• [00:02:56] Organ building craftsmanship.

    [00:03:58] Organ building and inspiration.

    [00:10:37] Knowing music for organ building.

    [00:14:22] Perfect facility for craft.

    [00:20:53] The cost of organs.

    [00:21:43] Organ building as mechanical design.

    [00:27:11] Moon and farming practices.

    [00:30:43] Two temperaments in organs.

    [00:38:15] Organ pipes collapsing over time.

    [00:40:21] Organ builders and bone materials.

    [00:45:09] The gold leaf process.

    [00:48:06] The weight of the organ.

    [00:52:02] Community involvement in instrument care.

    Organ building is a complex and intricate process that demands a significant investment of time and financial resources. In the episode, it is highlighted that churches and other organizations often face the challenge of securing funding and going through a lengthy organizational process before they can even begin constructing an organ. This can take years to accomplish as they work towards securing the necessary funds and finalizing arrangements.

    The episode also sheds light on the cost of building an organ. It is mentioned that the average cost of an organ is around a million dollars, although this can vary depending on the size and complexity of the instrument. Larger organs can cost up to two million dollars or even more, while smaller organs may be priced at around five hundred thousand dollars.

    The episode emphasizes the crucial role of careful planning and design in organ building. Before commencing the construction process, the organ builder must create a detailed design that ensures all components fit together harmoniously and allows each pipe to have sufficient space to produce sound. This meticulous process involves laying out thousands of pipes on templates and ensuring each one is of the correct size and position.

    Organ building is a costly and time-consuming endeavor that necessitates extensive planning, funding, and organization. It is a process that requires both craftsmanship and artistry and scientific and mathematical skills.

    The episode discusses the average cost of an organ, which is approximately a million dollars. The host inquires about the cost of organs, and the builder confirms that a million dollars is a typical average cost. However, the builder also mentions that the cost can vary, potentially reaching two million dollars or more for larger organs, or as low as five hundred thousand dollars for smaller organs. Therefore, while a million dollars is the average, the actual cost depends on the size and complexity of the organ.

    Martin initially developed a passion for organ building at the age of 15. However, their parents discouraged them from pursuing it at that time, leading them to choose a business high school instead. Despite this, the desire to become an organ builder never left their mind.

    After completing high school and entering adulthood, Martin felt a strong urge to engage in a craft and work with their hands. Organ building remained a lingering passion. Fortunately, they secured an apprenticeship position with a well-known and reputable organ-building company. Through this apprenticeship, they acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to install organs, tune them, and perform maintenance.

    Eventually, Martin had the opportunity to travel to the United States multiple times a year for work. They received job offers from various organ builders, first in Minnesota and then in the Montreal area of Canada. Finally, they decided to move to the United States and work with another organ builder who intrigued them. This experience ultimately led the host to establish their own organ-building business.

    Despite initially facing discouragement from their parents, Martin's passion for organ building never wavered. They pursued their passion, gained experience and knowledge through apprenticeships and job opportunities, and eventually established their own successful business in the field.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • [00:02:12] Meditation and spirituality.

    [00:06:52] Eye-opening experiences in Colombia.

    [00:08:03] Colorful nature in Colombia.

    [00:12:24] Incorporating nature in glass art.

    [00:16:00] Artistic inspiration from family.

    [00:19:59] Getting into meditation.

    [00:25:38] Challenging glass projects.

    [00:29:38] Changing creative direction

    [00:34:21] Seattle becoming a glassblowing center.

    [00:36:10] Passing on glass blowing.

    In this episode, Kristan and Rob delve into the practice of meditation, emphasizing its dedicated and daily nature, which takes several years to truly master. Drawing a parallel, Rob compares meditation to glassblowing, explaining that both require consistent practice over an extended period of time. They stress the importance of having a teacher to guide individuals through their meditation practice and also mention the benefits of having a dedicated meditation partner. The discussion highlights how meditation cultivates a calm and joyful state of mind, which in turn enhances creativity. The guest shares that their meditation practice is separate from their glassblowing, indicating that the two practices are distinct yet complementary. Overall, the episode underscores the commitment and daily practice required for meditation, emphasizing its positive impact on creativity.

    The episode also explores how glassblowing can serve as a meditative activity, creating a serene and joyful space for creativity. The guest shares their personal experience, describing how glassblowing feels like a form of meditation to them. They explain that combining glassblowing with meditation brings about a sense of calm and joy that they cannot live without. The host agrees, adding that glassblowing helps individuals enter a calm and creative mindset, enabling them to work joyfully with their teams. Rob further emphasizes that despite any frustrations that may arise during the glassblowing process, one can always step back and find humor in the situation. This suggests that glassblowing not only provides a meditative and tranquil environment but also fosters a sense of joy and lightheartedness in the creative process. The host deepens the connection between glassblowing and meditation by inquiring if the guest's meditation teacher helped them understand how glassblowing can be a meditative practice. The guest confirms that while the teachings of glassblowing and meditation are separate, meditation has played a significant role in their life for several years.

    Nature serves as a major source of inspiration for the artist's work, influencing their projects in profound ways. The artist explains that when they practice or seek to be creative, they tap into a place in their mind or on paper where ideas and colors flow, and nature is their primary wellspring of inspiration. They express that most of their work is influenced by nature, as they believe it excels in providing ideas worth borrowing. The artist also shares a favorite project in Seattle, where they were tasked with creating 200 pieces for a building's entrance. The client desired an ambiance that evoked a connection to nature. The artist designed a piece consisting of 250 glass elements, incorporating flowers, leaves, and cattails to capture the essence of nature. Throughout the episode, the artist's passion for nature and their desire to infuse its beauty into their work shines through.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

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  • [00:02:45] David Seery's artistic journey.

    [00:05:28] Selling milk at age seven.

    [00:08:00] Land investments in North America.

    [00:12:55] The elephant trailer.

    [00:18:03] How long does it typically take you to make a piece?

    [00:21:20] Dealing with pandemic challenges.

    [00:25:02] Wine making.

    [00:28:18] New stories wind their way.

    David Syre's artistic practice is deeply rooted in spirituality, with their strongest mentors being the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa. They believe that spirituality forms the foundation of their art, equating it with love, compassion, and forgiveness. Their art goes beyond aesthetics, aiming to evoke emotions and create a sense of awe through vibrant colors and a "wow factor." The influence of their mentors and spiritual beliefs is evident in shaping their artistic practice.

    In the episode, David Syre emphasizes the importance of daily meditation and yoga practice. They believe that this routine sets the tone for their art, allowing them to tap into their subconscious mind and find inspiration. Living in the present moment and harnessing the energy from their core and heart brings forth images and ideas. The speaker also mentions the significance of daily walks, meditation, and breathing exercises in fueling their creativity. Their dedication to these practices is further highlighted by the presence of a dedicated yoga and meditation room on their property.

    David Syre, shares his personal journey of transitioning from a career in business development to becoming an artist. Encouraging listeners to follow their passion, he believes that everyone has the potential to be an artist, regardless of their background or previous career. Seery emphasizes the importance of courage in pursuing a creative path, urging individuals to step forward and make their artistic aspirations a reality. Drawing inspiration from spiritual mentors and incorporating daily meditation and yoga, Syre's art is a testament to the power of embracing one's creativity.

    Overall, the episode underscores the significance of embracing one's artistic side and having the courage to pursue a creative route. It highlights the role of spirituality, daily practices, and influential mentors in shaping an artist's journey.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • [00:04:13] High school challenges and dyslexia.

