Creative respite in Umbria

I am a British jeweller with 40 years experience and a teacher of 10 years in the UK. 

With my Italian partner I have found in Umbria a space to be creative and a wonderful international community to receive my jewellery school: Art Lab Todi.

The school opened in July 2019 when we began offering metalwork and jewellery courses to locals and visitors in the setting of the vaulted ground floor of a listed building. The town where we have settled had no shortage of affordable architectural beauty.

The project was borne from a desire to share my knowledge of metalwork, which I have loved and pursued starting in engineering as a young teenager.  

Unfortunately all our activities have come to an abrupt halt due to Coronavirus, which has hit Italy hardest in Europe. We must stay at home and only go out in exceptional circumstances for our own good and to protect our community. 

With your donations I will be able to stay in business in this unprecedented crisis and be ready to reopen the school and rebuild our craft community when it is over. I will be able to: 

1. Pay rent and bills whilst I can’t operate during the Coronavirus crisis; 
2. Complete equipping the school to offer more exciting options once the crisis has passed;
3. Reach out to old and new customers, to help rebuild our community when we reopen our doors.

I do not want to give up on the dream  to make my craft  more achievable for beginners and share the mental health benefits of pursuing a creative craft, a much needed respite when we are through this health crisis.

We have invested a lot of time and money into setting up the school and we were pleased with the amount of interest we had generated. We had not expected our endeavours to come to such a drastic halt.

My beginners courses are intended to offer a way to access or rekindle  hidden potential to ‘make’ for the shear joy of creating something to treasure or, to become a ‘maker’.

My two communal tables each sit six students. Making jewellery is an overall calm activity interspersed with periods of intensive action, when using hot torches, hammering, sawing metal. Making jewellery does not require particular strength, making it suitable for children from 14 years of age and adults of all ages. We take health and safety seriously and are fully insured.

I know that my classes can facilitate a group spirit that can provide rest and relief from the difficulties of everyday life, generate a sense of pride in one’s work and self worth.

When the health crisis hit we had been working to attract bigger numbers of students to provide a place for social interaction to bring people together. So far we have run classes at beginners levels attracting up to 3 students each time. Help me raise some funds to continue to operate in these difficult times so that I can grow a worthwhile business when we are no longer in lockdown.
I am planning collaborations with other skilled artists/makers to further enrich our community and support individuals in their paths of personal growth with us.
The first €5000 will help me pay the rent at a time of health crisis and economic recession. With an additional €5000 I will be able to get much needed additional equipment for the jewellery laboratory.  Kilns for  metal fusion and enamelling, stone polish equipment for lapidary work. These are just some of the processes we would like to get to expand the range of courses and attract more students once the crisis is over.

Your Impact:

Any contribution you make will help me to pay rent and bills so that the laboratory can keep going at this difficult time and will go into the improvement of the laboratory so that we are ready when the crisis ends. We need €10000 to do this.

Thank you for supporting Art Lab Todi


  • Jennifer Boulanger  
    • €20 
    • 4 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • €50 
    • 4 mos
  • Bernadette Saliba 
    • €110 
    • 6 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • €44 
    • 6 mos
  • Chris Saliba 
    • €110 
    • 6 mos
See all

Fundraising team (3)

Maria Pia Fabiani 
Raised €140 from 2 donations
Todi, Italy
Stephen Saliba 
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