Thanks for stopping by! My name is Melanie Gehrke and I am the founder and owner of The Mad Makery. 

I grew up in Waupaca, Wisconsin. I spent much of my childhood crafting, making, designing and building with everything I could get my hands on. I also spent lots of playing school with my two younger sisters. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. Teaching is just a part of who I am. 

I attended UW Madison and earned a B.S. in Art Education in 2008. I began my career as an elementary art teacher in Richland, WA and I absolutely loved it. It was hard work but so fulfilling. 

Eventually I moved to Denver, CO where I taught both elementary art and 3rd grade. In 2016 I earned a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction. 

Unfortunately, after 5 years of teaching, I was completely burned out and decided I needed to find a new career path. 

Unsurprisingly, I found a new way to keep teaching! I opened The Mad Makery in November of 2017. I'm excited to see where my path will lead next. I hope I get the chance to meet you along the way!


The Shop

Many of the materials needed for our kits and projects do not exist. Most of the wood and metal pieces that come in our kits and workshops are manufactured by hand in our studio in Madison, WI. Craftsmanship is very important to us and we take great pride in our products. We are so happy we can share our love of making with you!


We believe

  • Everyone is a maker at heart.

  • Working with your hands to make something is an incredibly powerful experience.

  • Making should be a regular part of everyone’s life.


Our Vision

To inspire creativity, to encourage the art of crafting by hand, and to design so everyone can experience the joy of making. 


Our Mission

  • To provide a convenient, fun way for people to make handmade goods.

  • To carefully design each project and consider every detail so you have a successful and enjoyable making experience.

  • To empower people to see themselves as makers and take pride in the projects they make by hand.