Maker Spotlight: Elliot Wells

Meet the makers! This is part of our series of posts introducing you to some of our spectacular members.

Meet Elliot Wells – President of the Ithaca Generator board of directors since September 2016.

What first brought you to Ithaca Generator?

I had moved to downtown Ithaca after years of living in a rural setting, where I had lots of space for tools and projects. That type of hands-on learning has always been an important part of my life, so it was a little tough adapting to apartment life at first. When I found IG it was like love at first sight – not only was it a space I could work on my small carpentry stuff, but there was a community of like-minded people, and room to learn new skills like electronics and welding. For me the value was obvious and I got involved right away.

What are you currently working on?

There’s the every-day stuff – posting on social media, snooping around for grants, fixing and upgrading tools, and networking which really keeps me engaged. In terms of maker projects, I’ve been learning how to program in python and javascript on a Raspberry Pi. I just want to make lights blink! I don’t have a background in computer science, so it’s little challenging – but there are always folks here I can ask for help.

We know you’re a great team player– tell us about a cool collaboration with another IG member you’ve done.

A few months ago I co-founded (along with member Beline Falzon) a design company called Iteku. She now runs that company on her own (and is kicking butt!), but it was a great experience learning the ropes of getting incorporated, setting up our payment system, and working as a team on designs and operations.

What has been the best part about leading the IG board as president?

I’ve had the chance to work with and learn from some really tremendous individuals – both at IG and in other organizations we’ve worked with. I think that makerspaces have an opportunity to make a real difference in the community, and collaborating with other organizations is a big part of that. We recently lent our mobile stage to Plastic Tides for their Labor-day event in Stewart Park to raise awareness about plastic waste and it’s impact on Cayuga Lake. We never could have done that alone.

What do you look forward to in the future of IG?

I’m very excited to see a new wave of members who are really lit-up about making and committed to growing the Makerspace and having fun with it. Every day we have more tools and a stronger organization – I can’t wait to see what new projects our members cook up! More specifically, I’m looking forward to our annual meeting Sept. 28 – we will be celebrating our accomplishments and setting a direction for the next year. Ithaca Generator is a member of Nation of Makers – a national nonprofit dedicated to helping support America’s maker organizations. Their vision is also our vision: to build a society where everyone has access to the tools, technologies, experiences and knowledge to make anything; to create a thriving, connected, and inclusive community of practice where collaboration fosters a culture of abundance. I look forward to each tiny step that helps make that vision a reality.