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Artisan’s Asylum

Boasting a new 25,000-square-foot space that is home to more than 100 artists, fabricators and business people, Artisan’s Asylum has the tools and programs to accommodate any kind of interest.

The Somerville, Mass., club, which was cited by Boston Magazine as a reason why Somerville is the best place to live in the Boston area, has all the amenities of your average makerspace plus a few extras to make it more inviting. There is a kitchenette and dining area where members can eat and socialize, air conditioning and heating, access to a loading dock on the ground level and options for electrical service in their rental units.

The club has a very impressive collection of tools that includes a fully equipped machine shop, welding shop, woodworking shop, fabric shop, bike shop and electronics lab.  And they’re getting ready to add jewelry making and screen-printing shops.

Artisan’s Asylum rents extra space in various sizes to its members, with rental prices ranging from $5 for a shelf to $275 for a 200-square-foot workspace. These also come with wireless internet service.

The non-profit studio’s mission is to support teaching and learning, and it does so with a huge slate of courses and special events. The coursework covers everything from digital media to woodworking to glassworking and caters to all experience levels. The club also has a number of one-day introductory events, like its Intro to Bike Shop seminar, designed to give beginners an glimpse to what the club has to offer.

One of the weekly clubs using Artisan’s Asylum gained some national attention for a project it competed. The Robotics Intensive course, a group of 19 engineering enthusiasts, created a six-legged robot weighing 500 pounds and packing 135 horsepower in its propane-fueled body.

In addition to a website, Artisan’s Asylum also maintains a wiki page that includes direction to the club, floor plans and information about the different craft areas.

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