August Classes Posted!

DATE:  July 11, 2012     CATEGORIES:  Current Classes

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!


  • 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 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.