Friday night, the approximately 90 craftspeople who have rented workspace at Artisan’s Asylum’s new digs, near Union Square, started moving in.
Around 6 p.m., before the expected flood of nine-to-fivers arrived, tenants hauled pieces of wood, metal-and in one case a racecar-to their cubicles inside the 25,000-square-foot warehouse. These welders, woodworkers and other craftspeople will be building robots, boats and bicycles, making jewelry and sewing upholstery at all times of the day and night.
This fall, from East Somerville to 10 Tyler St., within the Ames complex, a shuttered envelope making company. The move should enable the non-profit organization to rent even more workspace, pay a small staff and invest in the community, said president Gui Cavalcanti.
Over the past few months, volunteers have painted the warehouse white, gray and red, built cubicles and hung huge curtains to help control the sound that will soon blast from the machines in the metal and wood shops.
The warehouse is so big that people use scooters to speedily travel from one end of it to another.
In one corner, members of SCUL, a group that builds and rides peculiar bicycles, have fashioned a workroom full of colorful, contorted ones.
The door adjacent to SCUL’s space leads to a 5,000-square-foot room that Artisan’s Asylum will soon take over, Cavalcanti said. The addition should allow the organization to take on some of the 65 people who would like to move in.
With so many people renting the studio, Cavalcanti said that he expects the mood to be much more social that it was at the previous location.
“It’s on,” he said. “There’s constant inspiration.”
Besides renting workspace, the organization offers classes that teach people how to make coffee, wallets and costumes, maintain bicycles and eat fire. Through a membership program, it also gives experienced craftspeople access to tools and machines to carry out their projects.