    [00:09:23] Intriguing lifestyle at the country club.

    [00:13:38] Reconsidering life and taking risks.

    [00:18:40] Learning to sharpen knives.

    [00:19:13] Knife sharpening journey.

    [00:23:20] Science of steel and knives.

    [00:28:25] Making your own steel.

    [00:32:41] Making Japanese steel replica.

    [00:36:02] Understanding steel and challenges.

    [00:39:15] Overcoming failures in craftsmanship.

    [00:44:21] The story behind Transformation.

    [00:47:34] Putting energy into handmade objects.

    [00:51:29] The business side of creativity.

    [00:55:08] Crafts and minimalism trends.

    [01:00:31] Midnight storms and love.

    In the episode, Bob Kramer shared their struggles with college and their decision to pursue a non-traditional career path through travel. They expressed difficulty in succeeding academically, particularly with note-taking and retaining information. As a result, they reevaluated their aspirations of attending medical school, finding it overwhelming. They also dismissed career options like accounting or law, as they lacked passion and excitement.

    Instead, the speaker felt a strong desire to explore the world and embrace a more adventurous lifestyle. They were inspired by the book "Dove," which ignited their dream of sailing from San Diego to Hawaii. Unlike the challenges of college, this book provided a sense of joy and excitement. The speaker set a goal to drive across the country, reach San Diego, and find a boat to embark on their sailing adventure, despite having limited sailing experience.

    This decision to prioritize travel over a conventional career path reflects the speaker's yearning for a different kind of lifestyle. They sought adventure, excitement, and a sense of freedom that they couldn't find within the confines of traditional education. It also signifies a shift in priorities, as the speaker prioritizes personal fulfillment and happiness over societal expectations and conventional success.

    Overall, the speaker's experience of struggling in college and subsequently choosing to travel underscores the importance of aligning one's path with their passions and desires. It highlights the value of exploring unconventional options and pursuing a lifestyle that brings joy and fulfillment, even if it deviates from societal norms.

    In the episode, the host and guest discuss the growing trend of people valuing handmade and high-quality goods over mass-produced items. They observe that an increasing number of individuals are engaging in crafts such as leatherworking and metalworking, finding contentment in owning fewer possessions as long as they are of superior quality or handmade. This trend is not limited to the United States but is observed worldwide, with individuals in Asia also expressing a desire for a simpler lifestyle and a departure from long working hours. The host suggests that adjustments will be necessary in response to this trend, indicating that changes need to be made. They also note that younger people are opting out of the corporate world and embracing a more sustainable lifestyle, including traveling and building their own travel vans. Overall, the episode highlights the shift towards valuing handmade and high-quality goods and the potential impact this trend may have on various industries.

    In the episode, the speaker emphasizes the significance of having a strong understanding of business and finances to succeed in a creative endeavor. They acknowledge that many creatives tend to overlook the business side of their work due to its challenging and dry nature. However, they stress that comprehending the business aspect is absolutely essential.

    The speaker suggests that if someone recognizes their lack of aptitude for the business side, they should seek an ally who can assist them in that area. They specifically mention finding a business-minded bookkeeper and compensating them to provide guidance and direction for the creative individual. By acknowledging the importance of the business side and seeking assistance, one can avoid potential struggles and setbacks in the future.

    The episode also dispels the romantic notion of instant success, emphasizing that there is much to learn in both the craft and business aspects of a creative endeavor. The speaker highlights the need to study the field, learn from past successes, and pay attention to the business side, even if it doesn't come naturally to the creative individual.

    Overall, the episode underscores the necessity of having a strong understanding of business and finances or finding someone who can provide support in those areas, to thrive in a creative endeavor. It emphasizes the importance of being realistic about the challenges and being willing to put in the necessary work to navigate them.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • [00:02:13] Exploring Seattle's local makers.

    [00:05:22] The history behind London Bridge Studios.

    [00:08:01] The London Bridge sound.

    [00:12:31] Rock and roll influence.

    [00:16:29] Local musicians in Washington.

    [00:19:13] Recording and releasing music.

    [00:22:10] Painting and creativity in music.

    [00:26:58] Painting as therapeutic during pandemic.

    [00:30:11] A spontaneous trip to Seattle.

    The pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of musicians and those in the entertainment industry. Some musicians have found solace in their art, using it as a means of expression during these challenging times. However, for others, the pandemic has brought about deep depression as their livelihoods have been drastically affected. The cancellation of shows, the inability to rehearse with bandmates, and the loss of revenue have all contributed to the mental health challenges faced by musicians and those working behind the scenes in the entertainment industry. This episode highlights the contrasting experiences, with some individuals finding inspiration in their art while others struggle with the changes brought about by the pandemic. Overall, the pandemic has had a significant and dual effect on the mental health of musicians and those in the entertainment industry, leading to both creative expression and emotional challenges.

    The episode focuses on the presence and importance of makers and creatives in the United States. The host emphasizes that many people tend to overlook the numerous artisans, craftsmen, photographers, musicians, and makers of all sorts in America, opting instead to buy products from major online retailers. The host highlights the historical significance of makers in America, dating back to the Industrial Revolution and even earlier, and emphasizes their contribution to the country's economy.

    Furthermore, the episode explores the concept of being a "creative" and delves into the comfort level and self-consciousness that individuals may experience when identifying themselves as such. The guest shares their own creative process and mentions their interest in reading books as a hobby.

    Additionally, the episode delves into the role of a producer in the music industry. The guest emphasizes the importance of understanding and embracing the individuality of the artist they work with, rather than imposing a signature sound or style on them. They stress the need to help the artist become the best version of themselves and fully understand their artistic identity.

    Lastly, the episode briefly discusses the concept of "magic" in the context of a recording studio. The guest describes it as an intangible moment when everyone in the studio feels a connection and realizes that they have stumbled upon something special. This moment of magic can occur during playback, in the moment of recording, or even when listening back to a finished record later on.

    The transcript highlights the roller coaster nature of the pandemic for musicians. The speaker mentions that they are currently under a mask mandate again, indicating the fluctuation between periods of reopening and closures. This inconsistency in restrictions and regulations has made it challenging for musicians to navigate and find stability. Some musicians have been inspired to write songs and express themselves during these challenging times, while others have experienced deep depression and a significant shift in their livelihoods. The transcript also touches on the mental health challenges faced by musicians and those in the entertainment industry, as well as the loss of revenue due to canceled shows and the impact on production managers and operations roles. Overall, the transcript suggests that the roller coaster nature of the pandemic has had a significant impact on musicians and their ability to find stability in their careers.

    The episode expands on the presence of makers and artisans in the United States. It highlights the fact that many people tend to overlook the craftsmanship and creativity that exists within the country, opting instead to buy from major online retailers. The host emphasizes that America has a long history of makers, and there are thousands of artisans, craftsmen, photographers, musicians, and creatives who contribute to the country's economy.

    Furthermore, the episode explores the idea of labeling oneself as a creative and the comfort level associated with it. The conversation between the host and the guest delves into their creative processes and hobbies outside of their main artistic pursuits. The guest mentions reading as a hobby, emphasizing the importance of books and the pleasure of flipping through their pages. The host also mentions painting as a therapeutic activity, which they had done before but rediscovered during the pandemic.

    Additionally, the episode discusses the challenges faced by artisans in maintaining their craft. The guest talks about their studio's equipment, specifically a piece that was built in 1974 and is difficult to maintain due to the scarcity of certain parts. They highlight the importance of expertise in preserving the integrity of the equipment and the unique sound it produces.

