• 30 Sep 2019 10:39 AM | Mary (Administrator)

    Monday 9/30/19:

    Weekly Float Construction Meeting

    Want to help us construct our parade float? These meetings are the perfect time!

    7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

    Price: Free!

    Amateur Radio Meet-Up

    Weekly gathering to discuss electronics projects and amateur radio.

    8:00 PM – 9:30 PM

    Price: Free!

    Friday 10/4/19:

    Glass Etching Using Media Blasting

    Come learn how to use software to create a personalized design to cut a vinyl mask, then take your design to the blasting cabinet and etch the design into the surface of glass.

    7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

    Member Price: $10

    Non-Member Price: $25

    So you want to be a Dungeon Master? DM’ing D&D 101 – Week 1 of 4

    This is a series of classes meant to teach the basics of what it means to create and run a game in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.

    7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

    Member Price: Free!

    Non-Member Price: $25 (For full series)

  • 27 Sep 2019 3:18 PM | Mary (Administrator)

    Saturday 9/28/19:

    Tabletop RPG One-Shot: The Haunted Mines of Golden Brooks

    The perfect introduction to tabletop role playing games, such as Dungeons & Dragons or DSR, this one-shot comes with pre-created characters and basic rules to give first timers a taste of the adventure. Also great for veteran adventurers who want something light-hearted and fun. This particular game takes place in the Wild West, where the towns are dusty, the guns are drawn, and anything is possible.

    12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

    Member Price: $5

    Nonmember Price: $15

  • 25 Sep 2019 1:52 PM | Mary (Administrator)

    The small town of Golden Brooks looks idealistic in its simplicity. The land around it stretches out as far as the eye can see, a large river running in the distance. As the party approaches the town, passing ranches and homesteads along the way, the details of the buildings along Main Street become more distinct through the heat waves rising off the ground. In many ways, it looks like every small town in these parts. Wooden buildings line each side of the wide, dusty road, with a few more scattered around behind to round out the town. It’s easy to spot the largest structures of the town: the general store, the saloon, and the church. While there’s nothing fancy or presumptuous about the town – not like the large house the party passed about an hour back – the buildings all look to be at least cared for and serviceable.

    There are a few people scattered about the road, doing their shopping or other errands. There’s a wagon drawn by two tired-looking donkeys sitting outside the general store. Heads come up and eyes are drawn as the party approached. Ladies in tooled dresses and men chewing tobacco on porches watch as you all pass by. You’ve been on the road for several weeks now and the thought of a cold beer and an actual mattress are nothing short of blissful.

    Thus sets the stage for The Haunted Mines of Golden Brooks, a tabletop RPG one-shot coming to the Roswell Firelabs this Saturday, the 28th. Based on Dungeons & Dragons 5e, this roleplaying game offers a simplified, basic ruleset and pre-created characters for players to step into. It’s the perfect introduction for individuals who have never played and are curious about getting their toes wet, but don’t want to dive in head-first just yet. With an estimated duration of 4-6 hours, it’s also a nice, casual game for those who have been playing a while and just want to have some fun and meet others who share their interests.

    This Wild West adventure features kooky characters, fun tales, and hilarious misadventures. The story is led by the Dungeon Master, but it is determined by the players and the choices they make. So, the question is: what will you do?

  • 23 Sep 2019 2:45 PM | Mary (Administrator)

    This year has brought many firsts for the Roswell Firelabs Makerspace. The Grand Opening on May 4th was just the beginning. From there, the Roswell Firelabs has hosted a variety of classes, partnered with organizations such as Bach 2 Rock Alpharetta, and grown more and more every day. Now, the Firelabs is gearing up for another first: The 1st Annual Holiday Maker Marketplace!

    Held on December 7th from 2PM – 7PM, this fun event is the perfect opportunity to come see unique, handmade crafts and gift items from local makers as the holiday season approaches. Some of these makers will include Roswell residents (and Firelabs members) MaryJoe Jenkins, Jessica Mathis, and many more!  Wares range from jewelry to woodwork to children’s books and more, so there’s something for everyone.

    There will be snacks and hot chocolate to stave off the winter chill and a photo setup for all your holiday picture needs! The Roswell Firelabs will also offer tours of the space as well as class and membership sign ups. Those curious about the space and what goes on at the Firelabs are welcome to come by the table and ask as many questions as they’d like.

