MAKEbhm

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4000 3rd Street South, Birmingham, AL, United States
4000 3rd Avenue South Birmingham Alabama 35222 US

A creative collaborative. An incubator for expressive minds. A junction for the future concepts of Birmingham’s artists—MAKEbhm is all of these things and more.  Inside of a 22,000-square-foot warehouse in Avondale, you’ll now find dozens of artists working in multiple mediums.  Their creations – from pottery to metal work, custom wood furnishings to jewelry – are also being sold around the city in various boutiques and retailers. They rent adjoining space to A. K. Hall – a jewelry maker who uses stones, pearls and metals in an undeniably beautiful way (shop online at http://www.madebyak.com) and Winslet & Rhys Mercantile, a boutique with a curations of small-producer artisan
goods and fashion.  Big Spoon Creamery adds an edible twist to this side alley in
Avondale, which is already one of the city’s coolest places to visit.  MAKEbhm officially opened to artists and to the curious public in mid-2016, but it was devised nearly a decade ago, by an architect named Bruce Lanier and a few of his friends.  “I think this was a love-child born of a recession and a mid-life crisis,” laughs Lanier, who now serves as executive director of the project.  “I’m an architect by day. And in 2009, it was rough being an architect.  I had this set of notes on the wall of things I could be doing with my life. One was the idea of a community workshop.”  He wanted to create a space where artists in different mediums could come together, lowering the cost of real estate, but maximizing the effects of collaboration and inspiration. He began researching and discovered an artist group called 3rd Ward in Brooklyn. They’d acquired a large and lofty warehouse space and were renting affordable
space to artists.  “We called up 3rd Ward and they talked to us,” Lanier says. “We
got a lot of ideas from those conversations. We acquired some working equipment and welding equipment, and through a series of small victories and fails, we dialed in on what people wanted versus what we thought they wanted,” he says. “We like to think of ourselves as enablers. We try to make starting or pursuing an idea easier. We are
an incubator, but not a small business starter. Everyone here is doing
their own thing.” One mission of MAKEbhm is to connect with locals with these
artists. Classes are available on a daily or weekly basis, teaching everything
from basic woodworking to more advanced furniture building, from novice pottery to gas welding and candelabra design. They also hosts events monthly, inviting people to come and meet the artists, have a glass of wine and do some on-site shopping.

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