Benchspace Cork is the first shared wood workshops of its kind in Ireland. We are creating a design and making incubator to accommodate 5 full time makers and to support an additional 10 through part-time access in the first year.
We will supply a workspace and shared use of woodworking machinery to allow them start or grow their businesses. By sharing the cost of equipment, rent and commercial rates, Benchspace will make it significantly easier to start a new fine furniture or woodworking business in Cork.
The project will actively encourage collaboration and co-working to stimulate creativity and innovation in the areas of craft and design, and will build links with other creative and manufacturing organisations to make this happen. It is also a place where the public, individually or in groups, are welcomed to come and build their ideas.
Our vision of Cork is as a creative hub, where entrepreneurs, artists, designers, makers, creatives and techies, work together as part of a vibrant, productive and invigorating creative economy. We are asking for funding to make this vision a reality.
This project has been established by Sean Breen, Fergus Somers and Tony Farrell. Sean and Fergus are furniture design teachers and have been training makers in Further and Higher Education for a number of years. Both wanted to do something about the large number of talented graduates, wanting to start their own businesses, being discouraged by the high cost of equipment, commercial rents and rates.
Tony is a woodturner and has been chair of Cork Craft and Design for the last 5 years. CCD is a not for profit that assists craftspeople and designers to market their work through exhibitions, events and through their Shop in Douglas Mills in Cork. He sees the Benchspace project as a natural extension of this work.
We are crowd funding to buy professional equipment for the workshop, machines that startups generally cannot afford to buy or house. All donations will go towards buying equipment and installing it. The more money we can raise, the higher the standard and range of equipment we can provide.
To get us started, generous supporters have loaned us machines for a short period. We now need to acquire our own permanent equipment.
The money raised will be used to buy a large format panel saw, and a planer-thicknesser.
€4,500 - Panel saw
€3,000 - Planer
€7,500 - Total
These prices are estimates based on good quality used machines. If we save any money on purchases or exceed the target, the remainder will go towards other equipment and tools such as dust extraction and a wide belt sander.
Bringing the workshop to this stage has been a lot of work and we're sure that there are plenty more challenges ahead. But with the great help we've had from volunteers and the encouragement from supporters we know we can make an amazing creative space in Cork.
We really appreciate your support, thank you.
Sean, Fergus & Tony