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Make, Do, Learn

Welcome to the Hive
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Like a lot of people in Bellingham, Kendall Dodd has a creative streak a mile wide. It’s one of the reasons the former community educator recently embarked on a Kickstarter campaign to raise $47,000 for the Hive, a “makerspace” she hopes to open to the public early next year with a motto to “make, do, learn.” According to Dodd, the business would work like a gym, where members would pay a fee to have access to workspace and equipment anytime during business hours.

Cascadia Weekly: What are your own artistic or creative interests?
Kendall Dodd: I primarily come out of textiles and sewing. I’ve worked professionally at a costume shop and made bags professionally. I’m also into knitting, dying, fabric painting, screen painting and block printing on fabric.

CW: What are some examples of ways you see the space being utilized?
KD: What I’m really trying to emphasize is that it wouldn’t just be a place for artists to go. The Hive is also going to be a place where you could patch a hole in your jeans, put new legs on a coffee table from Goodwill, restore a bookshelf, make a planter box, tie-dye your sheets, or assemble invitations for a big party. It’s going to be a space where you can go with the intention to accomplish a project.

CW: Why now?
KD: I was coming to a natural endpoint at my previous job, and thinking about what my next move would be. I’ve either been an educator or worked on making things. I was looking for a balance between those things. I’m trying to invent the job I want.

CW: Why does Bellingham need the Hive?
KD: I grew up in places that had similar spaces—municipal places where you could do things like use a spinning wheel or a darkroom. I thought it was normal. It’s very surprising to me that Bellingham, being so DIY,  doesn’t have a space like the Hive. It gets me excited to think I’d be offering something to people that they would like, and use.

CW: Do you envision the Hive as being a place where creative people will also collaborate?
KD: I’m thinking ahead to being there every day and having people come in with new and interesting projects they’re working on, and the accidental connections that will happen because of that. In that way, I’m going to put people in a space and give them access to something they wouldn’t have anywhere else.

CW: How will the Hive differ from other places people can currently go to learn or make things?
KD: I guess what I hope to build is a culture of accessibly working on hands-on projects in a space that’s set up for that, and is not so directive. What Bellingham already has are spaces that are more directive—a community dark room, Ragfinery, the Hub, yarn stores, a stamping store, etc. There are lots of places to learn skills, but where I see a gap I’m hoping to fill is to have that space where there isn’t necessarily a directed project.

CW: I like the name. How’d you come up with it?
KD: It was a long process. When I started telling friends about the project last fall, they thought it was just for artists. I wanted it to sound more accessible. I went through a whole phase of silly names before talking to a friend whose native language isn’t English. She said, ‘What about something with bees?’ I said “The Hive!” It was perfect; we’ll be coexisting in a space, and will be part of a larger whole.

Dodd will be on hand to talk answer questions about the Hive at RE Sources’ “Yes We CAN! Canned Craft Beer Festival” Fri., July 4 at Elizabeth Station and at Homeskillet Sat., July 12 as part of the Sunnyland Stomp

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