“I HAVE TROUBLE SAYING NO TO COOL THINGS.”

Published December 1, 2015

JOE ROTONDI, 30, CREATIVITY CATALYST

Joe Rotondi stumbled upon a group of makers – inventors, creators, tinkerers – at Geeksboro coffee shop. They were brainstorming ways to open their own makerspace, a space where people can come together to create, invent and learn. He knew he had to be a part of that.

Now Joe’s the maestro of The Forge, executive director of the city’s only space that connects makers with equipment resources that would otherwise be quite costly. It’s got a full wood working shop and 3D printers. Makers can meet mentors there.

It’s been a hub of creative concepts. Joe’s even seen a local police officer design and fabric a light system fabricated and printed via The Forge’s 3D printer.

Joe’s a maker himself. He uses The Forge’s equipment to do laser engraving. He’s also designed his own pour-over coffee stations, in case you appreciate really good coffee. It was an excuse to practice the dovetail joint, a technique used in woodworking. It’s also a meditative craft that leaves him feeling refreshed after completing a project, he explains.

The station now sits in the adjacent co-working space’s kitchen at HQ Greensboro where users can make the perfect pour-over without bringing in their own coffee makers.

The Forge lowers the barriers to creativity and new ideas, Joe says.

“I enjoy the role of being a catalyst, enabling people to do the things they are really good at,” Joe says. “The end result is seeing someone shine – that’s rewarding in itself.”

Joe Rotondi, maker and executive director for The Forge, a makerspace, Tuesday, October 20, 2015, in Greensboro, N.C. JERRY WOLFORD and SCOTT MUTHERSBAUGH / Perfecta Visuals Joe stumbled upon a group of makers at a local coffee shop, brainstorming ideas on forming their own makerspace, a space where people can come together to create, invent and learn. He couldn’t stop himself from getting involved. What started as subscribing to their e-newsletter later led to a huge career opportunity.   Now Joe’s the maestro of The Forge, the city’s only space that connects makers with equipment, mentors and resources that would otherwise be quite costly. It’s home to a full wood working shop and soft space that includes 3D printers. The Forge “lowers the barriers of entry in creativity and new ideas.”