Features and Occasionals

DIY: EnjiGO and Mom’s Stuff

By Alice Toler

The Maker culture in Salt Lake City has just enjoyed a facilities upgrade and expansion, so if you’ve ever yearned to learn more about electronics, 3D printing, robotics, laser cutting, CNC manufacturing, LED hacking, wood shop, Arduino programming, or just about any aspect of custom building new and cool widgets and tech art, it’s time to get off your duff and go start making things.

A consortium of makers from the Robot Fanatics and MakeSLC communities have joined forces to bring us the new nonprofit EnjiGO makerspace. Duane Johnson, a transplant to Salt Lake from Canada by way of Chicago, brings his prior experience with the lively hackerspace at the windy city’s Pumping Station One and is a member of the board of directors of the new entity: “EnjiGO is a nonprofit foundation whose mission is to educate, provide makers with co-working space, and to help hardware entrepreneurs get their feet on the ground. Each of the nine members of the board put in somewhere from $1,000 and $4,000 to jump-start the organization. These are people who believe in people they haven’t met yet, and trust that makers are here in our city, looking for this kind of community and space.”

This is all very good news for local makers. “We’re building things up slowly, but the space is certainly useable right now by early adopters,” Duane says. “We’ll have a CNC router that will be useful for making circuit boards and wood and aluminum things. We have some 3D printers already in the space for plastics, and we’re working on a giant 4-foot by 8-foot router for large wood panels. We’ll soon have a powerful laser cutter as well—and this will really be a treat to use on wood, some plastics, and for engraving things like tile and granite.”

EnjiGO will also be offering classes covering everything from beginners soldering to mid-level circuit design and programmable LED lights. The new space, at 30 East Kensington Avenue, will hold a Grand Opening in the early fall. u

Highlighted event: Saturday,
July 20 3-5p.m.,
Solar Engineer—DIY Kids.

Mom’s Stuff

Lee Udall Bennion, a Utah artist, also knows the value of a good home remedy. The wife of a potter, she created a salve to soothe her husband’s dry, cracked hands—so often the bane of those who keep their mitts in wet clay all day. She found it was good for everyone’s skin, and that it also soothed insect bites and helped both dogs and horses heal up from scratches. It even kept the biting flies away.

One summer, Lee’s oldest daughter Louisa worked as a guide on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Rafting is particularly hard on your hands, and Louisa kept hers in shape with some of Lee’s handmade salve. She shared it with her fellow guides, and by the end of the trip they were all asking, “Hey, could I get a little more of your mom’s stuff for my hands?” And Mom’s Stuff was born.

Extra virgin olive oil, locally harvested beeswax, wild harvested piñon pine pitch, sweet almond and apricot kernel oils, jojoba oil, lanolin, and essential oils of tea tree, rosemary and neem all go into this firm, piney-smelling ointment. You dig a piece out with your thumbnail and it melts right into your skin as you smooth it on. I have a tendency to get scaly elbows, and Mom’s Stuff healed my rough spot right up.

Many of its ingredients have antifungal properties, and other customers have posted rave reviews about Mom’s Stuff’s ability to heal everything from chafing to stinky feet. Bennion’s product is not available in stores—buy it online. It’s not cheap, but you get what you pay for: a high-quality, locally made salve, manufactured in small batches, and containing superlative ingredients. Anyone who works with their hands will appreciate this fine remedy—carpenters, doctors, gardeners, climbers, beauticians and more.

Lee Bennion’s work is also featured on the cover of this issue of CATALYST (as well as the April 2013 edition—read more about her on p. 4. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Utah Arts Council and is a regular participant in presentations and workshops for artists.

Lee’s Mom’s Stuff Salve can be purchased online (http://www.momsstuffsalve.com) or at the Horseshoe Mountain Pottery shop, 258 S. Main St., Spring City.

This article was originally published on June 28, 2013.