Full June Class List now Available!

DATE:  May 14, 2012     CATEGORIES:  Current Classes

We were waiting to finalize a few details on some of our woodworking and machining classes, but we now have our full June class list available for your perusal! Also check out our updated Tool Training & Testing page for the full list of short-form basic safety and operations classes for those who just want to get access to the equipment here at the Asylum. Don’t miss our new milling machine, lathe, and oxy-acetylene rig tool training classes!


  • NEW! Wire-Armature Puppets (for Art and Film), Wednesdays, June 6 to July 18 — In this new class, students will design, build, flesh out, sculpt, paint, clothe, and adorn their own aluminum-armature puppet using a combination of surprising and inexpensive materials. These puppets will be particularly designed for DIY stop motion animation. Taught by Alexandre Staples, graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston with a focus in Stop Motion Animation.
  • Business Consulting for Artists & Makers: Office Hours, Thursdays 5-7pm — This is a FREE service offered to Artisan’s Asylum members. Dan Trajman holds open hours every Thursday afternoon for anyone who would like consultation on business-related concerns: register now to reserve a slot!

Bicycle Maintenance & Repair

  • Basic Bicycle Maintenance, Mondays, June 4-25 — You may know how to ride your bicycle, but if you don’t know how to take care of it you’ll end up losing speed, causing damage, or stranded with a flat tire. Get your bike skills in shape before you hit the road again in the spring! Taught by Seven, Asylum member, longtime SCUL pilot, and trained bike mechanic.
  • Tool Training: Intro to Bike Shop,* Wednesdays in May, Mondays in June, 6-7pm — This is a FREE introduction to SCUL’s bike shop, mandatory for any member hoping to use bike shop equipment. This short tour will introduce you to the ins and outs of “Fort Tyler”, which equipment is open for members’ use and which not, and basic standards of operation in the shop. Taught by Seven (see above).

Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing

  • NEW! CNC Art to Part, Sunday, June 10 — 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! CNC Custom Shelving, Sunday, June 17 — Learn to design a bookshelf in the shape, size, and arrangement of your choosing using free software and the CNC router! In three hours, students will cover basic functions of Google Sketchup, 123D Make, Inkscape, Draftsight, and CamBam. Taught by Judah Sher (see above).
  • Tool Training: CNC Router*, Sunday, May 20 & June 3 — 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 Gui Cavalcanti, roboticist and President of the Asylum.

Digital Media

  • Ableton Live: Advanced* (Brought to you by CEMMI.) May 24 & 30 — A comprehensive course about music composition, track production, and designing performance rigs using Ableton Live 8. In the advanced class, students will be working with remixing, recording new content, using plugins/ Max4Live, and creating plans for individual electronic musicians to get the most out of Ableton Live as a production/ performance tool. Taught by Ben Cantil (Encanti), independent music producer, performer, sound designer, DJ, and VJ, in the A/V production Zebbler Encanti Experience, and in the band Shpongle Live.
  • NEW! Music: Response (Intro to Mixing), (Brought to you by CEMMI.) Thursdays, June 7-28 — If you’ve ever wanted to dig deeper into the art of the DJ than just creating a playlist from your iTunes library, now’s your opportunity! Learn to use the open-source DJ software Mixxx to professionally mix music for a live crowd. Taught by Jeff Mission, active Boston DJ for over 15 years.
  • NEW! Guerrilla Home Recording, (Brought to you by CEMMI.) Saturdays, June 9-30 — Learn to set up your own amateur-professional studio environment in your home or workspace! Jordan Hoffman, a professional sound engineer, will walk you through the process of designing, sourcing, ordering, and assembling your dream recording studio on a budget. Taught by Jordan Hoffman, professional live sound engineer and owner of his own profitable home recording studio.


