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The Smithery Showcases the Handmade Aspect of Artist-Made Gifts

Anne Evans Anne Evans The Smithery Showcases the Handmade Aspect of Artist-Made GiftsPhotos by Anne Evans.
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What does it take to open your own storefront, filled with many of your own handmade items? Persistence and dedication, say Anne Holman and Jen Townsend. Each has been building a career as a metalsmith for years, crafting their own lines of jewelry under their respective brands Anne Holman Jewelry Design and Jen Townsend Jewelry.

On Saturday, October 18th, the pair will open The Smithery, a shop in Grandview featuring their own designs and other artist-made goods, as well as showcasing a workbench to allow patrons to see how handcrafted jewelry is made.

“We want people to gain an appreciation for the work that goes into metalsmithing and give them the opportunity to learn about it,” says Holman. “It is important for us to share the processes and materials our artists use when building their quality handmade products. ”

The store will offer work by artists not yet carried in the area who fit the shop’s aesthetic and accessible price points. Each work will have the story of its making told. Holman and Townsend are excited to use the shop to try new things with their own work, offer one-of-a-kind items, and offer customization.

“The focus is on studio art jewelry, but we also carry hand pulled prints, textiles, ceramic items, and hand printed stationery,” says Townsend. “Having artist made products in daily life is a rewarding experience that we want to share with our patrons.”

Townsend and Holman met during a class at Columbus Collage of Art and Design.

“The first time I met Anne, she was a guest speaker in my Studio Professions class at CCAD,” says Townsend. “I sat in the front row and asked her a million questions because she was living proof that I could make jewelry for a living. That class changed me, it made me realize this was possible.”

Holman remembers being impressed with Townsend’s work ethic, conceptual designs, and her jewelry line. So much so, that she had plans to recruit her as an assistant for her own jewelry production.

“To my disappointment, she was moving away from Columbus for a while,” shares Holman.

When Townsend returned to Columbus and began looking for studio space, Holman offered extra space in her studio at Millworks Art Studios, and offered shared use of her equipment.

“It was, by far, the most spacious studio I have ever had,” says Townsend.

It was during that time the two discovered they shared very similar dreams for their careers.

“Each of us had been teaching in different venues, and traveling every weekend to sell our work in different cities,” says Townsend. “The time away from the studio practice left us feeling rather disjointed in our making.”

“We yearned to focus our energy in one place,” says Holman. “A space that could act as a studio, a community workshop space, a store where we can sell our work, and a venue for us to support and sell work of the many artists who we have met that have inspired us from our years in the studio art jewelry community.”

The Smithery is located on Grandview Avenue, in the space formerly occupied by Thread. Some elements were kept, but most everything has been refinished or replaced. Brooke Smith, a local artist skilled in furniture making, crafted the centerpiece of the workshop – a solid wood jewelry workshop bench that will seat eight students.

“It really was our ideal location, and we are still a little stunned that it became available,” says Townsend.

“I’ve always loved Grandview Ave since I moved to Columbus,” says Holman. “The independent businesses are what add to its charm. I have always wanted to be a part of that. There is a vibrancy that is felt here that reminds me of favorite streets in other cities.”

At the Grand Opening on Saturday, guests will enjoy special promotions and light hors d’oeuvres.

The Smithery’s hours will be Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am-7pm, Thursday through Saturday from 11am-8pm, Sunday from 12pm-5pm, and closed on Monday. Workshop schedules are planned to begin in January, 2015. The shop will also have artist trunk shows, and in 2015 will offer small private classes and shopping events.

Want to know how they opened their store? The Metropreneur has more.

Visit The Smithery at 1306 Grandview Avenue, Grandview Heights, Ohio 43212. For more information, visit ShopTheSmithery.com.

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Visit The Smithery at 1306 Grandview Avenue, Grandview Heights, Ohio 43212. For more information, visit ShopTheSmithery.com.

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