History

In 1998, Karen Christians and Jeff Bowie came together to create a space where education and community would be united under one roof.  This concept is still the driving force behind our mission; to be a forward-thinking organization dedicated to supporting jewelry and the metal arts through educational programming that fosters artistic and technical development while encouraging community growth and arts appreciation.

The road to get where we are today involved many facets.  Metalwerx started out in a humble 450 sq. ft. store front in Woburn, MA with a small studio, jewelry retail area, and a few classes to engage the local community. In just a year, the classroom was bursting at the seams.  Karen and Jeff decided to upgrade to a space triple the size right across the street.  They invited nine friends to join the newly renovated studio, each with a personal bench and some storage for a reasonable rent…the Metalwerx Studiomates community was born.

In 2001, Metalwerx hit a bump in the road. Jeff had to leave for personal reasons. This was a period of highs and lows, but Karen was determined to keep moving forward.  In 2002, she caught a break and Metalwerx was offered a new space in Waltham by Jock Gifford.  She moved the facilities within a year to where it is exists today.

To create a legacy that would last many lifetimes, Karen transitioned Metalwerx to a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization in 2006. This opened the door for grants, scholarships, and more opportunities to serve the public. One year later, she “passed the torch” to the current Executive Director, Lindsay Minihan.

Lindsay has been with Metalwerx since 2006.  Along with Karen and Jeff, she shares a strong passion for working with metals and a dedication to community development.  She continues to focus on steady growth; adding classes, workshops, events, scholarships, and new programming to better serve supporters, local friends, and the metals community at large.   

The curriculum has doubled in size, with more than 75 workshops, 10 master classes, and 45 weekly classes presented annually.  Courses cater to students at every skill level covering as many metals techniques possible. Investments in cutting edge tooling and equipment have kept up with growth. 

The Studiomates community has grown to 22 full and part-time members who participate in local events including Waltham Open Studios.   Metalwerx raises money to offers regular scholarships and also participates in national, regional, and local events to connect with the public. 

Throughout this continued development period, staff and board members keep Metalwerx’s mission close to their hearts, taking the time to slow down and thank our amazing community of artists, students, instructors, patrons, donors, art lovers, volunteers, studiomates, members of the board, and members-at-large.