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Ignite Jewelry Studios opens in Asheville River Arts District

A Hands- On New Addition to the River Arts District

Riverview Station, Asheville, North Carolina

  • A new women-owned jewelry studio opened in Riverview Station. The metalsmith space is airy and bright with large viewing windows and high ceilings. 
  • Ignite Jewelry Studios has a fully-stocked shared space for experienced jewelers to use the equipment, create together and grow their skills. 
  • Weekly jewelry workshops are taught covering a variety of jewelry techniques for all skill levels.
  • The space also includes a gallery open to the public, showcasing the jewelry of owners Jessica and Nora as well as other jewelry artists.

The large space where Companion Dog Training had a home for so many years has transformed into seven separate studios. One of these spaces is the new Ignite Jewelry Studios, a project co-founded by local jewelers Jessica Hall, owner of Bluebird Designs, and Nora McMullen, owner of Nora Julia

Jessica and Nora both saw a need for jewelry studio space in the Asheville area. Jessica had been teaching small jewelry workshops in her Riverview Station studio for the past four years. She often had jewelers in the area as students, and she would hear the same issues over and over – little or no access to jewelry equipment, and lack of shared creative space and jewelry classes.  Nora and Jessica worked under the guidance of North Carolina’s Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) for over a year before opening their doors this past spring. 

Jewelry equipment is expensive and often unaffordable for hobbyists as well as recent graduates of nearby jewelry programs. By providing a shared space, we are helping to solve that problem.

– Jessica Hall

Nora had a studio set up in her home for her first year living in Asheville, and the experience was very isolating at times. Not having the creative energy of others working nearby left her feeling uninspired. She has hope that Ignite will serve as an answer to similar concerns from fellow jewelry makers in the area who may be looking for a bright space filled with energy and motivation to make great work! 

The main purpose of this women-owned business is to provide affordable studio space and access to equipment along with a sense of community for jewelers in Asheville. The 900 square foot space is fully stocked with jewelry equipment, eight jewelers benches, separate soldering stations, enameling kilns, a casting station, a shop sink, space to sell from the gallery and more. Ongoing weekly workshops teach a range of jewelry techniques and projects for all skill levels, including enameling, textured silver stacking rings, soldering, stonesetting, and more! Workshops are open to everyone from total beginners to experienced jewelers.  

With many of our classes you can just show up and we have all the equipment and tools covered.  We will walk you through the class step by step and you will leave with a unique piece you made yourself.   -Nora McMullen

Interested and experienced jewelers can apply now to become residents at Ignite, allowing them access to the studio and the ability to sell their work in the gallery. Visitors to the River Arts District are welcome to come by the studio and watch the artists at work through the large viewing windows, browse the jewelry in our gallery, and sign up for a workshop.  

Now Ignite Jewelry Studios has a schedule of jewelry masters coming to teach advanced techniques to local and visiting jewelers over the next year.  These instructors are top in their field and offer more thorough instruction over multi-day classes.  For jewelers and metalsmiths who already have some skills but are looking to develop new skills or simply need to hone some of these skills, these classes are perfect. 

The workshop and event schedule can be viewed here: www.bluebirddesigns.com/workshops

Retail Gallery Hours: Tuesday- Saturday 11-4 

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