Meet the steward: Caitlin

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Meet Caitlin von Gaertner, our newest steward, who is excited to learn new skills and be part of our maker community.

Tell us about yourself.
My professional life has been varied, and I feel really lucky to have been able to do so many things! I recently left my job as a social worker to pursue photography full-time. I own two photography companies, one for weddings called Gallivan Photo (where I shoot mostly with my husband), and one called Caitlin and Co. Photographers which is family photo journalism focused. I love my work, but I also love working with my hands and creating things. I am an avid gardener who is always looking for creative ways to grow things with very little water. I majored in environmental science, so I enjoy all things involving conservation and nature.

Why did you become a steward?
I became a steward, so I could learn new skills and make my things! I am fascinated with how things are made, and I love to be able to try to make and understand the true value of things. I love that here at DIYcave, and you can learn to do anything, no matter what your background is. I am still new, so I haven’t made anything yet, but my first project is going to be a geodesic dome greenhouse for my garden.

What is your favorite part about being a steward?
I love the community here. Everyone is so friendly, and it doesn’t matter where you came from, you feel like you belong instantly. It’s a true community, and I feel comfortable here. If you want to make something, everyone encourages you, so you feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. It’s also really collaborative, with people asking your opinion on what looks good, which is fun to be apart of so many projects.

What has been your favorite project you’ve been able to witness?
I’ve enjoyed watching Lynn make her pineapple sculpture. It was about 6 feet tall and made of some unusual materials. I also loved watching another member make a warre beehive. I hope to make a hive before next spring as well.

What is your favorite skill that you learned at DIYcave?
I loved learning to weld, and I am looking forward to practicing more. I also really love the wood lathe and plan to take the class so I can try it myself.

Overall, I really love being here. It energizes and inspires me, and gets me out of the house (where I work) to meet new people. It’s a great place!

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