    Overall, the episode highlights the presence and importance of makers and artisans in the United States, their creative processes and hobbies, and the challenges they face in maintaining their craft.

    In the episode, the guest discusses how engaging in creative outlets, particularly painting, can be therapeutic during difficult times. They mention that painting was a source of therapy for them during the pandemic. They also attribute their passion for painting to their bandmate, Kate, who is a true artist. The guest explains that while painting was always something they did on the side, mainly for album artwork or other auxiliary purposes, it became a significant outlet for them during the pandemic. This highlights the idea that engaging in creative activities, such as painting, can provide comfort and healing during challenging times.

    Additionally, the guest and the host discuss the labeling of oneself as a creative and the associated comfort level. The guest mentions feeling self-conscious about identifying as a painter, suggesting that there may be a stigma or pressure associated with being labeled as a creative. This conversation suggests that individuals may have different perceptions of themselves as artists or creatives, and these perceptions can influence their engagement with creative outlets.

    Overall, the episode highlights the therapeutic benefits of engaging in creative activities, particularly painting, during difficult times. It also explores the influence of other artists in inspiring and encouraging individuals to pursue their creative passions.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • "I think our craft is just fun, partying. It's about playing music that we love with people that we love. I feel like a place called home is kind of the best representation of what we do, because I think we are a family. No matter whether anybody's here or not, we are going to be just laughing our asses off having a great time smiling at what everybody's doing. It feels like home every time that we play on stage. I think that we provide that for people that come through....we've been best friends since first grade, and second grade. And then we make a new best friend through our best friends who are all super talented and awesome and great to be around," said Lyle Divinsky, one of the founders and lead singer of Model Airplane.

    Model Airplane is a collection of musicians that comes together every year to perform an ultimate show right around Thanksgiving, I find it quite unheard of as you would think musicians want to do their own thing or play with their band because they're used to it. They jibe with one another. It's their thing. Not only does the band see the curation of amazingly talented artists family, but they consider the audience family too. I've seen them three years in a row. And I truly feel this connection, the connection is unreal. And I want you to listen on what that connection entails. The band started as friends who knew each other growing up to then adding more members that are new friends.

    "I'd say if there's one common denominator, it's relationships and word of mouth. People who know people refer those people and it's all just a mess, like, now a lot of it can be helped with like, online and stuff. But like, we are old school, it was totally just friends of friends. If it wasn't this core right here is just a referral kind of thing, but nothing formal about it."

    The show is quite the production as the musicians are coming together from all over the nation. But in the end it's all worth it.

    "I come here and this is how I hang out with my friends, we make music together. We're lucky to do it at a really high level, you know, make really great music together. If the vibe is right, then you're in the family, and that's where you stay, you know, you do your work, we all work really hard. I mean, we've got this kind of monster rehearsals and these weeks are always really interesting. Like Thanksgiving week is like two, five or six-hour rehearsals and then two, like full day long kind of shows that go on and on and on. It's long days, but there, but it's like a family reunion the whole time. You know, like, these are my people,"

    Tune in to this episode to learn more about Model Airplane.

    They will be performing at Aura on Saturday, November 25th at Aura. Doors open at 8pm and the show starts at 9pm. Tickets are sold here.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • "Most of our theme is maps and charts, we are map and chart people. So wherever that little corner of the world is special to you or to somebody you love or somebody wants to give well wishes to, we can pinpoint it down to a street address or we can design an entire country from an actual nautical chart, graphic, map topo, aerial map, aeronautical map, anything that's close to your heart," said Janice Sears, Owner of CHART Metalworks.

    Founded in 2008, CHART Metalworks has been handcrafting beautiful jewelry, accessories, and home decor pieces that are all about charts and maps put together with boat resin in the heart of downtown Portland. Janice Sears took over as owner right before the pandemic and while it was challenging their customers grew as they wanted more one-of-a-kind pieces that tell a story of one's life journey.

    "I have to tell you, that the community and I don't know if it's just Maine or just Portland or just the women in Portland, but everybody is so supportive, so friendly. 'How can I help?' It's so quick to become a friend, you know, so quick to help when I asked for it. Especially because six months later, we entered into the COVID scene. The city of Portland just came to our rescue and did everything they could to help us and I just can't say enough about the people of Maine. I am proud to live here. I'm proud to say that I'm from here and it is my mission to go to every place," said Janice.

    Not only has the small business focused on jewelry and charts and map designs. They have also expanded into new designs.

    "One thing we just launched was, instead of an actual graphic piece under the resin, we're taking mussel shells that we collect on the beaches in Maine, we crush them up, and every piece is different. We'll put it under the resin and pour the resin on top of it. So sometimes it might be a little more of the opalescent side of the muscle or sometimes it's more blue but that blue after the sun has drenched it is beautiful. After you put that resin on top it's a pretty shade of blue and it has become really popular. We put it in all our pieces. barware, jewelry, men's gifts, anything, and we crush all those shells up on your own," said Janice.

    Janice has expanded the team to four which is the perfect size for the small-batch collections they make. She has also made processes a bit leaner and has partnered up with many artisans that best fit her brand to showcase their work in their pieces such as photography and art pieces. But the one thing captured from the interview that Kristan found important was Janice's passion for Maine and she will always keep the business of CHART Metalworks in Portland.

    "Maine, New England, you know, has been a part of CHART Metalworks for years. It was going great, but it needed a little love. I chose Maine because the business was here, and it's my happy place. So it's a win-win for Janice. But like I said before, Maine has been fabulous. It's the most beautiful state in the world, in my opinion, the rocky coast. I can't get enough of it. And the people are so supportive and wonderful. Our longest-standing repeat customers are Mainers and yeah, they love the fact that we're here," said Janice.

    Tune in to this episode to learn more about CHART Metalworks and how Janice has continued its legacy.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • "Our craft is making snowboards with Winterstick snowboards. Winterstick is the oldest snowboard company in the world. It was started in 1972 by Dimitrije Milovich out in Salt Lake City and for the last 23 years, we've run our business out of Maine. I came on about six and a half years ago and I've always been a lifelong snowboarder. I've based my whole education and life around snowboarding. Somehow I ended up in a position where I actually get to design and make snowboards," said Rob Lu, President of Winterstick.

    Rob had quite the career journey in getting into the position he is in today. He studied Mechanical Engineering and wound up working for a government contractor before heading up to Maine to work for Winterstick.

    "I think it was about 2015 or so they were talking with Seth Wescott, who's a Maine snowboarding legend, two-time gold medalist in snowboarding, and longtime Sugarloafer and they were talking to him about wanting to help out the Carrabassett Valley, bring jobs back to the valley and make better snowboards. They brought Seth on as one of the owners of Winterstick. We secured the manufacturing location here at Sugarloaf through Seth's connections with the mountain. We were able to start making our own boards again, six and a half years ago. Since then we've been working here to keep the manufacturing going make it better and better and continue to improve our craft of making snowboards," said Rob.

    They have continued to innovate their styles yet keep their traditional board alive.

    "We have about ten models of snowboards that are what we sell as our inventory boards. But we also offer customizations on all of those models. Then we also offer customizations to a fully custom board depending on the needs of the customer. For our in-stock models, we have everything from powder boards to park boards, but we also will take those and we can offer them in a custom option. Such as custom boards for bigger-footed riders for guys with size 13 and up feet," said Rob.

