New Member Guide

From Artisan's Asylum

Revision as of 14:15, 1 October 2018 by Thomas Vancor (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Current revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search


About Artisan's Asylum

Welcome to membership at Artisan’s Asylum! Founded in 2010, this community’s purpose is to provide the tools and the inspiration makers need. Since the beginning, we’ve been a member-run organization that places strong value on inclusion and transparency. As a not-for-profit, at any one time we have only maintain a staff of three or four, none of whom, as it turns out, is a janitor. For more, see Our History

Members keep Artisan’s Asylum running. We staff the front desk, service the machines, hold the free workshops, build the workbenches, vote in the board and bylaw elections, and march under the banner in parades. Your responsibility: joyfully participate! Start by keeping the shops, social area, multipurpose rooms, and kitchenette cleaner than you found them.

Organizational Information

About this Guide

This guide is meant to help you get acclimated to our space and our community. Members made this guide to help you find the resources and information you need to make the most of the opportunities in our community. It is not a rulebook or policy document, nor does it cover everything. For example, there are still specific shop safety rules you must learn before working in the community shops, and situations you may find yourself in not covered by this guide. We hope that reading this will be the first in many steps for you to participate as fully as possible at Artisan’s Asylum.

This guide is an additional resource that pairs best with the in person New Member Orientation session. Sign up for the next one here:

Why is this guide on the wiki? What is the wiki?

The public wiki serves as a supplement to our website. This should be your primary source for information about the Asylum. What our policies are, how the space is maintained, what tools are available—all of these questions are answered in the public wiki. It is constantly updated to reflect our growing and changing organization. Anyone can read this wiki, but to edit a page you need to create an account.

  • Our private wiki is a members-only wiki used primarily by staffers and the members who work the Front Desk as an administrative resource.

Membership Agreement and Policies & Procedures

Reference documents for information on billing and cancellation terms you agreed to when you enrolled as a member:

Access and Security

For Monthly Members:

  • A huge part of both safety and security here at the Asylum is knowing who is in the building. For this reason, please badge in at Front Desk every time you walk past it.
  • When Artisan's Asylum is locked your RFID card will let you in the front door
  • Never let in anyone whose RFID card does not open the front door.
  • If you see someone wandering the building without a name tag, ask kindly if you can help them. If they somehow got through a door, politely show them out.

Visitors and Guests

Non-member guests are permitted in the Asylum so long as they do not use Asylum equipment or shared areas or interfere with other members. Guests and their actions are the sole responsibility of the host member. - From the Policies and Procedures in the Membership Agreement

  • You’ll need to arrange to meet your visitors at the front desk. They must be accompanied by their member host at all times.
  • Guests cannot be in any of the shop areas, cannot use any equipment including hand tools, or Asylum computers
  • A day pass or membership for your guest must be purchased if they want to help you in the shops (on tools for which they must be trained and tested)
  • If you have a food delivery coming, be available to receive it.

General Safety

  • If there is an emergency call 911
  • Be familiar with the Floor plan. Know where the the nearest exits, first aid kits, eyewash stations are at all times.
  • Be familiar with the locations of fire extinguishers and fire alarm pull stations; there is a fire alarm pull station at every fire exit and nearby fire extinguisher
  • In the event of a fire/smoke emergency do not hesitate to sound the alarm and exit the building immediately.
  • Flammables: No liquid fuel is permitted in the building. If you have solvents, paints or other volatile liquids you need to store them in the flammables cabinet outside the paint room.

Working in the Shops

Respect the Equipment

  • A lot is at stake in the shops. Wake up! Use methodical care around tools
  • Use only tools you are trained and tested on
  • If you don’t remember how to do something, ask someone!
  • Return tools to their starting position when done

A must read is our Shop Safety and Etiquette page before working in the shops.

Shared Space Stuff

Respect the Shared Space

  • Plan your storage needs in advance. If you need storage space, see the section on storage space below.
  • Put your trash in the dumpster
  • Only put leftover material in the scrap bin if you know it to be truly useful
  • Whether you’re finished for the day or just finished for now, clean up completely. Then clean up 10% more!

