Nebraska Innovation Studio celebrates six years of making

Phil Whitmarsh (left) and Broderick Fielding, who both make guitars, talk about their instruments during an open house at Nebraska Innovation Studio on Thursday. Photo: Gwyneth Roberts, Journal Star

When it opened in 2015, Nebraska Innovation Studio had a wide selection of tools and equipment and an open floor plan.

Like many of the projects it has birthed, the potential was there to be filled.

Now, six years later, the makerspace at Nebraska Innovation Campus is celebrating its growth and development into a 16,000-square-foot facility that has scratched the itch for makers of all stripes.“I actually think the desire to make something in the physical world is hardwired in our brains,” said David Martin, director of Nebraska Innovation Studio.

The inherent need to turn raw materials into something special was something that struck Phil Whitmarsh, who turned from a buyer of guitars into a maker.

Using reclaimed wood from a 1870s-era warehouse in Omaha’s Old Market, soft pine hardened by more than a century of vibration, Whitmarsh saw an opportunity to design his own guitar base he said provides a bolder sound for an electric guitar.

Using the equipment at Nebraska Innovation Studio, Whitmarsh began to design Telecasters and Stratocasters, and get them into the hands of local players and touring musicians to see if he was onto something.

“If you can imagine it, you can make it happen here,” he said. "And that's what's so cool." Read More | Additional Photos & Video>>

by: Chris Dunker | Lincoln Journal Star