    The process in designing and creating a snowboard is a lot of work but to Winterstick it's an everyday activity.

    "We go through some new prototyping designs and we jam a Sharpie into our CNC machine so that we can draw shapes on cardboard. We draw shapes until we like the feeling of them and then we can stand on them. Then we can go and we can actually take that from the console, the Sharpie concept to a working board, and in about a day it comes out of our factory, we can just jump on, go test it out, see how it feels, and then make tweaks as we need to from there," said Rob.

    Tune in to learn more about Winterstick and how Rob Lu got involved in the business after his time in mechanical engineering with the government.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • "My craft is hand hewing, which is basically turning a log into a square beam using only an axe. It's a craft that's been around for thousands of years. Most of the old homes and barns and structures throughout New England were timber framed, and those beams were hewn just with an axe. So it's a craft that is not common anymore. But you can still learn about it through books or YouTube videos. And as soon as I learned about it, it just resonated. I just knew I was going to enjoy it," said Steve Smith with Renaissance Timber.

    Steve traveled far from home to attend school to receive a degree in history and worked in various roles along his career journey but when he came home he wanted to do something with his hands.

    "I grew up on this property here in Cumberland, Maine. And you know, growing up in the fields in the forest with my twin brother, adventuring out in the woods, always working on the old farmhouse with our dad, there's always something to fix. So working with our hands and kind of having that five senses experience of nature with the sounds in the sense. I went to college in the midwest and was a history major. So I was always interested in history, and then worked at a medical school in Biddeford, Maine for a while, and then went to grad school in Dallas for theology, and then communications. So I was writing and storytelling for a while. And it was there in Ohio, where we moved to that I kind of got bitten by this bug of really wanting to work with my hands again, and not just be in an office behind a screen, not seeing the product of my hands," said Steve.

    Hand-hewn was the craft that Steve turned to when he ventured back to Maine. Steve did a ton of research by reading books and viewing things online to learn how to hand-hew.

    "Hand hewing is just taking an axe and squaring off around log into a beam that then is useful for timber framing, and timber framing is joining beams to form a structure. The reason is that for thousands of years, people used axes because they didn't have sawmills. They sometimes had saws like hand saws, or pit saws, where guys would saw planks or beams, but it was usually more efficient to square off a log with an axe for hundreds of years here in America, the process looked like this, he would take a round log, you would fix it so it wouldn't move, you know, to either dunnage underneath it or you would have these big, basically metal staples that you would staple it to logs underneath. Then you would take a felling axe, the type of axe you'd use to cut down a tree and you would score down the side of the log, you would mark a square on each end of the log, and establish a plane with a chalk line. As I mentioned, you'd score then you'd come back with that felling axe and knock out the billets in between those scoring marks. So if you think of a bunch of wedges down the side of a log, now you're knocking those billets out between those wedges going along with the grain so they kind of pop right out. That's rough hewing, you've basically had a rough squared-off side. And if you want to smooth that you take a broad axe which has a much longer bit, and usually is a single bevel. So it wants to follow a straight line and you smooth off that face and you can get it really smooth. And if you do that on four faces, you have a squared-off beam. That's hand-hewing," said Steve.

    Steve is the only commercial hand-hewer doing this full-time in the United States.

    "I wasn't sure if I could make a living at it. But what I discovered was not only that I was very passionate about it, and I do love the lifestyle. But there's a whole niche of Americana, who also appreciate the crafts. And there's homesickness in our country for traditional values and aesthetics. People want to have the warmth of a hewn beam, you know, exposed in their home either as a mantel for a fireplace or a structural beam. And, you know, these people, I don't need thousands of customers because I'm just an individual. So I'm low volume, high value, and you know, I'm able to make a living doing this," said Steve.

    Tune in to learn more about the craft of hand-hewing, Steve's history prior to taking on hand-hewing, and what he looks forward to in the future with his craft.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • " I define myself as a leather art wear designer so which means that I make one-of-a-kind pieces of art fashion using recycled leather. How I got into that -- long funny story but it really came down to my friend asking me in his driveway if I wanted to sew leather jackets together. My experience sewing before that was minimal. I had a sewing machine. My mom got me from Walmart and knew how to do some really basic straight stitches on jeans and didn't repair things. But I always had an interest in sewing and so I said yes and three years later here I am making jackets and vests and bustiers -- one-of-a-kind pieces," said Nicole or Gnykol, a fashion designer based in Bath.

    Nicole's passion started in Ashville, North Carolina where her and her friends would cut pieces of used leather and turn them into all types of things. She never thought that passion would turn into a career.

    Barney and J.M. are clay polymer artists and J.M. went on out on his own to do wearable art. So I modeled I hate modeling. I found that out pretty quickly. But it was great to work with them. Our friendship stayed intact and it was over the years we stayed in touch which led to the driveway question do you want to sell leather jackets? So J.M. had been working with leather and caught me up to speed when we started working together he brought me up to everything that he knew. And from there we learned a lot together in that process I'd say maybe six months in J.M. helped me up he gave me the means to have my own studio space, helped me get a work table, encouraged me to get the materials and tools that I needed, including sewing machine, we spent some of our COVID money buying sewing machines together, which was really fun, and fascinating. Six months and I started to have my own space and my own tools. That's when I started to branch out and start making my own thing. So J.M. was really focused on his jackets, and has been continuing on the jacket path whereas I took off and started making bustiers. So we make very different items from the beginning, we just started to start a collective. Our collective is called True Self Couture. So it's not just leather art, it's wearable art. The idea is that its everyday art, where it's pieces of art fashion that you can wear every single day, no matter where you're going, what you're doing. It's expressive, it's inspiring. It's one of a kind and it's to empower the wearer and just inspires the people around you," said Nicole.

    Nicole hopes to create wearable art for musicians, other artists, and celebrities. But the most important thing is that she crafts pieces for all.

    "One of the main focuses of my work is to make couture pieces to make to order so that way no matter what your size and shape is no matter what your intention is I make for you, so you're not just buying something that you know is a medium. You are a medium, it's a little loose here, it doesn't quite fit there and it's just I want to make you feel like a rockstar. I've had some fantastic friends support me and some of my friends are cool. One of my friends just wore one of my bustiers that I made for her which is covered in these dragon spikes, she wore it to her brother's wedding and over a ballgown, and she looked, killer. I have performers that have ordered my work, everything from musicians to drag performers, I had a commission from a lady, a mature woman over 60. She just fell in love with the jacket I had down in the gallery here in Bath. I was so flattered that she wanted one of my jackets because it was not the age demographic that I thought would be interested in my jacket. But lo and behold, she was so really excited to have her support," said Nicole.

    Tune into the episode to learn more about Nicole -- her past and the future of her fashion career.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • "I guess in my particular case, the wood sculpture would be more of a definition of what I do. A traditional wood carver uses chisels and gouges only that are very specific. I've found that using some electric tools and sanding, I can sometimes bring the piece to the point that I like. So I'm more of a wood sculptor than I am a wood carver so to speak. A traditionalist would be a wood carver, I'm a wood sculptor. I've always been intrigued since a young child, I've always enjoyed drawing. My grandmother was a tremendous drawer and painter, my Dad loved to draw and I love to draw. I've always wanted to carve but of course, life gets in the way of so many things and work and life and children and families and that sort of thing but was able to retire early. I said you know when I retire, which was proximately nine years ago, I'm going to start carving and I've been carving ever since," said Phil Costello.

