FAQ & Tips


Location

Where are you anyway?

We are located at 10 Tyler Street, Somerville, Massachusetts 02143. We are a 5-minute walk from Union Square, a 15-minute walk from Porter Square, and a 20 minute walk from Harvard. Here is a link to directions and parking information.

Can I just drop in to see the space?

We offer tours at set times each day: see this page for a listing. If you would like to arrange a specialized tour or have a large group, please email us at contact [at] asylum [dot] com.
During our Staffed Hours, you can use a day pass and sign up for classes, membership, and space rental.

Where should I park?

Parking is available around the corner across Dane Street (the lot has a sign for Winebow). We ask that Asylum members, students, and guests avoid parking on the street except for active loading and unloading. Here is a link to directions and parking information.

Are you easily accessible through the MBTA?

We are! We have several bus lines nearby and are walking/biking distance from both Porter and Harvard Sqaure T stops. See here for more info.

Membership

Let’s do this! How do I join?

Just stop on by the Asylum any time during staffed hours and one of our helpful front desk volunteers will assist you.

What types of membership are there?

There are monthly and daily memberships and between these two there are several different tiers you can choose from that work best for you. Please see our membership page for more info.

Do I need to be a member to rent storage and/or studio space?

Yes, that is for members only.

Do you have any smaller day passes?

Five day-passes is our smallest package because it is a fairly major investment for us to process new users. We’re excited to do it, but only if you’re going to be coming back! Day passes do not expire and can be given as gifts. More information about day-passes and membership can be found here.

Can I earn credit towards taking a class/membership through volunteering?

Depends on how you help! Some tasks that are more involved will earn you classroom credits. Other tasks you will be thanked with delicious snacks and warm feelings. Please see our volunteer page for how you can help!

Classes

I’ve never made anything before, is that OK?

Absolutely! Most of our classes are designed to teach people who have little or no experience with the topic. Our instructors and members are enthusiastic about their areas of knowledge and love to get new people hooked.

Do I have to be a member to take classes at the Asylum?

No. All of our classes, tool trainings and testing are open to the public and do not require membership to attend.

I don’t live close enough/do enough crafts for monthly or daily memberships to make sense, but I might be interested in classes. Do I need to pay any extra fee for that?

No other fees are necessary to attend a class. Class costs cover your membership for the duration of that time.

Are you looking for instructors?

Yes! Here is more about Teaching at the Asylum.

Is there an age minimum for classes?

All of our classes and membership services are restricted to adults 18 and up. Children in the building as guests must be supervised by an adult at all time.

Tools, Equipment & Storage

What kind of tools do you have?

We have tools for electronics, woodworking, metalworking, welding, sewing, robotics, and bicycle work. We have a list of our major equipment here.

Can I use Asylum tools without having to take a class?

Monthly and daily members have access to our tools but are required to demonstrate familiarity with equipment before being allowed to use it unsupervised. This is both to protect our equipment and our members. See our Tool Training & Testing page for more information.

What’s the difference between Tool Training and Tool Testing

Tool training comes first! You must first know how to use the tool before using it. Once you have taken a training session you will be tested on your ability to use the tool. Once you have gone through this Tool Testing you may use the tool independently.

Will I be able to store my projects?

Storage rental is available by the month to monthly members. See our Studio and Storage Space page for more information.

What materials are available for general use?

Members are expected to supply their own materials. 3D printer material is provided, at a cost of $6.25 per cubic inch. We do have a very productive scrap wood bin and a ton of small electronic components that are available for general use. Occasionally you can scrounge something good from the metal scrap bin as well.

What else?

Do you offer a program for company outings? Field trips?

Currently we do not offer a team building program but we are in the process of developing one. Please stay tuned!

What do you have for kids?

At the moment, due to limitations of our insurance coverage, we cannot provide programming for anyone under the age of 18. Children in the building as guests must be supervised by an adult at all times. We do recommend Parts and Crafts if you are looking for children’s activities in the area.

What kinds of donations do you accept?

We will gladly accept financial contributions. If you have tools or materials you think might of use to us, please email us at facilities [at] artisansasylum [dot] com.

Can I buy a gift certificate?

Yes! We have gift certificates available here.

Do you have bike racks?

We do! They are located to the right of our main entrance under the trees.

I’d like to pay to have something built for me. Can you help?

We do not operate as a job shop here at the Asylum, but we do have a number of members who run jobs out of the space. If you’re interested in having something built for you, contact have-it-made [at] artisansasylum.com and you can see if anyone is interested in taking on the job. Artisan’s Asylum will make no recommendations and takes no responsibility for the quality of work arranged through the have-it-made list — we are simply facilitating communication.

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