I started Pixel + Torch in the spring of 2014. Since then I've gone from creating jewelry for mostly family and friends to exponentially growing into something where I knew I needed a commercial place to accommodate that growth. The process of finding and making a silversmithing studio has been an interesting, at times hair-pulling experience but mostly a very rewarding one. I have learned a lot these last few months.
I began looking for a studio last spring and I admit it wasn't easy to find just the right spot. I'm pretty picky about what I like and I had a vision in my mind's eye about what I wanted to find. I was hoping for a place industrial enough for an open workshop of hammering and soldering metal. Simultaneously a space where if I was a customer, I would want to visit. A place with great light, good design, wall space for my photography with a pleasant vibe. Ultimately a place that inspired creativity and where you would want to spend time.
After months of looking and growing increasingly frustrated, I finally stumbled over a space just a few blocks away from my house. It had rough dark floors, almost like a parking lot, and matte black ceilings and cold turquoise walls. But the second I stepped inside all I could see was the huge wall of windows, the light from north and south and the possibilities of what the space could become. I signed the contract and started the construction of making it the new home of Pixel + Torch.
It was a learning experience to deal with all the ins and outs of creating a brick and mortar store. The contractors, the city inspectors, internet providers, security firms, etc. I learned as I went and I won't bore you with all the details and hiccups along the way. Slowly but surely, the space started taking shape and looking like what I had envisioned all along.
I had the floors ground down to the original concrete. A wall moved, which opened up enough space for my work area. The idea all along had been to create an open studio space where people could actually see the process of hand making jewelry. Many have lost touch with the work that's involved with creating by hand. I wanted people to have a sense of connection to the handicraft, to each step that is involved, from cutting rocks to forging a piece of silver and to actually see the love, attention, and yes time, that goes into each piece.
Since it is important to me that people value what I make by hand, it also felt very important to incorporate and hire other local makers and artists in the creating of this space. I found a wonderful couple who hand-built my furniture with great attention to detail and a sign artist who beautifully handpainted my signs and lettering in the windows. They truly helped me create a one-of-a-kind place and left their artistic fingerprints on the studio, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Quality over quantity. Uniqueness over homogeny.
I opened my doors on December 18th, 2015 and am so excited to share this space with all of you who find yourselves in the Salt Lake City area and looking for unique jewelry in a one-of-a-kind studio space.
If you're interested in details about the process or any of the awesome people and businesses who helped create it, please don't hesitate to ask. I have a list of the wonderful people who helped and will happily refer them to you if wish.