    Phil and his wife had a store in Maine where they sold beach decor and home furnishings. The manager at Cliff House, Nancy White, came to their store to buy some of their product at one time when they were doing some renovation at the Cliff House. She saw Phil at the studio and she said, "I'd like you to do a seven-foot carving for us for our Discovery Center." And Phil said "a seven-foot carving is an awful large carving. Nancy, said, "I just like some height, because I'd like it to be a focal point in the middle of Discovery Center." A beautiful whale that Phil crafted now sits in this space and it's a beautiful piece especially when the daylight shines in through the windows and hits it perfectly showing its beautiful markings. He absolutely loves what he does and the craft seems so simple yet it can be challenging.

    "Okay, first and most importantly, what are we going to design on? What is our design, what's our sculpture going to be? Sometimes we'll even do it in clay to kind of get a handle on what we think is best. And once we get a good idea as to what we want to sculpt or what we want to carve in the design and then we decide on the wood. There are probably half a dozen woods that are used for carving. There are a few that I've kind of prioritized over the years. Mahogany is one of the best woods to carve because it's very hard. It's very dense. It's got beautiful grain, but because it's very hard and very dense it's very difficult to carve and it's also very hard on your tools you have to sharpen more often. The other woods that you'd use would be butter, not basswood, I use a lot of Spanish cedar spanish. Cedar is a little bit lighter than mahogany, but darker than basswood, which are butternut, which is very light-colored wood. And it's got some beautiful grains to it. But most importantly, it's very soft. So the selection of wood would be the first one. And then what I would do is quite often when I design I try to bring my design in proportion to whatever I'm trying to design. Right now I'm working on an eagle. Obviously, I don't have a six-foot wings spread, but the eagle that I'm working on now is a four-foot wings spread. So then you have to proportionate correctly. Problem is when you're doing a large carving it is very difficult if not impossible to find a large piece of wood. So what you have to do is buy wood I buy it actually rough sawn, I then have a shop where I bring it down to edge. What I do is glue the blocks together in the form of the shape of what the carving is going to be starting with tools to take the major wood away what we call boasting or taking the larger pieces away till we get a rough, rough idea of what the actual carving is. And then we started with the finer tools to bring it down and hone it to the shape and size and detail that we want. That's basically it. And then most importantly, which I sometimes have a challenge with is the finishing of it is as good a woodcarver as I like to be or, or progressing towards, I still haven't perfected the art of finishing. So either my wife who is a painter, and finisher, or I'll bring it to a finishing shop and let them do the finish coat on it. Because when you spend a lot of time you've completed a beautiful carving and if you're you're it's time to have the finish, you can't go guessing as to the right thing to do you have to have somebody that's a specialty at that doing that type of work for you," said Phil.

    To learn more about Phil's wood sculpting career, who inspired him, and what he plans for the future, tune in to this episode.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • "I am a pastry chef, classically trained. I've been in food now for 14 years. I will say I've been cooking and baking since I was very little I grew up on a farm in Florida and always had really fresh produce and meat as well to use to cook with. And a lot of time with my mother in the kitchen," said Chef Tara Cannaday, head chef of Pot + Pan, "I was born in Florida and stayed there until I was 12 and then actually moved to New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire with my mom and my brother. My mom's side of the family is from New Hampshire. So went to high school there and then ended up in Boston for music school. Music was my first career and enjoyed cooking and entertaining along the way. Like when I was in high school I was always in drama club and whenever we would have like, you know, team building events, if you will, or cast parties, I was always the one that was making treats and food. It certainly continued into college when we are at music school like poor college musicians, trying to do little potlucks and things I would always be like, you know what I got this guys I'm going to take my paycheck from the week and make a big spread of food."

    From there, Chef Tara Cannnaday took on many roles with five-star restaurants but eventually took her career to Maine. She started a food truck where she sold the best macaroons in East Prom in Portland and now is the head chef at Pot + Pan, a cannabis edible company that puts food first.

    "I was still very heavily involved in my own business, leading up to COVID. My daughter was getting older at this point and I felt a little bit more of a need to be home with her more often and have a more consistent schedule, which I wasn't getting with my own business. And, you know, still love what I did, but need to kind of have a greater purpose in what I was doing. So Pot + Pan had posted an ad online that they were looking for a baker. And I was like, You know what, I'm very passionate about the cannabis space. Something that you know is medicinal and helps people and I love helping people. So I reached out and said, Hey, this is what I can do. I think I can offer this to you all. And yeah, they went for it. Kerry John, who's one of the owners actually had already known about my business and was a fan. So they told me they were very excited when, when my resume came through, I think they meant it. Yeah, I was just so thrilled to have the opportunity. And it really kind of created this new challenge for me food-wise. Sure, you know, cannabis is, is a medicine, but it's really just an ingredient. And I call it my like, little secret ingredient. Because that's, that's all it is. So I'm still creating food that I love and with, you know, purpose and thought, I have this little extra secret ingredient that makes you feel good, right? And that's, that's really what we're all about here. So anytime I'm planning menus, I approach it like I would if there was no cannabis. Honestly, I feel like I've finally found where I have been meant to be this whole time. I'm so grateful for the journey that has brought me here. But now I'm like, I'm really in it. And I'm loving all of the people that I'm meeting as a result of being a part of this business great. And being able to be the forward-facing person like, yeah, it really plays into what I did as a musician and a performer earlier on," said Tara.

    Tara's goal is to not only bring her delicious recipes to the table with Pot + Pan but to educate people of edibles and how they can approach it through their lifestyle.

    We're trying to take this unique approach to cannabis where Moms and people who are curious will feel like it's approachable and easy and comfortable. Not having to go into a store where it's a bunch of, for lack of a better term stoners who might judge you if you're only in there trying to buy a five-milligram gummy as opposed to 100-milligram gummy. We are trying to be approachable and say like, Hey, you can trust us -- like our products as they are accurately dosed always. They're delicious, and you know that you will have a consistent experience, right? It is very shareable. I think we're creating something really fun and different that no one is doing in cannabis right now. It feels exciting. It feels a little scary at times, because we're like, wait a second, are people going to see this vision as we do? And now we see the feedback and it has been great," said Tara.

    Tune in to learn more about Tara, her past career, her experience as head chef at Pot + Pan and her future goals with the company.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • "My craft is currently a collection of sustainable clothing, where each design springs from the meaning of a particular poem. I did an MFA in poetry. I went back to doing that when I turned 50. After my experience there I just started to see some of the poems in physical form as garments," said Catherine Fisher, poet and fashion designer who is located in Brunswick, Maine.

    Catherine is originally from Massachusetts and had quite the journey before starting her own business.

    "I went to a women's college and my major was philosophy -- a very practical major. I have done a lot of different things in my life. I was a clown and then a dental assistant and then I owned an inn and restaurant in the White Mountains of New Hampshire before I moved to Portland, and then I became a personal historian working with people to write their life stories, company histories, family histories, and then I went to Shiatsu school and I did acupressure for a while," said Catherine.

    The most difficult part when getting into her own craft and business was sharing it with others.

    "As kids being first introduced to poetry, I really thought it as a kind of a magical thing, once I kind of got what it was, you know. And then I think I did some, as an angsty teenager, but I really didn't write very much until I did the MFA. I was surrounded by poets. I was married to a poet, a very established poet. And so that was part of my path. It gave me an assignment and I had to do it and I had to share it. Sharing it was the most difficult part of it. I really feel like my MFA experience was a way of becoming a grown-up really. It was hard for me to put myself out there, show my work, or do anything. It's gotten easier, but it's not easy. Still, for me, this is a big deal for me to put myself out there this way, I'm still pretty shy," said Catherine.