    The 1st Annual Holiday Maker Marketplace welcomes all ages, and Bach 2 Rock Alpharetta will be providing music throughout this family-friendly event. Shuttle service from the approved parking lots will be provided by Carl Black Buick GMC. The Roswell Firelabs would like to offer both groups, along with the City of Roswell, a huge thank you for all of their support in making this space and event a reality.

    If you are interested in attending as a vendor (application deadline is October 1st), please fill out an application and email the completed form to events@roswellfirelabs.org. Both indoor and outdoor spaces are available and no payment is required until applications are reviewed and approved by the committee. You do NOT have to be a member of the Roswell Firelabs Makerspace to be a vendor, but member applications will get priority.

  • 23 Sep 2019 11:29 AM | Mary (Administrator)

    Monday 9/23/19

    Bach 2 Rock Ukulele 101 – Week 3

    Students will learn the basics of ukulele in an interactive group setting. Starting with the fundamentals of ukulele and music theory, students will learn everything they need to start playing songs quickly.

    5:00 PM – 5:45 PM

    Price: $35

    Weekly Float Construction Meeting

    Want to help us construct our parade float? These meetings are the perfect time!

    7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

    Price: Free!

    Amateur Radio Meet-Up

    Weekly gathering to discuss electronics projects and amateur radio.

    8:00 PM – 9:30 PM

    Price: Free!

    Thursday 9/26/19

    Power Racing Series Information and Introduction – Week 8 of 10

    This meeting is an overview of the program, rules, and looking at examples that have previously been built.

    7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

    Member Price: Free!

    Non-Member Price: $5

  • 20 Sep 2019 11:42 AM | Mary (Administrator)

    Friday 9/20/19

    Foreign Film Night: Dragon Tiger Gate in the Original Cantonese

    English subtitles will be included, as is popcorn!

    7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

    Member Price: Free!

    Non-Member Price: $5

    Saturday 9/21/19

    An Introduction to Machine Embroidery (FULL*)

    Now that we've got the machine up and running, come learn the very basics of getting the machine setup, how to hoop material, how to put embroidery file on the machine, and how to stitch it!

    2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

    *Those who still wish to participate in full classes have the option of joining the waitlist and will be notified if a spot opens up.

  • 8 Sep 2019 8:25 PM | Mary (Administrator)

    Ever wished you had a drinking glass with a specific design you just can’t find? Maybe you’d like your family name, the logo from your favorite TV show, or something for the company your friend started. Consider joining one of our Glass Etching Using Media Blasting classes! This fun, interactive class teaches you how to create a design and use a blasting cabinet to etch that design onto the surface of glass.

    So, what exactly is media blasting?

    Media blasting – also known as abrasive blasting or sandblasting – is a method of etching that dates all the way back to 1870, when it was first patented by Benjamin Chew Tilghman. The way it works is somewhat similar to sandpaper or pressure washing. In the case of the Roswell Firelabs’ blasting cabinet, compressed air is used to propel tiny particles across the surface of the glass to scrape or ‘sand’ away the design that’s been programmed into the machine. While the abrasions left by the sand aren’t deep, they create a different surface texture that renders the design visible.

    What’s included in the class?

    The Roswell Firelabs Glass Etching Using Media Blasting class starts off with a walk-through of Silhouette Studio, the software used to create a personalized design for the etching. The design is then taken to the blasting cabinet to be applied to the glass. Two (2) drinking glasses are provided as a part of the class for participants to take home, but bringing your own glass items is perfectly alright, too – and even encouraged! Glass etching using media blasting works on mugs, cups, pie pans, windowpanes, and many other glass items. If there’s any doubt, participants can email the Roswell Firelabs ahead of time, or ask the instructor during the class.

    Sign-ups and Cost

    If you missed our class last Friday, don’t worry! There’s still room in our next class! Glass Etching Using Media Blasting is a recurring class at the Roswell Firelabs, held about once a month. The next class (found here) will be held on Friday, October 4th from 7 PM to 9 PM, which makes it just perfect to kick off the Halloween and Fall fun! Member registration is just $10, and non-member registration is $25. Registration includes class instruction and two (2) custom-etched drinking glasses to take home.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

  • 17 May 2019 5:01 PM | William (Administrator)

    Do you remember assembling your kids' PowerWheels Cars? If you're like some of us, you see the plastic cars and think about how fun and ridiculous sounding it would be to race around with other adults.

