The Storyteller's Tavern
By The Storyteller's Tavern
The Storyteller's TavernSep 28, 2022
Chapter 3:9 - Kristin Stockdale & WORKBENCHcon
As all magic must, WORKBENCHcon had to come to a close. As the booths started coming down and folks made their way to closing ceremonies, we were honored to get to sit down with Kristin Stockdale.
Kristin is the owner and host of WORKBENCHcon along with being a full-time event manager.As she tells it, she brings WORKBENCHcon to life in order to ignite creatives by giving them connections, education, and inspiration to live a life they love by doing what they love.We got a chance to thank Kristin in person for everything that she and her team does to support this community year after year at WORKBENCHcon and beyond. We also got to talk about the genesis of WORKBENCHcon, the growth and reconnection of the Maker Family and its focus on Community over Competition, and about being Bold and Fearless.
Chapter 3:8 - Luke Gelman (@lukeinthegarage) and Justin Bailey (@campfirewoodworks)
The sun was literally and figuratively setting on the last real day of Workbench Con, and the stars aligned such that we were able to connect with Luke Gelman and Justin Bailey.
Luke (@lukeinthegarage) is a garage scientist from Chicago. As he puts it: he might have a plan, and me might not have a plan, but he knows either way, it doesn't matter: it's about the ride. Justin (@campfirewoodworks) is a self-taught woodworker and maker who splits his time between his garage shop and the great outdoors making a variety of bespoke wood products from cutting boards to weaving looms.
We caught up with these fine lads and got to know more about them, and their stories. We dig into, among other things, Ignorant confidence, making twelve-year-olds look like idiots, the secret to excellent chocolate chip cookies… and then we kinda turn into a cooking podcast for a couple minutes. Apologies in advance to Five Guys.
Chapter 3:7 - TotalBoat(@TotalBoat) - Mike (@totalbmike) & Kristin (@total_kristinb)
Whenever there's a gathering of makers, for some time now you can be all but sure that there will be some Epoxy People in the crowd repping TotalBoat… and whenever there's TotalBoat out in the wild, you're all but guaranteed to see Mike and Kristin. Workbench Con was no exception!
Mike Mills (@totalbmike) is CEO and Founder of TotalBoat (which itself is a part of the larger Jamestown Distributors business that has been around since the 1970s). Mike started TotalBoat in 2004 with just a few marine products, but since then has been at it nonstop, and is now what we here at the Tavern would consider an essential element of the Maker World these days.
Kristin Browne (@total_kristinb) has been with TotalBoat since 2015 and has been in the photo and marine industry for her whole career. When she's not on boats, she's planning the events that TotalBoat attends each year, planning social media strategy, and helping to manage the network of TotalBoat Ambassadors.
Both Mike and Kristin find the most joy in working with the Ambassadors and doing fun events around them and their content.
While we were at Workbench Con, we sat down with them and got to hear the TotalBoat origin story, learned more about their role in making the Maker community as we know it, heard about what their crew did during lockdown, and a got to know a little bit about what’s coming next.
Chapter 3:6 - Jess Crow (@crowcreekdesigns)
Jess Crow is a teacher, epoxy artist, and maker from Fairbanks, Alaska. When we showed up at our first Maker Camp, one of the first people we met was Jess, who physically ushered us into the Total Boat tent and culturally ushered us into the Maker Community at large. This warm, effortless welcome had a huge impact on us, and we were not just absolutely delighted to reunite with her at this year’s Workbench Con for the first time since we saw her at Maker Camp, but also very grateful to sit down and hear her stories.
This is a heavier episode than normal here at the Tavern: abuse, drugs, alcohol, and addiction all come up, so if those are topics with which you are uncomfortable, you might consider skipping this one.
That said, we heard some powerful stories about Jess’s transformation from a maker on the outside of the fray to welcoming new makers to the inside of it, persevering through the good and the ugly, what happens when you don't ask a question, and how to teach how to take risks.