    Once Catherine got into the swing of her poetry she took her craft to the next level by crafting small-batch pieces made from sustainable fabrics that were visuals stemmed from her poetry.

    "Well, the poems definitely spring right from my life, for sure. Then I think that I hope that there's something universal, you know, I mean, we are all one stuff really all connected. And so I think, I'm not sure I mean, that I can say, why the garment from the poem. Like, why do that, except that, how we adorn ourselves, you know, it is part of our identity. And that, in bringing ourselves out into the world, to connect with other people, we want to feel good, we want to feel like what we are wearing, it is reflective of how we're feeling and who we are. And now, I mean, I feel best, sometimes in my jumpsuit that's covered with paint and dirt, and, you know, I'm happy," said Catherine.

    Tune in to learn more about Catherine's past career, where she is at today with her poetry and beautiful fashion pieces that go along with them, and how people connect with her pieces.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • "We probably owe it to the Portland music scene as an entity, mostly, you know, we all knew each other. It's a tight, tight-knit scene. It's a very supportive scene. There were a lot of great clubs that we all knew when we were getting started and we'd all been playing in the clubs and working in the clubs and spending every free second in places like Big Easy. So the scene was a great place to pull from. So when we started, we ended one project and we started writing songs. Me and Will and Nick, originally on our, on our couch with me and Nick were roommates. Within like a couple of weeks, Nick kind of took it upon himself. He was the one who said, I'm gonna put a band together, and he started going out and talking to people. And we were playing shows in 2009. Our first you know, our first couple shows happened real fast. We had a bunch of songs, and we were kind of ready to go really fast," said Luke Mallett.

    The Mallett Brothers Band grew very fast when they started back in 2009. They have dabbled into many times of music including rock and roll and country but they will also have their own theme, their own style.

    "I mean, I think it's kind of amorphous. And I think that maybe one thing about this band that I liked the most is our lack of like, real strict genre stylings. I think the music changes on the regular, I think it's like the songs never seem to stay the same for long, we spent so much time on stage. A lot of stuff happens on stage. So we can come in here and we can knock out a record but we make our living playing shows. And we you know, when we can be we're out on the road, like 200 days a year. So when you're on stage, stuff just happens. And sometimes it's for the better. And sometimes it's for the worst, but it's kind of we like to experiment, we'd like to change it up. I feel like every record has been a little bit different stylistically to notably show the Falling Of The Pine is kind of, I mean, we had, we had like a real kind of vision in an image of what we wanted those songs to sound like because they weren't our songs. We were trying to take traditional folk ideas and make them suit us and make them fit us. So it was, you know, it was a cool experiment in really sticking to the theme, I think," said Luke.

    The Falling of the Pine was quite the hit album as it brought out the band's true native roots -- the Maine woods.

    "Luke and I grew up in the logging Maine rather than lobster Maine. You know, Brian's from Westbrook originally close to Portland and Nick, ocean guy, Andrews an ocean guy, but the thing was, was that all the loggers were they all lived or there's somebody lived to tell this tale about somebody dying. So all these songs are about somebody dying, whereas it was right there on the page where there wasn't really that way with the ocean," said Will.

    Tune in to learn more about the Mallett Brothers Band their history, style, shows, and the creation behind the Falling of the Pine.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • "We run the Red River Camps up in Northern Maine, it's a traditional sporting camp. But that kind of means that our craft is sort of twofold threefold, actually, when we throw Gloria into the mix. The first is that we tried to craft the northern Maine experience for people, you know, maybe new people who haven't fly fish before, or new people who haven't even been to Maine before. We had some folks from Long Island the other week, they were great. So we try to kind of bring them in and give them the experience of visiting family in a place that you're just going to fall in love with. We have guests who have been coming here since the 30s. Since they were kids, we have had many guests who have been coming since the 60s. So it's really a place that you come in, you feel like you belong here, you feel like oh, I can be an outdoors person, I can, you know, go hiking and feel okay about that, and not be frightened or anything. So we really try to craft an experience that people are going to want to come back for. On the other side of that for me, is that we tend to say that we're a two-person operation Gloria cooks things, and I fix things. But in the realm of fixing things, I get to be very creative. So you know, parts of my days are spent plumbing parts, and some of my days are spent figuring out how to take an old dryer door and turn it into a window for a new bathroom that we put in. Part of it is marketing, I have to come up with all of our logos, all of our catchphrases, everything for the swag, and things like that. So I really get to be creative every single day in about 15 different ways," said Jen Brophy, one of the owners behind Red River Camps.

    Red River Camps is quite the hidden gem as people make their way from across the nation to experience what Jen and Gloria have to offer. From the amazing hospitality to the home-cooked meals, people enjoy coming back to experience more.

    "My craft is cooking and spoiling people. I started working at another sporting camp at one time and I watched a cook all the time. I've just taken care of the cabins. I was a cleaning girl and served the tables as Jen does now. But once I started seeing her cook and I kind of wanted to do that. And my mother was a cook for years. So I said okay, I can do this. And if you're cooking for somebody else or in somebody else's kitchen, you kind of feel a little weird, but when you make it your own kitchen, totally different. Then you just go with it. Right and that's kind of what I do. So that's my biggest thing and fly fishing. That's another story. I learned fly fishing from an elderly gentleman and he brought me to tears several times because I couldn't seem to cast -- get the fly to go where he wanted it to which was usually a spring hole and then I'd mess up the spring hole. So finally I got it. I actually got it and I've been doing it ever since I used to practice on the lawn. No fly, just the line. Yeah, so it took a lot of time but I've been doing it since about 1974. So it's a lot of fun and I miss it when I can do it. So I'll go out on this dock and just cast, just cast to say I'm out there fishing and whether I catch anything doesn't matter as long as I'm casting. So it's a lot of fun.," said Gloria, the other owner of Red River Camps and the cook behind their delicious meals.

    Kristan's biggest question for Jen was how her family got involved in this property in the first place.

    "So my Dad was guiding here from about 1974. Actually, he would guide for bears and deer in the fall time. He and my Mom were recently married. My Mom had one young child at that point, my brother. The owners were looking at selling and going into different ventures. My Dad convinced her that oh, we should run this just for a year while they find a buyer for it. Her big dream was to get to the big city of Bangor and become a real city woman. She's originally from Mars Hill up here and so she said, Okay, I suppose I could cook for people for a summer. Why not? Yeah, the rest is history. She fell in love with it. It was a great thing. I happened to be born that year. So I got to spend my first birthday up here," said Jen.

    Red River Camps is all about community and making memories that turn into traditions. Kristan will certainly be coming back for more.

    "Your traditional sporting camp in Maine tends to offer two different what we call plans. We all have a big commercial kitchen and a dining room where traditionally guests would come and enjoy breakfast together, talk about fishing over the course of the day, figure out where they want to fish, tell lies about what they caught the day before, things like that. Then we send you out with lunch so you don't have to come back. So you can spend all day on the water all day on the trail. Then we bring everybody together for a family-style dinner. And tradition, we just put a couple of big tables together and everybody from all the different groups will sit together and get to know one another. And as an aside, up in this area, people find that they meet friends, old friends up here without knowing it. We had a couple of groups a few years ago, one group was actually doing their own cooking, and we have a couple of cabins that have their own kitchens. And so one group had been cooking for themselves. One group was eating here with us in the dining room. And they had booked at different times they were from different cities, no connection whatsoever. And the group that was here in the dining room was looking at the dock while the other group was getting ready to go fishing and kind of did a double take and looked at each other and said, does that look like so and so and they turned around I said that is so and so. And turns out that they had grown up across the street from each other. Several times a year we started seeing just serendipity run-ins up here.