Tidy Space Policy

  • Our Tidy Space Policy helps us make sure our shared space stays fire code and ADA compliant, clean and safe. This policy covers etiquette and procedure when it comes to all of your stuff- incoming, in shared space and rental and storage space.

The Kitchenette

  • Tea, coffee and related beverages and accessories are member-stocked in MPR1.
  • Anything you leave out in the kitchen area will be considered common, including your dishes.
  • Treat this space like a shared kitchen with lots of roommates: it is expected that you clean your dishes immediately.

Fridge Etiquette

We have refrigerators in the Multipurpose Room 1. It is up to you to put your name and the date on your food (including frozen food)

  • Unlabeled, super old or stinky food will be thrown away without abandon or possibly turned into artwork.
  • If it’s unlabeled and looks delicious it might be considered fair game.

Trash and Recycling

  • With over 250 members, 150 spaces, and 168 hours a week we generate a lot of waste. In order for the system to work, all members need to be involved!
  • The Waste_disposal page has detailed information

Janitorial Closet

  • Need soap, paper goods, trash liners, cleaning supplies, a mop? Find this in MPR1
  • Pro-tip: Try Inmates friend - mix of Borax, sawdust and water. Already mixed in a bin - great for sweeping up the concrete floors! Really shines them up. Please re-fill when empty.

Flammables Storage

Artisan’s provides several flammables cabinets for members to safely store flammables. Take advantage of this resource and save space in your studio. If you do need to store flammables in your studio make sure they are in facilities approved containers.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

There are red bins in the Chemical Room / Ventilated Room that can be used for disposal of rags and other flammable materials.

Sheet Metal Refrigerator

There is a slot in the sheet storage for full sheets of metal to be stored before cutting down.

Scrap Bins & Curated Cruft

Our wood and metal scrap bins are prolific for scrap material to work on. We also have a Curated Cruft area, a spot designated for people to leave items for free they no longer want but still may have a value to someone else. When at all possible rely on

Mail and Deliveries

  • As a member, you can receive mail, packages and freight shipments to our address.
  • See the Mail and Deliveries page for rules and instructions.

The Community

We are a member-run not-for-profit organization that places strong value on inclusive community and transparency. There are tons of ways you can contribute.

Respect your Fellow Inmates

  • Be kind
  • Individual studio spaces are private and tools within them are private property

Member Committees and Projects


Participate in the Mailing Lists

  • Got a question and not sure who/where/how/what to ask? Looking to meet some existing members? Email, a list of existing members willing to help you get started!
  • Sign up for our Member Newsletter
  • Our community uses several mailing lists:
    • discuss@ is a list open to anyone reaching a wide variety of people in our extended community.
    • inmates@ is a members only list where upcoming events, day to day happenings and a variety of opportunities are posted

On these lists our members get how-to questions answered, find jobs, and buy and sell tools.

  • Each shop area has a mailing list and you should be subscribed to all the lists for the shops you work in
  • If you want custom paid design and fabrication work there’s a members’ only list, Have-it-Made where the public sends requests.

For details see:

Attend an Event

Our incredible community of members and friends enjoy regular events including design challenges, social nights, speakers, product demos, field trips and more. All the info for member events is posted here:

Host an Event

We’ve built a velodrome in our common area, and, on Independence Day, floated down the Charles River on giant, yellow, inflatable ducks. We’ve held Noise Nights where members jam out on their unique instruments and Fiber Arts meetings where the innards of electric knitting machines are exposed and explored, and yarn is braided, woven, and crocheted.

If you have an idea for an event, please suggest it! Here is the Google Form that will help you get started figuring it out a schedule and what resources you need.

Studio and Storage Space Rentals

As a member, you might be interested in dedicated work or storage space at Artisan's. Here are some links to our waiting lists and renter information. Certain rules and restrictions apply to space rentals. Get in touch with space[at]artisansasylum[dot]com with questions.

Changing Membership, Billing and Cancellations

  • FAQ for specific billing and cancellation questions
Personal tools
Wiki Maintenance