Some stand-out quotes from this episode:"When you don't ask a question, you rob someone of the ability to educate you""Niche Down On Your Weird"
Chapter 3: 5 - Rex Krueger (@rexkrueger)
As the first Full Day of WBC came to a close, we ran into our new friend Rex Krueger: a writer, content creator and furniture builder in Cleveland, Ohio, who builds Early American furniture (mostly) by hand, makes videos on YouTube, and writes books. His most recent book is Everyday Woodworking: A Beginner's Guide to Woodcraft with 12 Hand Tools.
Rex tells us the story of leaving the classroom and entering the woodshop…and leaving the woodshop; yins and yangs, and the impact of outsiders on an industry; his secret supplier of grandpa's tools; and his favorite childhood cartoon.
We also kept the mics rolling for a couple minutes and recorded Another Round with him, which you can find at patreon.com/sttavernpod.
You can support us by rating, reviewing, and visiting patreon.com/sttavernpod
Chapter 3: 4 - Chris Giffrow (@cowdogcraftworks) & Justin Dietrich (@dietrichnsons)
One of the best parts parts about attending Workbench Con was seeing familiar faces, and we got a chance to do just that when we reconnected with Chris Giffrow and Justin Dietrich. Chris is a self taught woodworker and Japanese Tool Enthusiast, and Justin is a high school woodshop instructor at Lincoln Community HS in Illinois. The two have joined forces in the past to lead major timber-in projects at Maker Camp and were on the team that built on the Gong Stand at this year's Workbench Con.
We told stories about Making the world a better place, in and out of the workshop; the therapeutic applications of a lathe; whether a clarinet is a clarinet, a guitar is a guitar, or a saw is a saw; and he story that a chisel, a slick, or a fork can tell.
@cowdogcraftworks on Instagram
@dietrichnsons on Instagram
Chapter 3: 3 - House of Esperanza (@house.of.esperanza & @erinnmakesthings)
As we explored more of Workbench Con, we found ourselves suddenly in what felt like someone's living room - replete with comfortable chairs, tables with treats strewn about, and what looked like a homemade bookshelf full of books on the wall. Before we fully understood where we were, we were being welcomed into House of Esperanza, and started learning about the journey and the community building that Monica Chavez, Erinn Bagnaschi, and the rest of their crew are sharing.
Monica, the CEO and Creative Force behind House of Esperanza shares educational, entertaining, and inspiring stories, and Erinn spends her days juggling parenthood, projects and everything in between. We sat down and heard stories from them about rediscovering identity, influence vs Impact, and finding & filling cups with our communities online
More Monica & House of Esperanza:
- @house.of.esperanza on Instagram
- @erinnmakesthings on Instagram
Chapter 3: 2 - Mark Robertson (@mark.thebuilder)
Mark Robertson (@mark.thebuilder) is a woodworker in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, and takes joy in growing the woodworking community and sharing the story of his process alongside what he makes. Mark helped welcome new folks to Workbench Con, and we were immediately taken with his journey and the passion with which he shares it. We caught up with Mark early in the weekend to learn more about him and how he got to be what he's doing now.
He tells us about how he got his start learning from, and then teaching to, his grandfather; how he helps grow a mindset of asking vs. earning; and where he finds the positive in being different.
Chapter 3: 1 - Char Miller-King (@woodenmaven)
Char Miller-King is a professional woodworking teacher at the Decatur Makers makerspace in Atlanta, GA. She has shared her teaching and woodworking skills across the country as well as online for folks like This Old House, Magnolia, Rockler, Home Depot, and Power Pro. We met Char unofficially as part of our Newbie Welcome to Workbench con, and got a chance to talk more in depth the first night. What started as a nomal couple minute "hi nice to meet you" chat quickly turned into a half hour conversation about our shared passions, histories, and aspirations. Needless to say, we were tremendously excited to continue the conversation to share. Char tells us stories about how she comes from a family of makers, with shout-outs to dad and Uncle Greg, using a table saw to grow confidence, and the responsibilities both of being a role model in a makerspace and being true to yourself online.
@woodenmaven on Instagram
You can support us by rating, reviewing, and visiting patreon.com/sttavernpod
Chapter 2 - Conclusion
Mush and Leigh recap Chapter 2: Queen City Makers and preview Chapter 3: Workbench Conference.
