A bustling hub for artists and entrepreneurs, Portland is proudly leading the maker movement in America. Behind the doors of warehouses and studios across the city, highly skilled locals craft everything from candles to clothing to custom furniture. The best part? These makers not only create and sell their goods but also offer workshops and tours. Discover your inner DIY-er and see the creative process up close at the city’s most celebrated makerspaces.
Classes and Workshops
Settle in at one of the premium sewing machines at Northeast Alberta sewing studio Modern Domestic and take part in classes of all levels for crafting apparel, quilts, bags and accessories. This sewing studio is also a retail store, so if you run out of buttons or batting mid-project, they’ve got you covered.
“My biggest joy is hand forging,” says Arnon Kartmazov, founder of North Portland’s Bridgetown Forge. Trained in Israel and Japan, the blacksmith shares his joy — and his exemplary skills — by teaching classes such as basic smithing, tool making and knife making. Beginners welcome.
Independent Publishing Resource Center
Offering classes on letterpress printing, bookbinding, screen printing and graphic design, the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) is geared to lovers of books and creative expression. A mix of workshops, kids’ classes and free events like Open Collage Night make this Southeast Division resource center a progressive space for literary crafters of all stripes.
Make & Mary
Housed within the privately owned design collective Tillamook Station, Make & Mary provides arts and crafts classes for the “highly inspired.” Their calendar of cannabis-themed workshops includes painting, macrame, wood burning, embroidery and a self-care series where students make their own CBD-infused massage oils, tinctures and bath salts. BYOW (weed) is strongly encouraged.
These companies churn out consistently cool made-in-Portland products, from fashionable swimwear and accessories to leather goods and lighting.
Ready to shop? Everything in this guide comes from Portland-based makers, and most of these goodies can be found at Made Here PDX. Happy holidays!
Shop these Portland jewelry designers for beautiful, wearable art that exudes personal expression with a local touch.
Get behind the scenes at sewing factory Spooltown, the production force behind handbags and accessories for brands big and small. Book a tour for up to 25 people at email@example.com to check out this Central Eastside makerspace, their robotic cutting table and their team at work cutting leather, skiving (slicing fabric) and sewing.
Crafting wood and leather accessories for home, office and lifestyle (think planters, laptop stands and minimalist wallets), Grovemade does everything from product conception, design and manufacturing to photography and marketing at their Southeast Portland headquarters. See their production process, milling machines, industrial lasers and woodshop; tours for up to seven people can be booked at firstname.lastname@example.org.