current incarnation as Beverage Machine & Fabricators, Inc. What do these changes signify? Adaptability! And, Beverage Machine has found its niche.
Though the company no longer is part of the beverage machine industry, it has continued its journey in the metalworking industry and now machines (cuts or finishes) hard-to-machine metal parts made from inconel, monel, stainless steel and titanium. It also has larger machines that can handle bigger, heavier pieces (up to 10 feet in diameter and 24,000 pounds) for the steel, energy, power, mining, nuclear, aerospace and defense industries. For example, it did a project for SpaceX last year, a company that designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. Beverage Machine also only handles one-off pieces and smaller orders rather than high-volume production. Its orders range from one to 25 pieces at a time. Five years ago, it added waterjet cutting to its capability, which broke the company out of traditional metal machining. Using the waterjet, the company has done work for sign and glass companies and machined the glass awards for last year’s Tri-C JazzFest. With one piece of equipment, it expanded capacity and its customer base.
All of Beverage Machine’s customers are regional, and they are served by only 16 employees. The company mainly employees machinists and is looking to and is willing to train a suitable candidate. Josh Smith, Beverage Machine’s waterjet technician, says that the impact on today’s labor problem started years ago when schools did away with shop programs and put the focus on college prep. He’s worked for the company for 16 years, and his dad has been the plant manager for 25 years. He says, “When I went to school, the perception was that JVS [joint vocational school] was where the stoners and illiterates went and that everyone who can think goes to college.” He says that in five years everyone in the industry will be retiring, and there’s going to be a shortage of skilled labor. He adds that the industry has to reach students when they are 11 or 12 to show them that jobs in manufacturing are cool and innovative. To that end, he has started “ThinkSpark,” a grassroots movement to create a foundation in Lorain County to inspire and mentor youth to consider careers in manufacturing, to partner with schools and connect children with technical programs, to develop a makerspace for youth in the program, and to create a robotic competition similar to AWT’s RoboBots that takes place every April at Lakeland Community College.
John Geiger relates that the manufacturing industry in the area is healthy, but that his biggest challenge, which is the same for all manufacturers, is finding skilled labor or even unskilled labor who are interested in technical training. Recently, he met with representatives from Lorain County Community College about bringing students in for an apprenticeship training program.
From Founder John Geiger to his son, John Geiger, a machinist, to his son, John Geiger, a history major and sales specialist, to his son, John, aka Jake, Geiger, a business management major, the company has stayed in the hands of this capable family for four generations. John says about his business, “There is enough domestic need, and our niche gives us enough work. China can’t serve these industries because customers have a part dependency and need it today.” He shares, “I get satisfaction in seeing what we create every day. It’s a tangible result.” His son, Jake, adds, “It’s rewarding to have a part come in and see the finished part leave the shop.” As Josh Smith sums up, “What sets John apart is that he can see the greater good and a need. He sees what we can do for the next generation. It’s not about making money. It’s about family.
Since last August, I have been enrolled at the University of Cincinnati. During my time in college I have learned a lot both academically and about myself. It was difficult adjustment to live on my own and take responsibility for all aspects of my life. I didn’t have anyone to tell me to go to class, or when to do work or study. That meant I had to take it upon myself to schedule those tasks. Eventually, I got all that stuff figured out.
I also met a lot of new people during my time in college. I made friends with people from around both Ohio and America, and even people from other countries. It’s a big change, but a welcome one, to go somewhere that is so diverse. Another new experience was living with three other people. What I call “tennis shoes” they call “gym shoes,” which is pretty shocking.
Since I am pursuing a degree in Information Technology, I took a wide range of technology-related courses, such as database management, programing, networking, and information security. Since these classes are in a STEM field, they require problem-solving and analytical-thinking skills. Programming for example, allows for problems to be solved in a number of creative ways. Problem solving and troubleshooting also are useful in life, in addition to being helpful in STEM classes.
As part of my degree, I have to intern each summer at somewhere technology related. The job search was a long process, and I went to a lot of interviews, but, ultimately, this summer I will be working at Progressive Insurance as a help desk specialist. I am excited to get some real-world experience and to put my skills to the test.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Tina Dick, HGR’s human resources manager)
On Thursday, May 10, 2018, HGR had the honor of presenting the 2018 HGR Industrial Surplus S.T.E.M. Scholarship to Evan Ritchey, a Euclid High School senior.
The $2,000 HGR S.T.E.M. Scholarship is awarded to students who have a desire to receive a higher education in a science, technology, engineering or math field.
Evan received his scholarship at the Senior Awards Dinner at the Irish American Club held to honor more than 300 Euclid students in grades 8-12. While students in grades 8-11 were awarded medals for academic excellence, graduating seniors received scholarships from more than 41 organizations.
Evan, who also received seven other scholarships, will be attending Cleveland State University where he will pursue a degree in electrical engineering.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Richard Fiorelli, artist and retired instructor)
How did you first become involved with Cleveland Institute of Art?
When I was in fourth grade, I received a scholarship from Euclid’s Upson Elementary School to attend Saturday children’s art classes at Cleveland Institute of Art.