Another mighty, heartfelt thank you to all of our storytellers and friends new and old from Chapter 2:
Joel Bonasera (@makingthingsclt)
David Taylor (@fablabdtaylor)
Jacob Daugherty (@otherdogdesign)
Madison Dunaway (@mk_dunaway)
Super Daft Bros (@superdaftbros)
Andrew Thiessen (@branchandfoundry)
Jbird the Vandal (@jbird.the.vandal)
Grant Maginnis (@maginnismade)
Another Round: Grant Maginnis
In which we discuss @nodabrewing's Cheerwine (@drinkcheerwine) Ale, order food, jump out of our skin when a crate of silverware gets dropped (5:00 minute mark, watch out), discuss what to do when wood smells like wood, talk about some more storied wood, the circular nature of time, and the oldest red hickory tree in the world.
Episode 19 - Grant Maginnis
In our final episode of this chapter, we talk with Grant Maginnis a woodworker and maker in Concord, NC. Perhaps more than any other guest we've had in the Tavern so far, Grant helps drive home the importance and power of the stories behind making, in this case, in the stories of the wood he uses in his pieces. As we talk, you can hear in his voice the love for the materials, and respect for their past lives. We also talk about the magic of tables, Cheerwine, and what to do with the wood from a 176 year old oak tree.
- Instagram: @maginnismade
Another Round: JBird the Vandal
We let the mics roll with Jbird the Vandal. It's mostly about bands that we've played in!
If you're listening via Spotify, you can give us feedback with the player, otherwise shoot us a DM or leave us a comment on Instagram to let us know your thoughts on these "Another Round" episodes.
Episode 18 - Jbird the Vandal
We were introduced to Jbird the Vandal through Joel, another Queen City Maker who you may remember opened this whole chapter up. Joel described Jbird as a tinkerer, and indeed, his Instagram profile starts simply and all-inclusively with "I make things." Jbird has street art, murals, and graffiti all over Charlotte, and stories and skillsets that have taken him much further than just our city.
We hear from Jbird about ignoring the instructions; being content with Wheel of Fortune; and the Wilderness Survival, Streetlights, Taco Shops, and other experiences that mark his journey so far.
More Jbird the Vandal:
- Shepard Fairey https://www.instagram.com/obeygiant/
- Osiris Rain https://www.instagram.com/osirisrain/
- Tough Ass Crew https://www.instagram.com/toughasscrew/
- Flux Galleries https://www.instagram.com/fluxgalleries/
- Heist Brewery https://www.instagram.com/heistbrewery/
- Protagonist Beer https://www.instagram.com/protagonistbeer/
- PBR https://www.instagram.com/pabstblueribbon/
Episode 17 - Andrew Thiessen
Andrew Thiessen is a Charlotte area maker who makes wood and steel furniture & architectural accents with lumber milled from Charlotte trees. We talk about his bridge from landscaping to welding to woodworking, how "the medium doesn't matter", Neighbor Stan's basement, and when "trying is not enough."
...and we DON'T talk about bees. Much.
Episode 16 - Super Daft Bros
The stuff that Ian & William of Super Daft Bros (@superdaftbros) make is hard to summarize in just a couple of sentences, so this is out of character, we've included some of their work in this post that you should check out before listening to this episode. Are they makers? Are they artists? Are they awesome? I mean, the answer to all of those is yes, and it's hard to pick which to list first. Regardless, we had a blast talking with them about origin stories, embracing the nerd, our deepest ever build story so far about the joys and trials of building a 1/64th scale model of Hogwarts, and as we almost always do, the importance of embracing, sharing with, and teaching the Maker community.
Chapter 3: 0 - Tiff Marchand & WorkbenchCon Preview
This episode is a little different than normal: Later this week Leigh and I are headed to Atlanta for WorkbenchCon 2023, the fifth gathering of its kind for makers and content creators. So to get maybe our only chance to talk with her in advance of the craziness of the weekend, we zoomed with Tiff Marchand, aka nightcarverdesigns, to hear about her story, and to get a sneak peak of what to expect while we're at WorkbenchCon. We got the opportunity to hear about her journey into, out of, and back into art; what it's like to find and celebrate members of the Maker Community; and what to look forward to this year's WorkbenchCon.