  • NEW! Project: Blinky Pants (Brought to you by CEMMI.), Tuesdays, June 5-26 – For those of you into wearable electronics, an exciting new class! Learn how to incorporate light in the form of LEDs and EL wire into your costumes, clothing, and wearable art. Taught by Rachel Boyce, artist and costumer, and education coordinator of CEMMI.
  • Making Things Move: Intro, Thursdays, June 7-21 — This 3-week survey course will cover the basic principles of traditional and novel actuators. Students will study the physics of how voltage, current, torque, velocity, and position are related with a variety of actuators, and learn which actuators work best for which types of tasks. Taught by Avinash Uttamchandani, electrical & computer engineer and instructor at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Glass: Lampworking

  • Hot Glass: Curiosity, Sunday, June 17 — 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.
  • Hot Glass: Introduction, Saturday & Sunday, June 23 & 24 — This two-day workshop will allow you to unpack the skills introduced in the ‘curiosity’ class in greater depth. Spend one day becoming confident in the theory and techniques, and a whole day playing under supervision of the instructor. Some experience with a torch recommended. Taught by Joanne Soroka (see above).

Metalworking: Small Metals

  • Metalcasting with Sand, Bone and Water,* Saturday and Sunday, May 19 & 20 — Learn to cast with molten metal without all the expensive equipment! In this workshop, you’ll learn to cast 3-dimensional metal pieces using simple and versatile molding methods and organic materials: water, delft clay, and cuttlebone. Students will gain experience carving, molding, casting, and soldering. Taught by Karen Christians (see above).


  • NEW! Tool Training: Oxy-Acetylene Welding, Cutting, Brazing, & Heating, Thursday, May 31 — 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.
  • Intro to TIG Welding, Mondays, June 4-25, and Tuesdays, June 5-26 — 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, June 6-27 — 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! Manual Machining Weekend Workshop, Saturday & Sunday, June 2 & 3 – For all of you who have been eagerly waiting your turn to get trained on the manual mill and lathe, we have a new manual machining class! In this intensive weekend workshop, you will spend one day on the mill and one on the lathe, covering the basics of machining practices and operation. Students will leave the class qualified to do independent work on the Asylum precision machines. Taught by Gabe Greely, mechanical engineering graduate of Olin College who joins us after years training students on the Olin shop equipment.
  • NEW! Advanced Fixturing & Machining, Sunday, June 17 – An opportunity to deepen your existing machining skills. This one-day workshop covers advanced fixturing and machining techniques for making more complex or multiple simultaneous parts on the mill and lathe. Taught by Gabe Greely (see above).


  • Intro to Woodworking: Build a Box, Wednesdays, June 13 to July 18 – This class is an introduction to fine woodworking techniques, including reviewing types of wood and their appropriate uses, joinery techniques, finishing techniques, and learning the proper use of most of the tools in the woodshop. Taught by Carolyn Emberley, lifelong maker and artist, and longtime Asylum member, volunteer, and sewing and woodworking instructor.
  • NEW! Woodworking Intensive: Cabinet Drawers & Doors, Mondays, June 11 to July 30 – In this class, students will get an intensive introduction to basic wood manufacturing while fabricating drawers and doors for the new Asylum kitchen cabinets. Taught by Peter Montague, master woodworker and graduate of the North Bennett St. School, and Asylum member, woodworking instructor, and woodshop manager.
  • NEW! Basic Joinery 2: Handtools Revisited, Saturdays, June 9 to July 21 – The second in an in-depth series covering the ancient art of joinery, this class is an opportunity for those who’ve learned to sharpen and care for their own set of handtools to learn proper use of them while constructing a mallet and storage box for their handtools. Taught by Peter Montague (see above).

Screen Printing

  • Single-Color Screen Printing: A One-Day Introduction, Saturday, June 9 — 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.

Sewing & Fiber Arts

  • Introduction to Sewing, Mondays, June 11-25 — Learn your way around a sewing machine while making a pair of comfortable drawstring pants. You can learn on our machines or bring your own! The class follows the process from pattern to cutting to pinning, sewing machine basics, to seams and buttons and hems. Taught by Carolyn Emberley, lifelong maker and artist, and longtime Asylum member, volunteer, and sewing and woodworking instructor.