Truckee Roundhouse a magical place for Maker Show |

Truckee Roundhouse a magical place for Maker Show

Metal sculptor Fred Besch creates jaw-dropping bicycles that function - "moving sculptures".
Courtesy of Sean Field |

The Truckee Roundhouse can be a magical place where inspiration is made tangible through a variety of mediums.

Local artisans collaborate to create incredible works of art and functional designs, as well as teach the community about new tools and techniques in craftsmanship.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer the Maker Show to the community and keep building the makerspace that makes a lot of this possible,” said Truckee Mayor Morgan Goodwin, founding board member and instructor of the Truckee Roundhouse.

From start to finish, guests of the Maker Show were presented with various hands-on workstations specializing in all kinds of craft from sewing to blacksmithing and throwing pots.

“The interactivity of the show was really high this year,” Goodwin said. “And I think everyone who came got their hands on some new tool or material.”

One of the show’s younger guests, Alysia Anderson, got to try her hand at pottery making for the first time with the Roundhouse’s clay wheel station.

“I want a pottery wheel now,” she said, grinning at her grandfather.

She and several other children waited patiently in line for their chance to work a ball of clay into their own bowl with the help of a pottery expert.

The Roundhouse also setup a station designed to educate people on all kinds of work they do on all kinds of motors. At the makerspace guests can work on snow blowers, chainsaws, any type of motor.

Mountain Forge Inc. is a local iron working company in Truckee specializing in metal work.

Their experts attended the event to help children learn more about ironworking. They even got to contribute to a large piece they created throughout the event, having kids hammer and bend flower petals for a mystery nature piece that was later auctioned.

“We do everything from full-scale public art installations to commercial development pieces to residential garden art, rails, and candleholders,” said Jennifer Standteiner, self-proclaimed Mountain Forge superfan.

“People can be intimidated by full-scale art that we do, but everything is custom. We can make anything. Today we’re doing a demo, making a sculpture for the silent auction, while the kids get to hammer and bend wire in the shape of their initials.”

While weather systems gradually rolled over the event, guests were unfazed, jaw-dropped at all of the incredible pieces like local metal sculptor, Fred Besch’s, larger than life bicycles.

“My kinetic bikes are fully rideable,” Besch said. “It’s a moving sculpture.”

His genius creations are giant bicycles that are easy to pedal though they look like something out of the movie “Mad Max: Fury Road,” or Burning Man mutant vehicles — which they are.

Besch’s custom-built frames use car rims, cables, parts from a semitrailer, and can even be ridden in water.

Indoors were more vendor booths showcasing amazing talents.

Mike Taylor creates decorative art and lamps from driftwood he sources around the lake and off of the forest floor, himself.

“It’s dead, I find it and get to bring it back to life with light,” Taylor said of his gorgeous wooden lamps.

One piece he spent 1,100 hours on, perfecting its smooth round sides and slicing concise pieces of negative space using a vertical band saw for the light to trickle in between slats of the statement piece.

Also inside was a silent auction where even more unique treasures could be discovered.

“This is a fantastic community awareness project in highlighting the cultural arts; not just fine art but art from this creative community,” said Kath McGaughey, studio manager at Riverside Studios in downtown Truckee, who was working the silent auction and raffle at the event.

From makers to admirers, everyone had a wonderful time, showing that rain or shine the community appreciates supporting and learning about new local talent.

“It was an epic event, with I think four different snow squalls that came through, and people had a blast! I love how this community just rolls with it, drinking cold beer and dancing to local music in a snow storm in June,” Goodwin said.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

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