    Tune in to learn more about Jen's family connection to the camp, Gloria's childhood of growing up around sporting camps and how she got connected to Jen's family, what their day-to-day looks like while tending to their guests and so much more.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • "I love burning candles. I've always got one going and then I kind of you know started doing some research into how to live like a healthier lifestyle and how to kind of clean up your life. One of the articles that I read was like, oh, you know, candles that have paraffin in them are bad for you. So I never realized that and then I got down a rabbit hole. And this was, mind you at the beginning of COVID. I was like, you know, locked in the house, and I needed something to do other than work and really, you know, sit by the TV or something. I needed that other creative outlet. So I was like, why not start making beeswax candles? Like I burned enough candles as it is. And yeah, I guess that's how that started. I was just really trying to clean up my life in these little ways. I started making beeswax candles and just found that it was so relaxing. Gave me a point of creativity. And I said, well, why not start a little business out of it and see how it goes," said Loren.

    Loren's full-time job typically has her in front of a computer screen for more than eight hours a day. She wanted to find a creative outlet, a place to do something with her hands. Candle making was her first go-to side hustle and then CBD oils was her next.

    "I had some contacts in the cannabis industry and you know, to be completely honest, I was dabbling at first with the idea before I did CBD of doing full-on THC tinctures. It turns out that there's not a ton of demand for that particular THC product. So I learned all about that. And then decided to you know, still make the oils but instead of THC just use CBD, it's in Maine, and it's less regulated. It's more readily available to purchase. And, you know, it has these calming effects, such as it makes you sleep better. And that's also you know, why I wanted to get into making this stuff myself is because I was going and spending money. And you know, not a ton of it. But I was still spending a good portion of money on these CBD really sleep aids for myself. So I really wanted to start figuring out how to do that. Just to save some money.," said Loren.

    Loren certainly did find a successful way to make her CBD oils and she sells them to various distributors in Maine. Loren has always had craft in her life from a young age to now and it's something she encourages everyone to do especially when you are in front of a computer screen all day.

    "I fondly have memories of doing craft days with my grandmother. And, you know, we would go outside and gather pine cones, and is a very crafty woman. She taught us how to make these like intricate pine cone Christmas trees out of them at one point. My Step Dad paints a lot. But that's, you know, an honest time. But yeah, we were creative," said Loren.

    Tune in to learn more about Loren's full-time career and how that experience is soul-sucking how she needed to find a creative outlet to give her a slight escape, what advice she would give to others who have a full-time job and want to get into a craft, how the outdoors inspires her and much more.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • “I started through studio art and just being creative and wanting to spend some time outdoors and allow for that to be done in a very grounded and observational way. So I have studio art practice and I'm also a Maine guide. I've been an angler for a long time. But mostly that's a way again to be outside and be looking around and feeling very innately human surrounded by nature. So I guide people fishing and I also founded the Confluence Collective which is all about accessibility to the outdoors, making sure that there's space for everybody on the water.,” said Bri Dostie.

    Bri is all about the outdoors and she was the perfect maker to have on this podcast. She started her maker journey through studio art which is quite beautiful and unique.

    “I grew up in pretty rural Central Maine, outside the foothills of Oxford County, and my family very much was in the outdoors throughout, which is a huge privilege to have that kind of access and also, like loving relationship to get to know nature through my mom, homeschooled me from like, first grade to seventh grade. So science class was moving logs to see if we could find salamanders and like taking different courses through local colleges just basically being outside and in a really hands on kind of way. And throughout that I really fixated on learning about birds, learning about all the living things that were in these places, and started doodling them quite a bit, did a bunch of ducks for the Federal Stamp Competition when I was younger, if you look back through the records might have one for me and a couple of times. But that was a really nice way to kind of build my interest and feel confident to like keep trying things and keep observing things and to continue practicing through studio work. So I really love that. As I grew up, a lot of my relationships were built around being outside. So when I was six, a way that I spent time with my grandparents was just tromping around the brooks in their backyard and around South Paris. That was something that they turned to for sustenance, like being able to feed your family with brook trout was something that we definitely relied on. And I was able to catch my like first fish with my mom on my grandfather's gear. And it was this beautiful brook trout, and it was delicious and corn meals. It was really a nice bonding kind of moment. And I got more into fly fishing as I got a little older to be spending time with more peers entered public school space, had my boyfriend and that was a nice way for us to get the okay from parents to hang out. And the joke's on them, we really did just go fishing. So I learned how to fly fish on a bass pond in Bowdoin with his parents, and that was just fuel to the fire to keep going, and keep exploring,” said Bri.

    But her passion for fly fishing didn’t stop there as she started an organization that is all about inviting everyone to the water.

    “I started fly fishing, and usually found myself as the only like, female-identifying person in that space, I would hang out with my boyfriend and his dad, which was great. And that's also a space that has limitations in perspective. And for me, and for probably anybody who's in like a relationship with someone, if you are trying to learn something from that person, there's emotional weight to that, and it becomes something else pretty quickly. So I recognize that there were probably other curiosities that I wanted to explore, and maybe trying to do so only through the way that they might teach me wasn't going to lead to the relationship that I wanted to foster with the sport. So in Maine, we are really fortunate to have some incredible fly-fishing community members. I remember being introduced to Evelyn King who started the Maine Women Fly Fishers Group, and I got really excited by what they were doing. And I've made a lot of friends learned a lot of things by being just a part of that community space, and also recognize the limitations in that where we're in Maine, it's mostly white, it's pretty cis heteronormative. And in those spaces, there were definitely, you know, assumptions and just like ways of going about things that felt like they weren't the most curious, or they weren't the most open. And I'm a person who has a lot of questions. And I think being able to really give some space to those questions required me to push beyond a little bit, which was kind of the impetus behind starting Confluence Collective, which is all about getting people outside and allowing that space for people to build their own relationship with nature. So it started with putting together ways for mostly female-identifying anglers to fish in new water. Most women, especially those who were in community groups, access the water through their husbands, their family members through some other connection, usually male, and there are a lot of these themes of not feeling confident enough in your skills or not feeling like you can blow a lot of money to go somewhere new for this thing that you kind of like and the whole trying to convince yourself of to even taking the time for yourself for fishing trips outside of your home waters tend to be run through fly shops. And that also tends to be very expensive. So we put together an exchange to go to Montana, which is on a lot of people's bucket lists of a bunch of Northeast women to then fish alongside a local community group in Montana, wow, and share their water together. It was incredible. And it was also not perfect like it was a lot of white women coming together. And we still had those limitations of perspective, we still were, you know, had a lot of privilege in accessing those spaces. And so the work that we do is to expand community-based programs decolonize, the way that we conceptualize the water and each other and really instigate that line of inquiry for everyone to be intentional and determining what their relationship is going to be to the water and how that then informs someone else's around them. So we do that in a lot of ways. We think about access, really, logistically in terms of physical access. So working with places like the adaptive Outdoor Education Center here in Maine, which does absolutely incredible work with the local community, expanding a lot of outdoor recreation opportunities. And there's a lot that fly fishing needs to catch up on a lot of like moose trails that aren't necessarily easy to get to or navigate, even if you hear about them, which is usually a secret. So yeah. So a lot of our work is like pulling apart the culture of exclusion, and also getting real tangible answers to access. So someone who may not even know that they will have a love affair with fly fishing has the opportunity to test it out,” said Bri.

