Web Marketplace ArtFire.com to Launch Maker Space in Historic Bates Mansion

April 3, 2013


This former swimming pool space will become the main classroom for art, tech, and media programs at Maker House.

Tucson based web marketplace ArtFire.com will be moving their software development and web marketing team to the former home of the Mountain Oyster Club, the Bates Mansion, located at 283 N Stone. Company founders John Jacobs and Tony Ford will launch a new artisan focused maker space on the property, called “Maker House”. ArtFire will relocate all of their staff and offices from the east side of Tucson to co-locate with the new maker space.

“We’re excited to join the many companies, large and small, who are investing in the future of Downtown Tucson,” said ArtFire CEO John Jacobs said. “Moving ArtFire.com into this wonderful historic space perfectly matches both the future of tech companies in Southern Arizona and our commitment to artisans and the creative entrepreneur.”

ArtFire was founded in Tucson in 2008 and currently features 1 million artisan items from over 15,000 global artists. The company averages $1.2 million in artwork sold monthly from more than 2.5 million global shoppers.

“Creating a physical space that mirrors the variety, diversity and collaboration of our online artisan community and joining that to the indie artist community in Tucson is a perfect way to extend the ArtFire brand.” said Tony Ford, COO of ArtFire.

Maker House will feature maker/hacker/creative space, classes and events for creatives and tech lovers alike, with on-site equipment such as 3D printers, kilns, screen printers, vinyl cutters and other artisan tools not available to most independent artists. The event space will include a coffee bar, outdoor courtyard space for concerts, meeting rooms and communal workspaces. Space will also be open to community groups, artisan collectives and non-profits for meetings and events.

“The historic Bates Mansion is a fantastic location for a project like Maker House,” said Ford. “I can’t imagine a more fitting space for a project that offers new collaborations for creative people.”