They are stay-at-home mothers who want to be there for their families but also feel productive and want to contribute to their household budgets; they are men leaving behind meaningless jobs and trying to help the communities where they live; they are people working long nights and multiple jobs to pursue a dream; they are makers. In a world of fast consumption, inhumane manufacturing practices, and short-sighted ways of creating wealth, these Chicagoans are doing it right.Isa Giallorenzo

Good with their hands

Five local artisans on their chosen paths and handmade wares:

Allison Mooney of Allison Mooney Design

Bergen Anderson of Lilla Barn Clothing

Carla Miles of Popped Handmade

George Schaefer and Leigh-Anne Riebold of Norman Leigh Design

Katherine Duncan of Katherine Anne Confections

By Isa Giallorenzo

Credit: Jamie Ramsay

Sara McIntosh teaches shoemaking as a first step toward self-reliance

Here’s a look at how students at the Chicago School of Shoemaking craft custom footwear.

By Jamie Ramsay

Credit: City of Chicago Photographer

The Chicago Public Library Maker Lab gives everyone access to some amazing toys

From curtains to medical models, this is the place to go to play with ideas in physical form.

By Katie Powers

Credit: Kate Bek

If you have a deep-seated need to sew your own undies, Amy Taylor is here for you

The “underpants extraordinaire” teaches a BYOB Friday-night class at Lillstreet Art Center.

By Deanna Isaacs

Credit: One Strange Bird

Here are seven more of the most interesting maker classes the city has to offer

Build a terrarium! Sew a baby bib! Design your own perfume!

By Matt Harvey