    You're in luck: there is a racing series dedicated to adults building kid sized cars and racing them around. It's called the Power Racing Series. http://www.powerracingseries.org/

    As one of our first fun projects with our members, Roswell Firelabs will be constructing one (or more) Power Racing Series cars.  We hope to eventually compete with other PRS enthusiasts and makerspaces in the area!

    All PRS cars have a maximum budget of $500, so we are fundraising amongst our members and anyone else who is interested in the project to make this fun activity a reality!  You can donate by clicking the Power Racing Series donation button on the right side of this page.

    If you are interested in participating in the car build, keep an eye on the calendar for our next event!  https://roswellfirelabs.org/events

    Image result for power racing

  • 24 Jan 2019 7:34 PM | Jessica (Administrator)

    Written by: Christa Gould, Roswell Firelabs, Communications Team


    Rod Whigham is a commercial and comic book artist. His illustrations include work on 'G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero' 'Psi-Force', 'Kickers Inc', 'Conan', ‘Men in Black’ and ‘The Punisher’ for Marvel Comics.

    Then for DC Comics he continued with illustration for 'Doc Savage', ‘Star Trek', 'The Shadow', 'Justice League International' and 'The Flash'.

    Whigham has lived in Roswell with his wife Laura for 4 years. He has lived for the last 44 years in Georgia. His father was in the Air Force, so as a boy Rod also lived in New Mexico, Germany, Italy, Kansas.


    How did you develop an interest in drawing?

    Rod remembers the exact moment when the spark was ignited. In the 2nd grade, while in Clovis, New Mexico, there was a 30-minute syndicated TV show called “Learn How to Draw with Jon Gnagy”. He avidly watched the program weekly, following along as Gnagy drew in heavy pencil and explained the process as he worked.

    Whigham’s most vivid memory is of a drawing showing two boys walking in the snow pulling a sled with a rope. There was a house in the distance, and Gnagy’s explained how to add light, shadow, and contrast to create the illusion of a hill with depth using simple lines in footprints and sled tracks.

    Whigham was hooked!

    In high school, Rod’s art teacher noticed the interest that several students had in comic book illustration. He pulled them together with the printing classes to produce a comic for the school. It was a mutual learning experience for both sets of students and went on to be produced for three years. It helped Rod understand a greater scope of the process – like what happened to line weight and detail when the image was reduced in size.


    This solidified Whigham’s goals - He knew that producing comics was what he wanted to pursue as a career. Rod was considered an art “rock star” at his high school. “The problem is, when you get into the real world, you’re in the mix with ALL the art “rock stars” from across the country. It’s very competitive in what is a very limited job market.”

    How did you get started as a graphic novel artist?

    Whigham’s talent was noticed by Marvel Comics, then later DC Comics in the 1980’s.

    In comic books’ best of times, the production schedule was on a monthly cycle: The team was to produce 22 pages. Writers produced a script, (like a TV show) with dialog that made it easier for the artists to visualize the story and produce the graphics, the dialog was turned over and Whigham and team would produce the panels.

    Marvel introduced an alternate production style -- developed by the famous Stan Lee. The Marvel approach was to write a synopsis (e.g., SpiderMan is in high school. He gets sick and loses his job. Then the bad guy shows up.) This reversed approach was popular with artists because they could visualize the story and break it down into panels. Then the dialog came afterward, based on the graphics.

    The production of comic books today has evolved, especially regarding the coloring process and printing quality. But the team-work nature of mainstream comics remains mostly the same.

    Facing growing competition from video games, internal struggles and over expansion, the comic book industry experienced a collapse in the 1990’s. To continue working as an artist, Whigham produced commercial art, comps and layouts for advertising. He has always been a film fan and worked towards producing storyboards and concept art for movies and has story boarded several films. He currently he produces the art for a nationally distributed comic strip, Tribune Media’s ‘Gil Thorp’.

    Where do you get inspiration for your works?

