Through the generosity of the Oliver S. and Jennie R. Donaldson Charitable Trust, our studios will soon have a new ceramics kiln, a jewelry enameling kiln, and a brand-spanking new production mitering bandsaw! Christopher Lirakis, a friend of the Steel Yard and Trustee of Donaldson Charitable Trust stewarded the Steel Yard’s application as a sponsor of our grant request.

“The Steel Yard is a community of makers, and the Maker Movement is important,” claims Lirakis. “The trades just aren’t respected in the same regard as a college degree today, yet skilled makers remain crucial to numerous industries including technology.” With current equipment barely keeping up with the growing needs of our community, this gift comes at the most opportune of times. As our studios close for the winter season, we’ll have plenty of time to set up the new equipment and take them for a test run!

The mitering band-saw will enable efficient large-scale production in our Public Projects Department. It will also become a valuable professional training tool for our Weld to Work trainees. The ceramics kiln replaces outdated and failing equipment, and the enameling kiln is an exciting addition to our jewelry department! Both departments are so excited about having new kilns for our residency program and for our students in open enrollment classes!

The Lirakis family, through the Donaldson Charitable Trust, have been generous supporters of the Steel Yard over the years. We are so grateful for their support!

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