From November 2018 to March 2020, San Diego Jewelry Lab was known as Anneville Jewelry Lab because it was a brick & mortar jewelry metal arts school and co-work space located next to Anne Wolf's studio in Liberty Station - a part of the NTC Arts District. We offered multi-week classes, independent study and 1-5 day workshops. Topics covered a wide range of the jewelry/metals field, from absolute beginner basics taught by Jessica Andersen and Julie Monroe to advanced specialty techniques such as Japanese metalsmithing taught by Ford Hallam, stone setting by Alexandra Hart, keum boo taught by Bette Barnett and mokume gane taught by Anne Wolf. Many of our students took classes multiple times to perfect their techniques and gain inspiration from each other. Our workshops drew students from around the U.S. and internationally. In addition to classes we had Open Lab time where jewelry metal arts makers worked together, enjoyed our little "Broken Sawblade Cafe" (which became the Peg and Pickle Pub after hours) and shopped for tools and supplies in our small General Store. We also hosted a monthly First Friday Open Studio where makers and the public nibbled tasty snacks, watched live demos and shopped our Gallery Case featuring work by our teachers and students. All of that changed on March 19th, 2020.
On March 19th, 2020 the state of California issued a mandatory COVID shelter in place order and all non-essential businesses were closed so we immediately moved our classes online. While some businesses opened and closed over the following months, we never felt it was acceptable to endanger a single student in the name of continuing our in-person operations. Instead, we threw ourselves into developing online classes and events to make up for our loss of community. We quickly developed a free, live show on Zoom called Metal Arts Adventures and we started hosting our free online Sawing Circles. Both were met with enthusiastic attendance and participation.
We always knew that The Lab was bigger than one little room - our space was only 300 sq. ft. after all. Anneville Jewelry Lab was really all about the creative, funny, caring people who gathered together to learn, exchange ideas and share in the ups and downs of life. As the COVID crisis deepened, we made the heart-wrenching decision to close our space permanently and re-home all of our tools, fixtures and supplies.
But as we closed that door, we found our new online world expanding. Throughout the summer and fall of 2020 we were humbled to see every class we offered fill up with eager students. Suddenly we were meeting wonderful new students around the U.S. and the world with attendees in Brazil, England, Germany and even Taiwan. Since then we have continued to develop and grow our classes. Rather than dying, Anneville Jewelry Lab evolved to San Diego Jewelry Lab and we've had more success than ever in achieving our goal of connecting jewelry and metal arts people from various disciplines to create a thriving community.
As the new year dawns here in San Diego, dolphins frolic, sunsets blaze and hope is all around us. Until we can be together in person, we'll keep creating new online classes and fun metal arts events. In this time when there's so much we can't do, we're focused on what we can do - make cool stuff, continue learning, help our community and be a ray of sunshine for everyone struggling. Thank you for reading our story and being a part of the journey. Join us for an upcoming class or event!
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Educator, metalsmith, jeweler, maker of custom mokume gane jewelry and wedding rings.