Creative Yorkers will soon have access to some big tools that could bring their big ideas to life.
The owners of Rudy Art Glass, in collaboration with Salvaging Creativity, are planning to open a "makerspace" inside the company's 15 E. Philadelphia St. studio.
Rudy Art Glass, which dates to 1892, makes decorative glass and sells it all over the world, mostly for use in commercial properties, co-owner Erin Casey said.
Despite its prominent downtown York location, the company does little business locally, she said.
The Working Class makerspace, set to open in the fall, is likely to change that.
Think of it like a gym -- but for artists.
Makerspaces are a growing trend in large cities, but this will be the first such facility in central Pennsylvania, said Patrick Sells, co-owner of Salvaging Creativity, an industrial-art business that got its start inside the Rudy Art Glass studio.
How it works: For a fee, members will have access to the equipment Rudy Art Glass and Salvaging Creativity have acquired over the years.
That includes welding equipment, a plasma cutter, a waterjet, flatbed and roll printers, paint and sandblasting booths, saws, sanders, polishers and a blacksmith shop.
"You have people who want to create things, and they need space. They need tools and they need knowledge of how to do it," Sells said. "We want to take our maker-creative community here in York and really connect them to a market and skills and help them sell their wares."
For several years, Rudy Art Glass has provided space and tools for nine members of what's known as the Rudy Collective.
"Now we're just putting a formal structure around it," Casey said.
The initial plan is to set aside about 11,000 square feet at 15 E. Philadelphia St. for Working Class.
Downtown 'showpiece': If all goes well, Rudy Art Glass will move to another property it owns in the city and expand Working Class within the current studio, Casey said.
"We want to really make this into a showpiece for downtown," Casey said.
Eventually, Casey said, the plan includes opening a store at 25 E. Philadelphia St. to sell some of the products made in York.
"I want the full spectrum of $10 items to multi-thousand dollar fine-art pieces," she said.
Starting next month, Rudy Art Glass will begin hosting information sessions about the plan on the first Friday of each month.
The first session is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at 25 E. Philadelphia St. Anyone is welcome to attend.
-- Reach Erin James at firstname.lastname@example.org.