Maker Series Build #2 | Tribute for the River Kelly Fund

By November 11, 2020General




Working with an amazing team you can create anything, including memories. Together with makers April Wilkerson and Brandy Aubé, WorkbenchCon, and many others we celebrated the life of River Kelly Smith through an amazing build for the Smith family. 

Brandy Aubé, Amber Smith and April Wilkerson (l to r) Photo credit: Instagram @_callmemabie_


The second episode of the Maker Series challenged the talented and well-known makers to build a tribute piece for the River Kelly Fund in 48 hours. Watch as April explains the River Table Build on her YouTube page here! April and Brandy joined forces to build a loving tribute. Video credit to @_callmemabie_ 

River passed away at the age of 3 following a tragic drowning incident. His organs were donated so that other children would be given a second chance at life. The project came together when Melissa Miller reached out to Amber and Granger Smith regarding a project in remembrance of River. She reached out to Tom Gray at Make48 and Kristin Stockdale, founder of WORKBENCHCon (the conference for makers and content creators) and it all came together.

Bucky Miller with Amber Smith. Photo Credit: Instagram @thomasformanjr


Kristin Stockdale, Amber Smith and Tom Gray. Photo Credit: Instagram @thomasformanjr


Makers April Wilkerson and Brandy Aubé were phenomenal

April Wilkerson is a woodworking artist from Texas and specializes in do-it-yourself projects on her well-known YouTube DIY channel Wilker Do’s.

April invited Brandy Aubé, a welding fabricator at Studio Aubé from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana to help her create the table’s legs and base. Together they created a breathtaking river table in 48 hours. 















The Makers had help in the creation of the memoriam piece. 

The beautiful tulip slab was hand picked from Millers Rustic Sawmill in King City, Missouri. Melissa and Bucky Miller chose the kiln-dried piece with Amber Smith, and Tom brought it to Canyon Lake, Texas in the Make48 trailer.

ShopBot Tools expert Gordon worked with April on the CNC router to create the river within the slab and helped create a few special showpieces with Melissa and Bucky Miller, including a beautiful serving tray and wood coasters with their children’s drawings imprinted on them. 


Kristin and Mike flew from Rhode Island to help with the epoxy pour from Total Boat. To create the right flowing river the team from Total Boat along with April tried several different runs before choosing one they felt represented the project.


We learned a lot from one another and we can’t wait for you to see the full 20-minute build from Make48 and WORKBENCHcon. It was said over and over again, but the teamwork and camaraderie was an amazing thing to be a part of.

Photo credit: Instagram _callmemabie_

We couldn’t do it without the support of our amazing team and supporters from around the country.

Thank you to local supporters at Alamo Brewing Company and Quantum Coffee Roasters for supporting the maker series throughout the weekend with your delicious flavors! Just like our Greenville event, we had a personal chef from Cannington Farms cooking homemade meals for everyone onsite. One of our favorite places was the treehouse at breaks and mealtimes. 

Thank you to ShopBot Tools, Miller Welders, Millers Rustic Sawmill, Total Boat, Original Super Glue, and Home Depot for sharing your time, expertise and tools throughout the weekend. Our next Maker Series will be in January, 2021. Keep following to see what happens next!

Miller Welding Photo Credit: Instagram @thomasformanjr

Photo credit: Instagram @_callmemabie_

Photo credit: Instagram @_callmemabie_

Photo credit: Instagram @_callmemabie_



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.