Why do we make things?
This is a question Kristen and Eve, owners of MAKEatx, aimed to answer during their recent presentation for Creative Mornings – a breakfast lecture series that has several chapters in cities around the world (including Austin, of course).
The two longtime friends were perfectly suited to speak on behalf of the platform’s “Make” theme – and not just because the verb is a part of their business name.
Former architects, Kristen and Eve’s need to create motivated them to leave behind professional careers in order to start their own business – the aforementioned MAKEatx. An art and fabrication workshop, MAKEatx is distinguished by venerable residents “Patty Princess of Power” and “Ray el rey de los pew pew,” twin laser cutters that can precisely cut and etch acrylic, glass, wood, and leather.
Laser etching started to make its mark in the consumer market around 2004, when Nike unleashed a pair of sneakers with a laser-etched upper design (Huarache 2K4). Shortly after, entry-level laser cutters started to drop below the $10,000 mark, allowing businesses like MAKEatx to give hobbyists and crafters access to industrial precision and limitless possibilities.
Introducing the concept of laser cutting to a bustling arts community like the one harbored here in Austin has been particularly successful for Kristen and Eve. Artists like Jessica Tata (Son of a Sailor), Laurie Frick, and Sophie Roach (this month’s featured Instagram feed) have all creatively utilized the laser cutter to give their arts another medium to manifest. A lot of companies have started using laser cutting for certain things, there are even companies that offer this on a larger scale and can laser cut aluminium, which some don’t do.
Artists themselves, Kristen and Eve use the laser cutter to craft everything from holiday cards to laser-etched jewelry to life-size puzzles and games pieces. The duo are always thinking of new things to make, as they live by the motto “do a little less thinking and a little more doing.”
Watch Kristen and Eve’s full Creative Morning’s talk above, learn more about how they started MAKEatx, and gain insight into why we as humans are drawn to make art.
This article originally published in The Renew Issue of Citygram Austin Magazine [January 2014].
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