The Lab is Dead, Long Live the Lab! Anneville Jewelry Lab is evolving from a tiny brick & mortar space to an international, online community.
As COVID arrived in San Diego we bleach-wiped our tools and started evaluating contingencies, but with the March 19th closure of all non-essential businesses, everything came to a halt. Initially we thought our only option was to re-open. We priced plywood and looked at other ideas but the most people we would ever be able to safely accommodate in terms of social distancing would be three - a tech and two students. That was not going to pay our costs. We researched small business loans but we didn't qualify for the ones we found - or by the time we did, their funds were gone. While we researched and pondered, the Lab sat quiet. Clearly we would need to innovate to survive.
So, with the ever-intrepid Bette Barnett, we waded into uncharted territory with our first online class - and were met with enthusiastic success. Our next step was Anne's first online class and it did well too (we even got our first online international student!). The final test was whether we could successfully regather our community. For that we launched Metal Arts Adventures with Anne & Ame - a free weekly live show featuring metal arts demos, tips & tricks, and interactive segments. As weeks turned to months, our goal of teaching and finding community online became a reality.
We always believed that Anneville Jewelry Lab was bigger than the cramped 260 sq. ft. rental in which it began. Going online gives us a world of possibilities to feature international artists and connect with the worldwide metal arts community. Would our physical space be closing if it COVID had not happened? No. But, while COVID shut us down, what it really did was give us an opportunity think differently. It was our impetus to evolve.
That's where you come in; we hope you'll evolve with us. The Lab's physical space is closing but before it does, we want to give you a chance to come in, work a bit and maybe even take home a part of the Lab to your home studio.
The Lab is open - sort of
With all COVID precautions in place, we are opening up some lab hours between June 16th and 26th. We can accommodate two users at a time with masks and social distancing required. We've carefully reorganized the Lab to make this possible, while keeping all of the tools available-soldering station, rolling mill (yes!), shears, tumbler, pickle, etc. 3-hour blocks (sorry, that is the minimum) are available now for booking via our online calendar.
We're having an FU COVID Sale too
We don't plan to reopen a lab location in the near future so rather than store things, we're having a big tool & equipment sale. To be clear, this isn't a bargain basement sale, we're charging fair prices for gently-used tools in the hopes that we can at least partially offset the rent and other fees incurred during the mandatory shut down. We also want to see our well-loved equipment go to good homes. DO NOT come by the Lab. We'll be sharing details about the sale in the coming days.
"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." ~ Alexander Graham Bell
We have plans to work with new teachers, develop more online classes, launch our new website and continue to improve our free Metal Arts Adventures and other cool ideas. We're also interested in coordinating socially-distanced get-togethers in the future. The bottom line is that we're expanding our mission to teach and create community in the best way we know of for now. We hope you'll continue to be a part of it. The Lab is Dead, Long Live the Lab!
Educator, metalsmith, jeweler, maker of custom mokume gane jewelry and wedding rings.