July Classes Posted!

DATE:  June 9, 2012     CATEGORIES:  Current Classes

Summer weather is finally returning, it seems (and throwing some lightning-storm temper tantrums at the delay), which makes it the perfect time to start thinking about what you’ll be doing during the hot summer months of July and August. Why not spend some time at the Asylum? We’ve got shade and air conditioning and tons of exciting classes, many new, and some long-awaited returns! Check out details on our July classes below.

For standard tool trainings and testing, visit our Tool Training and Testing page. And we do have just a few seats left in these June classes:
Urban Poultry 101
CNC Custom Shelving
Woodworking Intensive: Cabinet Drawers & Doors
Project: Blinky Pants
Hot Glass: Introduction
Advanced Fixturing & Machining

To check in on updated info about the current full slate of classes for sale, watch our Current Class Offerings page.



  • Special Event! MiniGolf Course Design Challenge, June 29 – July 6 — Get to design and build a part of the first-ever Artisan’s Asylum miniature golf course! Nine self-organized teams will each create their own miniature golf hole, designed to be deployed along the aisles and public spaces within the Asylum, covering no more than two 4ft by 8ft sheets of plywood. At the end of the week, the golf holes will be placed around the Asylum for a public tournament, in which the participants will rate each hole in four categories: best mechanical movement, best use of electronics, general finishing quality and artistic merit, and most fun. Winning teams will receive major bragging rights and $200 worth of Asylum class credit to distribute among team members.
  • Special Event! Duct Tape Wallet Workshop & Social Night, Friday, July 13 — The first duct tape wallets were thought to have been made around 10,000BC, and most are thought to still be in use today. Come and learn this ancient technique, and never have to buy another wallet again! This is intended to be a social event; students pay what you choose, and are free to bring food and drink and friends along. Proceeds will be used to buy things for additional Asylum social events and to keep up the common areas.
  • 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

  • NEW! Tool Training: Laser Cutter, scheduling currently weekly by appointment, starting July 22 — A laser cutter can cut arbitrary 2D patterns and engrave a wide variety of materials, from paper to granite. The Asylum is overjoyed to announce that at the end of this month we’ll be getting a CO2 laser cutter with a 150 watt laser beam and a 3ft by 4ft operating bed. This class will train students on how to use the laser cutter safely and effectively, running through using the drawing creation process, laser setup and operation. It will qualify members to operate the laser cutter independently. Funds from the training classes will help pay for the cost of shipping the tool here, setting up its infrastructure, and maintaining it. Taught by Joe Schlesinger, electrical & computer engineer, MakeIt Labs maker space founder, and member of the Asylum.
  • 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.

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Intro to TIG Welding, Mondays, July 9-30, and Tuesdays, July 10-31 — 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, 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.
  • Build Your Own Bike Frame, Mondays, July 2-August 27 — Ever frustrated by riding a bike just not shaped well for you? