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  • Archive for July, 2012

    Last Chance for August Classes!


    2012 - 07.31

    Check below to see what classes still have open seats in August! Note – a seat has recently opened up for the popular “Woodworking: Build A Chair” class starting tomorrow night. Act now to grab the seat!

    Assorted

    • NEW, Special Event! Design Challenge: Battlebots, Friday – Sunday, August 17-19 REGISTRATION ENDS THIS FRIDAY! – If you’re itching to make your own robot from scratch, particularly one that battles and dominates other robots, then we finally have the design challenge for you. Eight teams will each get an identical kit of parts, and have 48 hours of unlimited access to the Asylum shops to build a 10-pound Battlebot. Robots will then compete in a double-elimination public tournament on a custom playing field on August 19th. The winning team will receive major bragging rights and four Artisan’s Asylum gift certificates for $50.
    • NEW! Quick’n'Dirty EL Wire Workshop, 1 SEAT LEFT! Saturday, August 4, 2-5:30pm — EL wire is short for electroluminescent wire – meaning a flexible, durable, waterproof string of light! This is a workshop intended to produce long-lasting, durable, eye-catching EL wire pendants and designs. Just in time for those Burning Man bound, this workshop is perfect for anyone who’s looking for creative ways to deck themselves out at night or in the dark. Taught by Ecco, Asylum instructor, metalworker, sculptor, and wearable art-maker.

    Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing

    • NEW! Organic Modeling in Blender, 3 SEATS LEFT! Saturday, August 4, 1-3pm — Learn how to make interesting organic forms using the sculpting tools inside Blender, a free and open source 3D modeling program. You’ll learn techniques that can be used to quickly model all sorts of shapes, from animal heads to jewelry. Perfect for three-dimensional sketching or making forms for other programs like 123D Make. You can even use these techniques to warp and change other 3D shapes, such as objects downloaded from thingiverse.com. Finally, learn to export your files so that they’re ready to be made on a 3D printer! Taught by Judah Sher, Asylum member and industrial designer who’s been designing, building, and selling his own CNC router over the past two years.
    • CNC Art to Part, Sunday, August 12, 11:30am-2:30pm — In three hours, learn how to turn a 3D computer model into a network of interlocking flat shapes that can be cut out on an Asylum CNC router! Students will learn the use of 123Make, Inkscape, Draftsight, and CamBam. Taught by Judah Sher, Asylum member and industrial designer who’s been designing, building, and selling his own CNC router over the past two years.

    Glass: Lampworking

    • Hot Glass: Curiosity, 1 SEAT LEFT! Sunday, August 5, 11am-5:30pm — Experience the thrill of sticking a rod of glass into an open flame and working the molten glass. This one-day workshop will be a hands-on introduction to flameworking with glass. Students will be able bring home a bead, pendant, marble, or small sculpture, made that day! Taught by Joanne Soroka, professional lampworker, artist, jewelery-maker, and teacher.
    • NEW! Intermediate Lampworking: Glass, and All that Sparkles, 3 SEATS LEFT! Saturday & Sunday, August 18 & 19th, 10am-4:30pm — With the Hot Glass: Introduction behind you, you can now concentrate on the specifics of shaping and decorating of these little glass objects you know how to make. Using bits of glass, metals, foils, meshes, and other goodies, you will learn about the world of “enhancements”. Over two days, the class wil cover shaping and design ideas, and explore surface decorations, internal decorations, implosions and enamels. Taught by Joanne Soroka, professional lampworker, artist, jewelery-maker, and teacher.
    • NEW! I’ve Lost my Marbles: Lampworking Workshop, 3 SEATS LEFT! Thursday, August 9, 7-9:30 — Learn the art of glass marble fabrication in this quick, intense introduction. You’ll learn how to make hot and cold joints with glass punties, and how to use these tools to make a perfect sphere of molten glass, with decorative designs. Taught by Mike Soroka, Artisan’s Asylum member, roboticist, son of and assistant to Joanne, and an experienced glass worker in his own right.

