Photo provided
Makesmith Workshop, a 500-square-foot makerspace, opens Thursday at Conner Prairie.
Photo provided Makesmith Workshop, a 500-square-foot makerspace, opens Thursday at Conner Prairie.

FISHERS – A new, year-round exhibit opening at Conner Prairie on Thursday will help visitors learn new skills and use their creativity to make items with their hands.

Construction on Makesmith Workshop, a 500-square-foot makerspace built by general contractor the Hagerman Group, began in November.

Through daily hands-on activities, the exhibit will engage visitors of all ages and skill levels to work with textiles, wood, metal, pottery and other materials.

January programming inside Makesmith Workshop will focus on working with textiles, as visitors will learn sewing, stitching and weaving skills and can choose to help create a visitor-made quilt. Programming from February through April will help visitors work with wood, as they’ll learn how to create a dovetail joint, saw, hammer and carve.

“For the majority of human history, nearly everyone created, tinkered and repaired. We have become disconnected from the time when we fixed broken objects on a work bench and explored creative solutions to the challenges of our daily lives,” said Conner Prairie President and CEO Norman Burns. “The maker movement seeks to reverse this trend and help people think through what it means to work with their hands to achieve their goals.”

The exhibit will evolve and change as Conner Prairie’s interpretation staff adapts to the space and ways that people interact with making.

Funding for Makesmith Workshop was provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services; Church, Church, Hittle + Antrim; Nicholas H. Noyes Jr. Memorial Foundation; the Hagerman Group; Duke Energy Foundation; Strada Education Network; and private individuals.