    Tune in to this episode to learn more about Bri’s passion for fly fishing, her studio art, her being a Maine guide, and the various activities happening under Confluence Collective.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • We've been in business for over four years and honestly, the craft of it has kind of progressed over time. When my husband and I started, it was literally just in our backyard. We had a bunch of pallets laying around and we were like, oh, we could make something cool with that. So he was like, just give me a little, you know, an afternoon and he used the jigsaw and he cut out a bunch of Maine signs. From there, we were like, well, this is amazing. Everyone from Maine loves being from Maine and kind of has pride in being from Maine. So people picked up on it. They were like, oh, I want one of those for my house. So we kind of continue to build on it. What started as Reclaimed Sign Company progressed over time, where I just kind of fell in love with designing all of these Maine things, what it was mainly, you know, trying to use, reclaimed and eco-conscious materials. And we've continued, obviously, to bring that throughout everything that we do. So what again, started as kind of just signs now is a full line of home decor items, Maine giftware, apparel, and continues to grow every year," said Mary Zambello, owner, maker, and designer of Reclaimed Maine.

    Thanks to Mary's husband, the idea of utilizing reclaimed woods in her craft lifted off the ground. Her background is in architecture, design, and digital marketing, and with all of those skills in her back pocket, her business has been quite a success.

    "There's always a little bit of anxiety going off or by yourself. But I think because I did it on the side for so long. I really kind of pushed the limits of sort of pushing it as far as I could go being you know, having another full-time job, to the fact that you know, it wasn't, I had to kind of choose one way or the other. And I don't regret it a bit, being able to go out on my own honestly, it's just helped me to be able to continue to expand and put more time into it. And honestly just have more mental capacity to, you know, put more into it, and honestly have a little bit more time for myself, which is allowed me to get outdoors more. And really push that side of things and just get inspired more," said Mary.

    Mary has recently partnered with L.L. Bean and they are now carrying some of her home decor items. It is a big accomplishment as Mary is a huge L.L. Bean fan.

    "It's a dream come true. My dad worked at L.L. Bean when I was a kid, and so we kind of lived and breathed it and growing up, and I always just think back, you know, it was picking out your first L.L. Bean backpack as a kid, and then you know, growing up, it was L.L. Bean, boots, and flannels, and then, you know, getting into my adult life. Reclaiming my love for the outdoors, they were always my go-to, for my fishing and camping gear. So I think just from a personal standpoint, I was like, oh, my gosh, L.L. Bean, dream come true. Then from a business standpoint, I mean, what an iconic Maine brand and they've honestly just been such an inspiration to me, with reclaimed, and we have, you know, very similar missions and values. So, you know, from a brand and business side of things, it's always been a goal of mine, they've been kind of one of those companies that, you know, again, we share so many values that I just, it would be such a great fit, to kind of share, you know, the same love for the outdoors, and the products just seemed to coincide so well," said Mary.

    Tune in to learn more about Mary's maker journey, her future plans for the business, and what community means to her.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • “I build rods for Maine Fly Company and I definitely fell out of touch with the outdoor industry through my late teenage years. Now that I've kind of settled down in Maine for a while and have a passion for fly fishing, I really wanted to get back into that community,” said Izzy Hutnak, rod smith for Maine Fly Company.

    Izzy grew up fly fishing as she was taught by her father and had gone across Maine to many ponds, rivers, and oceans to fish different types of fish.

    “I'm the oldest and my Dad lost the battle when I was born. I say that I am technically Isabelle Machias. But I am also grateful enough to actually have the middle name Meehan, which is my mother's maiden name. But my other two siblings, their middle names are actually bodies of water in Maine where my Dad has caught his largest fish. So my sister is Abigail Eddington and my brother is Matthew Magalloway,” said Izzy.

    Izzy caught on to the craft of fly rod building quickly as the process seems mindless and meditative. It’s the perfect part-time job while attending college where she is studying outdoor education.

    “We have our stations in the studio room, which overlooks the river. That's where we're going to be taking the blanks and gluing on the reel seats and the handles. Right there, I'm looking over the river. So you can just imagine the calm presence that I have while doing this and from there, those guides that I talked about those eyelets we're going to use a Dremel to sort of build this ramp so that when we wrap the thread on that the thread just builds up and there's not like a harsh line between the blank and the guide. After that, you're going to wrap all your guides with whatever color thread your customer wants. When all of those are wrapped on, the whole rod gets moved to the cleanroom where the rods will get two coats of epoxy that each spin for eight hours. Your first coat of epoxy is going to be just a clean cover the thread spent for eight hours, the second coat is going to be where the beauty happens and you make like bulbous glossy, covering,” said Izzy.

    Tune in to learn more about Izzy’s journey of being a rod smith with Maine Fly Company, how it is being a female in the fly fishing industry, and what advice she gives on being a new rod smith, fly fishing angler, and maker.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.

  • When I first heard of fly fishing I always thought of it to be a man’s sport but when I looked into the history of the sport a bit I discovered that women have been involved in fly fishing since 1496 —the way anglers tie their streamer fliers is attributed to a woman and the ‘bait and switch’ method anglers use to catch billfish on the fly came from a woman. And a woman was one of the most prominent guides in Maine when Teddy Roosevelt fished here in 1878. The story of women in fly fishing is huge and I want to add on to it with this series.

    I headed up to Red River Camps with a group of amazing female makers and fly-fishing anglers. The roads were quite dusty, the map was quite handy and a road soda well when we hit those dirt roads was a must-have. You are out in the middle of nowhere and the cell signal completely shuts down. It's time to be completely unplugged. Just the way I like it. Once we got to Red River Camps we were greeted with open arms by Jen and Gloria who run the camp. Once we settled in the dinner bell rang and it was time for an amazing homemade meal crafted by Gloria. I provided Gloria with some fun cooking gear, Smithy Ironware and Nick Rossi Knives. I think she enjoyed playing around with them!

    During dinner, we planned out the next day scoping out the surrounding ponds in hopes of getting some good fish. Thanks to Mary Zambello's father's fly fishing book, was a great resource to have when trying to figure out the best fly fishing spots. We decided to hit the sack early and got all comfy and cozy in our cabins as we looked out to the night starry sky.

    The next day we visited a couple of ponds and didn't have much luck with the fishing. Some of us did catch some smaller fish that were near a spring but weren't truly noteworthy fish to capture on camera. It's okay better luck next time. A little too hot for fishing up north those couple of days.

    After a day with lots of sun, vitamin D, fishing, an amazing lunch, and nature at its best, we quieted down to sit by the campfire to have a real conversation. To talk about the highs, the lows, the adventures behind everyone's make and craft, their inspiration for the outdoors, and their fly fishing passion. A couple of things that popped out at me during this conversation were how a community is important to everyone, how women can certainly get into fly fishing without feeling judged, and that people should get into something they enjoy whether it be a hobby, a full-time job or whatever it is just do something they enjoy and that brings them a full cup of happiness.

    Tune in to this episode to learn more about these lady makers and fly-fishing anglers and how they all relate to one another.

    If you enjoyed this Makers of the USA episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Facebook. Please check out Makers of the USA's YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you all and stay safe and healthy.