    Metalworking

    • Intro to TIG Welding, Mondays, August 6-27, and Tuesdays, August 7-28 — Come learn how to weld with Skunk! TIG welding is a precise type of welding generally used to make space frames (like bicycle frames) and small pieces. Students learn operation of a TIG welder and a large range of supporting equipment for a variety of materials and joint types. Taught by Skunk, metal sculptor, graphic designer, bike builder, Grand Poobah of the nerd bicycle gang SCUL, and long-time Asylum TIG welding instructor and member.
    • Metalworking Intensive, 3 SEATS LEFT! Wednesdays, August 8-22, 7-10pm — In this class, the instructors will guide students through professional-grade steel construction skills in the building of industrial steel stools, storage racks, and work tables for the shops of the Asylum. By the end of the session, students will have learned all the skills necessary to building load-bearing steel structures, including cutting, grinding, jigging, and MIG welding. Taught by Calvin Domenico and Edison Gieswein, long-time Asylum members and volunteers who’ve been manufacturing professionally and for pleasure for much of their careers.

    Woodworking

    • NEW! Woodworking: Build a Chair, 1 SEAT LEFT! Wednesdays, August 1-29 — In this new fast-paced introduction to woodworking techniques, learn to build a piece of attractive wooden furniture (in this case, a wooden kitchen chair) from start to finish. Learn to work rough lumber to finished surface, introducing every major tool in the shop on the way. Appropriate for complete newbies and those looking to expand existing skills. Taught by Chris Fitzhugh, returning Asylum instructor, lifetime woodworker, and robotics entrepreneur.
    • Woodworking Intensive: Cabinets, Sundays, August 5-26, 2-5pm – In this popular returning class, students get an intensive introduction to basic wood manufacturing while fabricating cabinets, tables, or other pieces of Asylum infrastructure. This month, taught by Chris Fitzhugh, returning Asylum instructor, lifetime woodworker, and robotics entrepreneur.

    ***Note: we offer full refunds for any class cancellations more than three days in advance of the class start date. After that point refunds are contingent upon the Asylum being able to fill the seat. No refunds whatsoever are offered for same-day cancellations.***

    August Classes Posted!


    2012 - 07.11

    It’s coming up quicker than you think: only a few weeks until August classes begin! See below for an exciting roster of new classes as well as some good old ones, returning due to high demand. Keep an eye out for new woodworking, electronics, and 3D modeling offerings that should get your attention, as well as a thrilling new Design Challenge for the robot enthusiasts out there.

    First, a couple of newly posted July events coming up soon:

    NEW, Special Event! Fold-Forming Lecture & Demo with Charles Lewton-Brain, Friday, July 27, 7-9pm — Come join us for an evening with the founder of fold-forming, a type of sheet metalworking that transforms flat, uniform sheet metal into graceful fluted, sweeping, and organically rippling forms with carefully planned hammer work. Organized thanks to Karen Christians and Cleverwerx. Open to the public, with a suggested donation. Proceeds go to support the new glass and metalsmithing shop at the Asylum.

    Hot Glass: Introduction, Saturday & Sunday, July 21 & 22 (Only 10 days away!), 10am-4:30pm — Due to high demand, this two-day intensive introduction to lampworking returns. Spend one day becoming confident in the theory and techniques, and a whole day playing under supervision of the instructor. This class will prepare you for the Intermediate Lampworking: Glass and All that Sparkles class running in August. Taught by Joanne Soroka, professional lampworker, artist, jewelery-maker, and teacher.

    And don’t forget these July classes still on sale:

    Now, drumroll for our August offerings!

    Assorted

    • NEW, Special Event! Design Challenge: Battlebots, Friday – Sunday, August 17-19 — If you’re itching to make your own robot from scratch, particularly one that battles and dominates other robots, then we finally have the design challenge for you. Eight teams will each get an identical kit of parts, and have 48 hours of unlimited access to the Asylum shops to build a 10-pound Battlebot. Robots will then compete in a double-elimination public tournament on a custom playing field on August 19th. The winning team will receive major bragging rights and four Artisan’s Asylum gift certificates for $50.
    • NEW! Teach! Designing Classes, Lessons or Projects that Reach Every Student, Tuesdays, August 7-28, 7-9pm — Ever thought about teaching your craft but not sure where to start? Some experience with teaching but need more work on creating good curricula and lesson plans to keep your students engaged at all times? We finally have a class for you! A class that answers the question “what is good teaching?” With course materials that cover planning lessons, designing curriculum, building skills, creating collaborative culture, and how to decide what to teach. Taught by Basil El Halwagy, Asylum renter, artist, and professional elementary school art teacher; assisted by Molly Wenig Rubenstein, Artisan’s Asylum Director of Operations and, in a former life, professional dance teacher, test prep instructor and Teacher Trainer.

    Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing

    • NEW! Introduction to Solidworks, Wednesdays, August 1-29 — Our first introduction to Solidworks class finally arrives! Solidworks is a computer-aided design tool used by over 1.7 million product designers worldwide that allows you to quickly design and revise 2D or 3D parts, assemblies, and dimensional drawings of parts and assemblies with minimal training. Solidworks parts can be 3D printed, used by computer-aided machining programs to run routers and mills, or simply drawn in 2D and printed to produce drawing sets to take the shop for reference. Provided by CADD Edge, the largest Solidworks provider in the northeastern United States; taught by Stephanie Tower-Davis, Application Engineer with CADD Edge.
    • NEW! Organic Modeling in Blender, Saturday, August 4, 1-3pm — Learn how to make interesting organic forms using the sculpting tools inside Blender, a free and open source 3D modeling program. You’ll learn techniques that can be used to quickly model all sorts of shapes, from animal heads to jewelry. Perfect for three-dimensional sketching or making forms for other programs like 123D Make. You can even use these techniques to warp and change other 3D shapes, such as objects downloaded from thingiverse.com. Finally, learn to export your files so that they’re ready to be made on a 3D printer! Taught by Judah Sher, Asylum member and industrial designer who’s been designing, building, and selling his own CNC router over the past two years.
    • CNC Art to Part, Sunday, August 12, 11:30am-2:30pm — In three hours, learn how to turn a 3D computer model into a network of interlocking flat shapes that can be cut out on an Asylum CNC router! Students will learn the use of 123Make, Inkscape, Draftsight, and CamBam. Taught by Judah Sher, Asylum member and industrial designer who’s been designing, building, and selling his own CNC router over the past two years.

    Electronics

    • NEW! Quick’n'Dirty EL Wire Workshop, Saturday, August 4, 2-5:30pm — EL wire is short for electroluminescent wire – meaning a flexible, durable, waterproof string of light! This is a workshop intended to produce long-lasting, durable, eye-catching EL wire pendants and designs. Just in time for those Burning Man bound, this workshop is perfect for anyone who’s looking for creative ways to deck themselves out at night or in the dark. Taught by Ecco, Asylum instructor, metalworker, sculptor, and wearable art-maker.
    • NEW! Arduino On-Line: Tweet Control, Saturday, August 11, 12:30-3:30pm — Learn to control your Arduino through Twitter! At the end of the class, students will have the code and knowledge necessary to add internet connectivity to their future projects. Some previous experience with the Arduino required. Taught by Bob Breznak, professional code monkey, roboticist, and entrepreneur.

    Glass: Lampworking

    • Hot Glass: Curiosity, Sunday, August 5, 11am-5:30pm — Experience the thrill of sticking a rod of glass into an open flame and working the molten glass. This one-day workshop will be a hands-on introduction to flameworking with glass. Students will be able bring home a bead, pendant, marble, or small sculpture, made that day! Taught by Joanne Soroka, professional lampworker, artist, jewelery-maker, and teacher.
    • NEW! Intermediate Lampworking: Glass, and All that Sparkles, Saturday & Sunday, August 18 & 19th, 10am-4:30pm — With the Hot Glass: Introduction behind you, you can now concentrate on the specifics of shaping and decorating of these little glass objects you know how to make. Using bits of glass, metals, foils, meshes, and other goodies, you will learn about the world of “enhancements”. Over two days, the class wil cover shaping and design ideas, and explore surface decorations, internal decorations, implosions and enamels. Taught by Joanne Soroka, professional lampworker, artist, jewelery-maker, and teacher.
    • NEW! I’ve Lost my Marbles: Lampworking Workshop, Thursday, August 9, 7-9:30 — Learn the art of glass marble fabrication in this quick, intense introduction. You’ll learn how to make hot and cold joints with glass punties, and how to use these tools to make a perfect sphere of molten glass, with decorative designs. Taught by Mike Soroka, Artisan’s Asylum member, roboticist, son of and assistant to Joanne, and an experienced glass worker in his own right.

    Metalworking

    • Manual Machining & Layout (Machining Like A Pro), 2 SEATS LEFT! Tuesdays, August 7 – September 11, and Thursdays, August 2 – September 6 — An expansion on our classic metal machining class, this 6-week course will teach you not only the operation of the milling machine and the metal lathe, but also the layout and design skills necessary to help you to make metal parts to exacting specifications like a pro.
    • Intro to TIG Welding, Mondays, August 6-27, and Tuesdays, August 7-28 — Come learn how to weld with Skunk! TIG welding is a precise type of welding generally used to make space frames (like bicycle frames) and small pieces. Students learn operation of a TIG welder and a large range of supporting equipment for a variety of materials and joint types. Taught by Skunk, metal sculptor, graphic designer, bike builder, Grand Poobah of the nerd bicycle gang SCUL, and long-time Asylum TIG welding instructor and member.
    • Metalworking Intensive, Wednesdays, August 8-22, 7-10pm — In this class, the instructors will guide students through professional-grade steel construction skills in the building of industrial steel stools, storage racks, and work tables for the shops of the Asylum. By the end of the session, students will have learned all the skills necessary to building load-bearing steel structures, including cutting, grinding, jigging, and MIG welding. Taught by Calvin Domenico and Edison Gieswein, long-time Asylum members and volunteers who’ve been manufacturing professionally and for pleasure for much of their careers.

    Woodworking

    • NEW! Lathe: Introduction to Woodturning, Mondays, August 6-27, 7-9pm — Woodturning is the art of curves and cylinders, smoothness and symmetry. This 4-week class will teach you how to use the Asylum’s wood lathe safely and effectively, providing a survey of tools, techniques and tricks. You’ll learn how to turn wood, how to shape it, and perhaps most importantly how to finish it. And along the way you’ll make a few pieces to take home. Taught by David Axel Kurtz, new Asylum member, woodturner, blacksmith, and novelist (and daytime business consultant).
    • NEW! Woodworking: Build a Chair, Wednesdays, August 1-29 — In this new fast-paced introduction to woodworking techniques, learn to build a piece of attractive wooden furniture (in this case, a wooden kitchen chair) from start to finish. Learn to work rough lumber to finished surface, introducing every major tool in the shop on the way. Appropriate for complete newbies and those looking to expand existing skills. Taught by Chris Fitzhugh, returning Asylum instructor, lifetime woodworker, and robotics entrepreneur.
    • Woodworking Intensive: Cabinets, Sundays, August 5-26, 2-5pm – In this popular returning class, students get an intensive introduction to basic wood manufacturing while fabricating cabinets, tables, or other pieces of Asylum infrastructure. This month, taught by Chris Fitzhugh, returning Asylum instructor, lifetime woodworker, and robotics entrepreneur.

    Screen Printing

    • Single-Color Screen Printing: A One-Day Introduction, Saturday, August 18, 11am-5pm — Ever wanted to make your own custom t-shirt, tote bag, sticker, poster, or greeting card? The Asylum finally has a space and classes for you! In this one day intensive introduction to screen printing, you’ll learn all the basics and by the end of the day create a screen using your artwork and print a one-color design on your choice of t-shirts or paper. Taught by Erik Heumiller, graphic designer, film editor, printer, and Asylum renter and volunteer.

    Improper Bostonian names Artisan’s Asylum “Best Classes in Boston”


    2012 - 07.05

    In the Improper Bostonian’s 2012 “Boston’s Best” Awards, Artisan’s Asylum was chosen for “Best Classes” and is the featured award in the Goods and Services category. Here’s what they said:

    “You won’t find the usual lesson on wine pairings in this studio’s catalog, but the instructors at Artisan’s Asylum can show you how to create a one-of-a-kind glass work. Or maybe you’d rather mold metal into a princely chalice? The state-of-the-art facility, equipped with welding, milling and sewing machines, power tools and even a 3-D printer, is home to some of the most hands-on classes in Boston. Our personal favorites include ‘Project: Blinky Pants,’ a tutorial on incorporating L.E.D. lights into clothing and accessories, and ‘Wire-Armature Puppets,’ a workshop that teaches students how to create fully functioning animated dolls.”