More Tiff Marchand:
Episode 15 - Madison Dunaway
Madison Dunaway (she/her) is an artist, leader, and self-professed ambiguity lover. She grew up in Charlotte and has created and run makerspaces for nearly a decade, most currently at Boston College. On top of all this, she is an official #friendofthepod.
Normally we meander through a number of different themes in these stories, but our overarching topic this time around focused around the self-reflective journeys of finding and growing communities, and importance of representation in every space - especially makerspaces.
This is a great episode to listen to if you want to start to learn about the experiences Madison, Leigh, and Mush have had in starting their respective makerspaces.
Episode 14 - Jacob Daugherty
Episode 13 - David Taylor
David Taylor is a middle school Engineering and Computer Science teacher and Fab Lab instructor at Charlotte Latin School, where he's passionate about student-led design and developing an environment where students can learn through making and prototyping.
We talked with David about the critical element of vulnerability in learning how to learn, and being OK with not knowing; the Kevin Baconing of the Maker Community; and the challenge and responsibility of enabling failure.
You can find David at
Episode 12 - Joel Bonasera
Our guest in the tavern today is Joel Bonasera. He, like all our storytellers this chapter, is a maker based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. After spending over a decade in science and technology education, Joel turned his focus to digital fabrication to make things. Now, he spends his time on e-commerce sales, commissioned work, and ongoing support for educators and institutions interested in learning the basics of 3D printing and design.
Joel shares with us about the good and the challenging of what the pandemic did to Making in Charlotte, how to make science fiction aspirations a Maker Reality, and his meandering road to Making.
You can find Joel at
Episode 11 - Chapter 1 Conclusion
Episode 11, in which we close out Chapter 1. Leigh and Mush look back on some of the highlights of this chapter, discuss our plans for what's next, and celebrate one last time with all our friends from Maker Camp '22.
Much love to:
- Leigh Northrup (@thetinkerteacher)
- Lindsay Zeulich (@wood_brain)
- Jared Geddes (@eveningwoodworker)
- Brittney Carbone (@brittneycarbone.art)
- Dave Miao (@3d_diy_dave)
- Leah Hartmann (@leah.learning)
- Sam Ciferno Skidmore (@sammyvae)
- Andrew Szeto (@szetoszeto)
- Jimmy DiResta (@jimmydiresta)
- Grant Alexander (@the_grant_alexander)
- Jon Peters (@jonpeters_)
- Walter Peters (@walter_peters)
- Chad Grosklags (@Mancrafting)
- Jacob LaRocca (@RocketProps)
- Brett Mcafee (@sullandspade13)
- Austin Handel (@cant_handel_it)
- The Maker Camp (@themakercamp)
- The Blackthorne (@theblackthorne)
- The Tasting Lab (@the_tasting_lab)
- Afton Pub & Pizza (@aftonpub)
We'll see you soon! ♥
Episode 10 - Brett Mcafee
Our last story from Maker Camp 2022 comes from Brett Mcafee, an Artist, blacksmith, and fabricator of other beautiful things in and around the Joshua Tree region of California.
We talk with Brett about the craft of teaching and its root in connection between humans; the best way we think there is to learn; and how maker camp helps fan the flame of hands-on tinkering.
You can find Brett online at YouTube.com/brettmcafee or by searching @skullandspade, and is on Instagram at @skullandspade13
Episode 9 - Chad Grosklags & Jacob LaRocca
Two of our last storytellers from Maker Camp this year are Chad Grosklags of Mancrafting (@Mancrafting), and Jacob LaRocca of Rocket Props (@RocketProps).
Chad is based out of Atlanta and is an all-around Maker, specializing in, among other things, powder coating, welding, woodworking, and knife making.
Jacob hails from Boston and is an electrical and mechanical engineer, specializing in props and cosplay, and a whole host of other Maker Skills.
We get a chance to dig in with them about how making stuff has been a boon to mental health; the joy that comes from sharing not only what we make, but how and why we make it; and we explore pushing the envelope to the edge of failure - and what happens when you push too far.
You can find Chad:
You can find Jacob:
Episode 8 - Jon & Walter Peters
Jon and Walter Peters are father and son woodworkers, makers, and YouTubers from Red Bank, NJ.
