We've made some important changes to how we're doing things related to COVID. Here's the information you need to have:
Class sizes are limited to nine students.
We've made big changes to the studio and increased the amount of space each student has to work in. We've also installed acrylic panels between work stations and flexshaft systems for every student to reduce shared tools and equipment. Plus, all demonstrations will take place using our camera and TV system, so although you're welcome to gather around the demonstration area, you can also see them in detail right from your seat!
Masks are not mandatory in the studio.
Mask mandates have been lifted in Texas, and vaccines have been available to all Texas adults since the end of March 2021. If you are more comfortable wearing a mask, you are encouraged to wear one but we will not be requiring them in the studio. Please note: we will not ever ask your vaccination status or require proof of vaccination in order to attend our events or workshops. We trust that as a responsible adult, you will make the decision that is best for you and your family, up to and including whether or not to wear a mask and/or attend public events.
Wash your hands.
We've made changes to the studio that will minimize the number of shared items you have to use. We're also providing hand sanitizer, bleach disinfecting spray, and handwashing areas so you can wipe down your tools and keep your hands clean throughout the day. If you would prefer to use gloves, please bring them.
Cover your beverages.
We recommend not using open containers during workshops or events. Our coffee bar is still available and you are welcome to bring your own beverages, but you are strongly encouraged to bring a covered container for anything you'd like to drink.
We will no longer be offering communal, family-style lunches.
If you've visited with us before, you know that our family-style lunches have been a big part of our workshop events, and we are sad to no longer be offering them. Lunches may be ordered from our friends at Hatch 5 Market and we'll pick them up for everyone to enjoy in the studio or our nearby park during our break. You're also welcome to bring lunch with you. (Please note that Hatch 5 is closed on Sundays, so we'll be ordering from another local restaurant if you're attending a Sunday workshop.)
We may take your temperature.
We have a contactless thermometer we may use to check your temperature in our discretion when you arrive each day, but we're counting on you to stay home if you feel unwell or have any symptoms that might be illness-related. (We reserve the right to send you home if you appear to be symptomatic, in our sole discretion!)
Wipe down your area and your tools.
We've set up the studio to minimize the tools and equipment you need to share with others. You'll have a dedicated spray bottle of disinfectant to use on your tools, work surfaces, and anything else you come in contact with, and we're counting on everyone to be mindful of others while in the studio.
We have a mandatory release form.
We like to say that metalsmithing is a full-contact sport - working with tools, flame, metal and chemicals is inherently risky, and while we take safety seriously, we make no guarantees. The same is true for the COVID virus. If you are uncomfortable in any way with the risks inherent in metalsmithing, or the risk to your health inherent in spending one or more days in close proximity with other people, the most effective way to mitigate those risks is to stay home. A copy of our new release form can be found here, and will be required for all participants in every workshop. You can either complete the release when you arrive at the studio, or you can print it out and bring the completed release with you when you come.