About The Curious Forge Arts Center
Our mission is to provide access to traditional and advanced tools, a large space and a variety of skill sets in a collaborative and innovative environment that enables our members and community to create what matters.
The Curious Forge Art Center and Makerspace is the largest and most vibrant creative hub in the region. Encompassing an impressive 20,000 sq/ft, this center is home to 16 professional studios where creative possibility knows no bounds.
At The Curious Forge, we empower our members with access to over $400,000 worth of cutting-edge and traditional equipment, accompanied by comprehensive training to ensure every artist and creator can realize their vision.
More than just a space, The Curious Forge fosters a diverse community of passionate artists, skilled makers and professionals, making it a playground for artistic, technical, and industrial exploration.
But our commitment to the community goes beyond creativity. We actively support our community by hosting enriching summer camps, and creating opportunities for community resilience and unity through workforce development programs developed in partnership with Forging Nevada County Forward.
Located at 13024 Bitney Springs Rd, Nevada City, California, we proudly collaborate with a sister nonprofit, Forging Nevada County Forward, which emphasizes youth and vocational programs, solidifying our dedication to shaping the future of our community through creativity and education. Join us on this inspiring journey of discovery and growth at The Curious Forge Art Center and Makerspace.
It all began in 2011 when we set up our first humble space at 840 E Main, spanning a mere 750 sq ft, but with a shared passion for crafting and innovation among our 12 founding members.
Fuelled by the enthusiastic response and an ever-expanding community, we soon outgrew our initial home and took a significant leap forward in 2012. Our move to 12400 Loma Rica Drive allowed us to spread our wings across 3000 sq ft, accommodating a thriving membership of 75 dedicated individuals until 2017.
However, our journey of evolution did not end there as we once again outgrew our space. In 2017, we found our current abode at 13024 Bitney Springs. The vast expanse of 20,000 sq ft became our canvas, providing an inspiring haven for around 190 like-minded members who now call The Curious Forge their creative sanctuary.
Over the years, we have cultivated an environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, and learning. From artists to engineers, hobbyists to professionals, our diverse community has turned The Curious Forge into a vibrant hub where imaginations run wild and ideas come to life.
As we proudly look back on our journey of growth, we remain committed to nurturing creativity and providing opportunities for our community. The Forge continues to be a place where dreams take shape and visions become reality. Join us in this ever-expanding voyage of discovery and let your curiosity forge new paths of artistic expression and innovation.
From Our Founders:
The Curious Forge got its start from a trip to Burning Man. Taken by the collaborative nature of some these astounding art pieces, I wanted to gather people together to make something bigger than an individual could achieve. After a visit to Maker Faire in San Mateo in 2011 and seeing all the these makers coming out of the woodwork and some art pieces from Burning Man the goal was clear, get a MakerSpace going in Nevada County.
We met in a small warehouse on East Main in June of 2011. About 20 people showed up and 5 of them believed in the vision of creating a community resource for people to come and make the things they love: Kara Asilanis, Jeff Carver, Terry Shearn, Sharon Almeida, and Yvon Dockter
The group worked hard to create a safe, creative and supportive place.
Since then we have moved, grown and molted. Looking forward to what the future will bring.
Founders Kara Asilanis & Liam Ellerby
Work We’ve Done:
Our mission extends far beyond just being a creative space. We take pride in supporting diverse groups within our community by providing educational, team-building, and fun experiences that leave a lasting impact. From at-risk teens to charter and public schools, wounded warriors to local businesses seeking team-building opportunities, and even CEO executive teams, our doors are open to all. We believe in the transformative power of hands-on learning and collaborative activities, and through tailored programs, we aim to empower individuals and foster strong connections within these groups. Whether it’s through art, technology, or craftsmanship, we strive to create meaningful experiences that inspire, uplift, and cultivate a sense of belonging for all those who walk through our doors.
The Curious Forge community is active in supporting each other and the greater local community. We learn, share and collaborate through many activities.
Peer Led Learning
Peer led learning through our Meet-Your-Maker nights are a way for members to share skills, techniques and challenges (that are sometimes opened up to the public). It is typically 1 – 2 hours, no cost except for materials.
Group projects allows us to create large projects and give a chance for beginners to learn real world skills while putting their own thumbprint on the world.
- Bike Rack at the corner of South Auburn and Main St.
- “Beware the Chair” contest
Community involvement through event participation and non-profit support
- Adult down hill derby
- “Empty bowls”
- Lyman Gilmore flight Days
- Shaman Cycle
- Summer Thyme bike rack
- “Thinking outside the box” Fundraiser
- Lyman Gilmore Maker classes
The Forge and Forging Nevada County Forward work together to offer workforce development programs to Nevada County. Having successfully ran a Metal Fabrication program which placed students into well paying jobs, the Forge and Forging Nevada County Forward are actively working to expand this effort. Next up is an Advanced Manufacturing program focused on fabricating with CNC.
Expert Guided Workshop
Using member and community expertise, we strive to provide great workshops that are fun and empowering
- Raku / Ceramics
- Metal Fab / Welding
- Jewelry /Metalsmithing
- Hacking / Upcycling
- Textile arts
- Digital Fabrication/Smart Art
- Glass Blowing Classes
- Glass Fusing and Slumping
Equipment Safety and Orientation
Everyone is trained on the safety and operation of all equipment that they use to create their projects.