    “It’s the telling of the story and, of course, the artists I loved reading comics as a kid. Artists like Gil Kane, Russ Heath and Jim Steranko. In the early years, characters like DC’s BlackHawks were favorites. Science fiction and historical books also had a strong appeal.”

    He loves the stories about real people, characters who are not all-powerful or indestructible. “I think real heroes are people who get knocked down and get back up to fight against the odds. Flying super-beings lost their interest to me early on.”

    During the days of “full production”, Whigham was producing 370 pages of art annually. That’s over 4000 pages to date!

    What is your favorite subject matter?

    “I never try to imitate the popular trend. I draw what I like.”

    A recent creation is a series of paintings called “Zombie Romance”. The works were featured at the Rabbit Hole Gallery in Atlanta.

    Rod’s style is considered “silver age” or realistic.

    What advice do you have for someone who wants to begin their artistic journey?

    “Get serious training - do whatever it takes to get formal instruction. I’m self-taught and have accomplished much, but I could have gone further in a shorter time if I had done an apprenticeship. You can improve your craft with diligence, but you limit yourself. You need someone to work with who will push you beyond your limits.”

    “Also, a young artist’s connections in the graphic novel industry and self motivation are very important.” One bright moment for Whigham was that he taught in a “Young Audiences” program in elementary and middle schools. He showed kids a formula for how to draw a human face. Specifically, he taught them to draw Wolverine!

  • 7 Oct 2018 11:13 PM | William (Administrator)

    Alexis Noel is the Shop Manager and in the core leadership group for Roswell Firelabs.  She keeps track of inventory acquired, provides shop training, and looks for donations for materials desired by members.  Some of the equipment that has been donated needs to be cleaned and refurbished.  Some of the equipment, woodworking equipment for instance, needs to be assessed to determine that it is usable.  Alexis, the daughter of Chiropractors, is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She came to Atlanta to attend Georgia Tech, where she studied mechanical engineering, then went on to earn her PhD. 

    How did you get into this unique role with Roswell Firelabs?

    “During my years of working on my degree at Georgia Tech, they started a maker space.  That was the first time I heard of it. “

    Alexis says, “The maker space, which we called the ‘Invention studio’, began in one tiny room with a waterjet machine – it has the ability to cut just about anything: metals, plastics, ceramics.  I was fascinated with it!  It was students teaching students.  This grew to 140 students in 6 rooms – completely run by students.”  From that experience, Alexis learned how to grow and develop a maker space.

    “I was in charge of fixing and maintaining our legion of 3D printers, as well as teaching new students how to use equipment such as laser cutters, sewing machines, and woodworking equipment. I loved the learning/teaching environment.”

    During this involvement with the Invention Studio, Alexis was able to dabble in different areas of building and engineering.  From that, she built – from scratch – an acoustic guitar.  In another project, she used her welding and blacksmith know-how to craft garden gates.

    How did you first become interested in mechanical engineering?

    As a kid, Alexis says she was always into crafts.  She made many things from popsicle sticks. 

    “One year for Christmas, all I wanted was a box of springs.” 

    In her high school physics class, the students made “mousetrap” cars.  She attributes that project to her pursuit of a degree in mechanical engineering. 

    Alexis currently works in bio-mechanics for GTRI (Georgia Tech Research Institute) and resides in Roswell.

    What interests you about Roswell Fire Labs?

    These days, Alexis is passionate about teaching.  In her role at RFL, she wants to interact with the local schools.  Specifically, she envisions an after-school program to get youth involved at RFL.

    To help Alexis and the other members of Roswell Fire Labs achieve their goals, there is still a focus on making the community aware of the benefits to the community and to identify donations needed.  Alexis says that the space needs cleaning supplies; basic hand tools like wrenches, screwdrivers and clamps; woodshop tools like bandsaws and circular saws; sewing machines and tools like scissors, seam rippers, and measuring tapes; soldering irons for electronics work; consumables like paint, printer paper.  Of course, monetary donations are also welcome.  Click here to donate via the website, or email info@atlantamakeralliance.org to donate equipment or supplies.

Roswell FireLabs
1601 Holcomb Bridge Rd

Roswell, GA 30076

Roswell FireLabs is managed by Atlanta Maker Alliance, Inc., a local 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donations should be made out to Atlanta Maker Alliance.

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