They share an introspective look on their experiences with multigenerational making, reflect on the paths that got them to where they are and what might be next for them, and ways that the maker community comes together to create things larger than themselves.
You can find them online: Jon is on YouTube at Jon Peters - Longview Woodworking and Instagram at @jonpeters_
Walter is on Instagram at @walter_peters and on YouTube as Walter Peters.
Episode 7 - Jimmy DiResta & Grant Alexander
Jimmy Diresta lives in in East Durham, NY and is affectionately referred to by many in the community as the Godfather of Making.
Grant Alexander is a maker and Youtuber based out of Ottawa, and is the host of the Creating, Living, and Making Projects Podcasts - aka the Clamp Podcast.
Jimmy and Grant visit the Tavern to talk about why and by whom they were inspired to begin making, the beauty and magic of tools that come with a history, the long road to get to East Durham and Maker Camp, and the realization that we're all grown ups who can buy the grown up tools and toys we've always been fascinated by.
You can find Jimmy online at JimmyDiResta:
Grant is online at TheGrantAlexander:
Episode 6 - Andrew Szeto
Andrew Szeto is a maker and skateboarder who hails from Ottawa. During his time in the Tavern, he shares with us the challenges and joys of finding fellow Canadian Makers, celebrates the memory of his mentor Richard Scott, digs into the value of failure, and teams up with Leigh to hijack the episode to transform it into an ad hoc hockey podcast.
You can find Andrew online:
Episode 5 - Leah Hartmann & Sam Ciferno Skidmore
Leah Hartman and Sam Ciferno Skidmore run The Hive, an open access makerspace at Lakeland Community College outside of Cleveland, Ohio. Leigh and I were excited to geek out with fellow educators and learn about how they introduce making to learners from three to ninety-five years old, how they dealt with the atmospheric and cultural whiplash that was introduced by Covid restrictions, and how they planned to drinkfrom the firehose of knowledge that is Maker Camp. Plus, at some point Leigh and Leah discover that they've both built their own ice rinks and get a chance to unpack that.
You can learn more about what Leah and Sam do at @HiveLakelandCC on Instagram, or by visiting lakelandcc.edu/hive
Episode 4 - Dave Miao
Dave Miao, or 3D DIY Dave is a maker from Long Island, NY, who spends a good deal of time playing in between the worlds of digital 3D design and traditional hand-tooled woodworking. Dave tells us about the magical and practical elements of 3D scanning, rediscovering lost passion, and making friends for life in the woodworking and maker community.
In this episode:
You can find Dave on Instagram @3DDIYDave.
Episode 3 - Jared Geddes & Brittney Carbone
Our stories this time come from Jared Geddes, AKA The Evening Woodworker, and Brittney Carbone, who shares her work as BrittneyCarbone.art.
We talk about their similar entry touchpoints into the human side of Maker Community, the exciting world of Contact Dermatitis, the path from necklaces to nightstands, and share a thank you to the teachers who got them started on their journeys.
A quick heads up - we did our best with timing, but the Friday Night Karaoke does kick off just as we're wrapping up this conversation, so thanks for sticking through some of the rowdiness that erupts at the end of this episode!
Jared Geddes - The Evening Woodworker
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theeveningwoodworker
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/@eveningwoodworker/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eveningwoodworker
Brittney Carbone - BrittneyCarbone.art
Episode 2 - Lindsay Zuelich
Our storyteller this time around is Lindsay Zeulich, known as Woodbrain. She’s a mixed media maker and artist from LA, and you can find her on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, Youtube, and all the things at Wood_Brain. Today she tells us about inventing her own art style, fighting about the dictionary, and the importance of having your homies’s backs.
In this episode:
Find Wood_Brain on:
Cover Art Photo by Lisa Marie Photographie
Episode 1 - Leigh Northrup
Leigh Northrup is a Makerspace Teacher at Cannon School in Concord, NC. Leigh shares with us about the journey from professional America to being a makerspace teacher, lighting Legos on fire, embracing the epic fail, and what you can learn from making quadratic sound diffusers that don't diffuse sound.
Episode 0 - Welcome to the Tavern
Welcome to the tavern! Here's what this whole thing is all about.