    Thank you, Improper Bostonian!

    You can check out the listing on their Best of Boston page and the Goods and Services category page.

    Holiday Closings: July 4


    2012 - 07.03

    Artisan’s Asylum will be open for members but closed for business tomorrow, July 4, in celebration of Independence Day (or, more relevantly, in celebration of fireworks, barbecues, and watercraft). That means that any monthly member with card access to the front door will have access to the facility, but there will be no one at the front desk and no one in the office. Unfortunately, that means that daypass users will not be able to use the Asylum tomorrow.

    For the holiday, we’re granting access to all monthly members; i.e. it counts as a weekday to weekday membership holders and as a weekend to nights & weekends or weekend warrior pass holders. Anyone with a current access card should be able to get in.

    The front desk and office will be open again for business as of Thursday morning. Due to Firefly attendance, front desk staffing will be spotty on Thursday and Friday evenings. If you get stranded at the front door, call the main line telephone number: 617-863-7634.

    Last Chance July Classes!


    2012 - 07.03

    Happy July, and happy 4th! We hope everyone enjoys the sun and our strange middle-of-the-week holiday. In the hopes that all you patriots get to take at least some time off this week, we have less than the usual going on at the Asylum until next weekend. We’ve even, (sadly but unavoidably), opted to cancel the MiniGolf Design Challenge, though we had enough interest that we’re hoping to be able to offer it again some time in the future.

    What that means is that you have an extra week to sign up for July classes! It’s going to be hot and sticky in Boston this month — the air conditioning is working great here and traffic is up as people do their usual warm-weather slack-off from work. So summer’s now a great time to hang out at the Asylum! We’ve got a few tickets left to a number of classes – this is the perfect opportunity to jump in.

    For basic introductions to safe operations of our equipment and qualification for new members to use tools, visit our Tool Training and Testing page.

    JULY CLASSES

    Assorted

    • Introduction to Casting & Moldmaking, Tuesdays, July 10-31 — A popular class returns! Learn the basics of casting from life and from object models, using safe materials to replicate everyday objects in plaster, wax, plastic, or rubber — including your various body parts. Taught by Bevan Weissman, longtime Asylum instructor & member, professional artist and engineer who enjoys incorporating both disciplines into his work. Bevan is unfortunately moving to Philadelphia this fall, so take his celebrated moldmaking class before it’s too late!
    • NEW! Introduction to Leather Carving, Thursdays, July 12 – August 2 — Learn to decorate and work with leather while creating a small project of your own design! Over the course of four weeks, students will learn the fundamental tools and techniques for leather carving and coloring, becoming comfortable with use of the head knife, awl, needles & thread, and dyes. Taught by Emily Lamkin, professional artist and designer and owner of a leatherworking business called Curious Alchemy that specializes in leather masks and accessories.
    • NEW! Foam Projects: Monster Heads, Saturday, July 14, 12-5pm — Foam fabrication returns to the Asylum with this one-day workshop. Students will modify and add to existing patterns to make their very own crocodile, dinosaur or monster head out of flexible sheet foam. Wear it around town or mount it to your wall! Taught by Bob Field, repeat Asylum instructor, founder of Foam Props and 25-year professional in foam fabrication.
    • Resin Inlay for Jewelry & Small Metals, Saturday & Sunday, July 28 & 29 — Karen’s popular resin inlay workshop returns! Spend a day learning to use natural, easily accessible ingredients like spices to add vibrant color to your small metal jewelry and sculpture. Basic metal soldering will also be introduced in this one-day workshop, offered twice. Taught by Karen Christians, Asylum member, professional jewelry-maker and artist, published author, and founder of Cleverwerx, e-commerce metalsmith and jewelry website, and Metalwerx, jewelry school in Waltham, MA.

    Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing

    • CNC Art to Part, Saturday, July 7 — In three hours, learn how to turn a 3D computer model into a network of interlocking flat shapes that can be cut out on an Asylum CNC router! Students will learn the use of 123Make, Inkscape, Draftsight, and CamBam. Taught by Judah Sher, Asylum member and industrial designer who’s been designing, building, and selling his own CNC router over the past two years.
    • Tool Training: CNC Woodcutting Router, Sunday, July 8 and July 15 — This three-hour training runs you through the basic operations of the CNC wood-cutting router. Each student will take the machine through an entire workflow cycle, from starting up and homing the machine to part removal and clean-up, leaving with a small product they made themselves. No software experience of any kind needed. Taught by Judah Sher (see above).
    • Tool Training: 3D Printer, Saturdays, 4-6pm — This class fully trains and prepares students for using the uPrint SE Plus 3D printer independently, whenever they need projects made. Members who have taken this class receive a substantial discount on materials when using the printer to make 3D models. Taught by Peter Montgomery, new Asylum community member.

    Digital Media

    • NEW! Digital DJing with Traktor, (Brought to you by CEMMI.) Saturdays, July 7-28 — Explore the fundamentals of digital DJing with Native Instruments Traktor software. Material covered will include EQing, filtering, beat gridding, beat jumping, phrase mixing, harmonic mixing, looping, bass cuts (and other alternative mixing techniques), crafting a mix, and self promotion. Taught by Matt Allen, a software engineer, electronic musician, and DJ who releases and performs in both trance and techno.
    • NEW! Make Your Own Sound: Intro to Digital Audio Signal Processing and Synthesis in PureData, (Brought to you by CEMMI.) Thursdays, July 12 – August 16 — In this new class, students will learn to design their own unique audio effects, sounds, and synths at a basic level. Students will learn the ins and outs of oscillators, samplers, filters, Flanger, FM synthesis, and much more with software such as PureData or Max/MSP, or in traditional programming languages. Taught by Nick Donaldson, professional electrical & sound engineer, who has been writing digital audio software, designing sounds, and producing music for years.

    Electronics

    • Electronic Thing-A-Week, Wednesdays, July 11-25 — Tired of the delayed gratification of long, arduous projects? This three-week smorgasbord is for you! Drew will be guiding you through a series of electronics kit-based projects ranging from an altoids-pack battery charger to a home-made car alarm – every day you spend you take a finished project home. Sign up for all three classes at once for a discount!

    Glass: Lampworking

    • NEW! Glass, and All that Sparkles, Saturday & Sunday, July 14 & 15 — With the Hot Glass: Introduction class behind you, you can now concentrate on the specifics of shaping and decorating of these little glass objects you know how to make. Using bits of glass, metals, foils, meshes, and other goodies, you will learn about the world of “enhancements”. Over two days, the class wil cover shaping and design ideas, and explore surface decorations, internal decorations, implosions and enamels.  Taught by Joanne Soroka, professional lampworker, artist, jewelery-maker, and teacher.

    Metalworking

    • Tool Training: Oxy-Acetylene Welding, Cutting, Brazing, & Heating, Thursday, June 28 — The oxy-acetylene (O/A) rig is arguably the most versatile, potentially dangerous, and misunderstood piece of equipment in any metal shop. This one-shot class will demonstrate welding, cutting, brazing, and heating, and teach you how to set up, operate, and shut down an oxy-acetylene rig without harming yourself, other Asylumers, or the equipment. Taught by Ethan Labowitz, professional metalworker and instructor and founder of the Boston Institute for Clean Energy Prototyping (BICEP), and Paul Carson, professional engineer, metalworking enthusiast, and bike builder.
    • Metalworking Intensive, Wednesdays, July 11 – August 1 — In this class, the instructors will guide students through professional-grade steel construction skills in the building of industrial steel stools, storage racks, and work tables for the shops of the Asylum. By the end of the session, students will have learned all the skills necessary to building load-bearing steel structures, including cutting, grinding, jigging, and MIG welding. Taught by Calvin Domenico and Edison Gieswein, long-time Asylum members and volunteers who’ve been manufacturing professionally and for pleasure for much of their careers.

    Hope to see you at the Asylum this month!