What is your best memory of CIA?
In fourth grade I discovered that the art school had a candy machine and a 10:30 a.m. morning break from the strenuous task of creating children’s art. I was pretty much hooked from that moment on.
Do you consider yourself an artist or a maker?
My Uncle Sam rightfully considers me to be a retired art teacher. I taught design for 32 years at Cleveland Institute of Art.
What types of materials do you use to create your art?
Pen and paper is all that I require to be quite content sketching…for now.
How did you find out about HGR Industrial Surplus?
I tagged along with CIA Students Matt Beckwith and Greg Martin on their spirited explorations throughout the vast interiors of HGR. They hit the ground running, and I followed along.
Why would you recommend HGR to other artists and makers?
To quote Greg Martin, “HGR is a candy store of unexpected materials awaiting a curious mind and creative spirit.”
What do you do when you are not creating art?
I love to read — most recently Tribe by Sebastian Junger, which was brought to my attention by Councilperson Christine McIntosh. Euclid Public Library is an inexhaustible resource.
Where do you create your work?
You can usually find me sketching at Euclid City Council meetings.
What inspires you?
Not what, but who. The Zen master of all things design is undoubtedly Ni Tram. Beyond Ni Tram there are of course Matt Beckwith and Greg Martin. Of special note is Frank Hoffert, a retired Euclid High School teacher, who first introduced me to Euclid City Council meetings 40 years ago. It has proven to be an inexhaustible resource for sketching from life.
Anything else that you would like to share?
Heed the advice of Councilperson Reverend Brian T. Moore regarding the importance of a conversation. You never know where it might lead.
Back for a second time at HGR Industrial Surplus, but in a different space in the front of the building in our Incoming/Receiving area, we’ll be hosting Amanda and Jason Radcliffe’s F*SHO, a contemporary and industrial furniture design show, for one night on Sept. 14 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. It’s still free and put on courtesy of 44 Steel. There’s still beer and a DJ spinning some tunes. But, this year we will have a variety of food trucks so that the food doesn’t run out! Last year was such a success with more approximately 3,000 attendees that you won’t want to miss it. If you did, you can read about last year’s show here.
As more details become available, we’ll be posting them here on HGR’s blog and on our Facebook and Twitter sites. Stay tuned!
If you are interested in exhibiting at the show, contact Jason or Amanda at 44 Steel at email@example.com.
Click here to find out about the prizes worth $20,000 that will be given away every day May 14-18. You get one free ticket each day just for walking in the door! We also will have free food on THREE days that week for our customers (breakfast burritos on Monday, ribs on Wednesday, Philly cheesesteak on Friday). Come help us celebrate our 20th anniversary.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Joe Powell, HGR’s graphic designer)
Euclid High School’s robotic team, The Untouchables, set out to improve on last year’s finish, and did they ever. On April 28, 2018, teams from all over Northeastern Ohio met to do battle at the AWT RoboBots Competition at Lakeland Community College.
With last year’s bot suffering from lack of mobility, this year they put their focus into making their bot lightning fast. Their work paid off because their bot was considerably faster and more agile than its predecessor. Euclid didn’t have to wait long for its first win. Anxious for their bot to be battle tested, The Untouchables watched and waited as the other team didn’t bother to show up. While it was a victory, they still had no clue how their bot would do under fire.
After a short wait, it was finally time. The Wickliffe Metal Devils were their first opponent, and The Untouchables’ bot, Elliot Ness, did not disappoint. Euclid struck first sending the other bot two feet in the air. On the second hit, however, things took a turn for the worse. Euclid’s weapon hit with such strong impact that it destroyed the stabilizer bar on the top and sheared off bolts to attach it. The weapon was out of service but the match went on. The Untouchables used their mobility to repeatedly pin Wickliffe’s bot and leave with the win. The victory was short lived as they scrambled to put their weapon back together enough to compete.
Next up was a tough Mentor team that was all business. Not knowing how their weapon fix would hold up, Euclid went into battle without reservation. The first hit changed it all by knocking the weapon back offline. Mentor took advantage of this and attacked swiftly, which caused The Untouchables to blow the horn and call the match in order to not cause further damage to the bot. The back plate was knocked off, and it left the motors exposed. Continuing that match was not an option.
The team went back to work to try and repair the bot by any means necessary. After their loss, Euclid was put in the loser’s bracket in a match against Riverside by using their speed and agility, but the weapon still wasn’t working. They advanced to the semi-finals in the loser’s bracket where they lost decidedly to last year’s champs, the A-Tech Machinist. Overall, it was good showing for an up-and-coming team who is more than capable of finding their weaknesses and fixing them for the next year.
In the end, the victor was Cleveland Heights High Schools robotics team. They received a $250 award check for first place from HGR Industrial Surplus.
On May 9, 2018, Euclid Public Library and the Euclid Chamber of Commerce are teaming up to show small businesses the roadmap to success at Euclid Public Library from 8:30-10 a.m.. Hear from experts about how to get the information and guidance you need to start or grow your business.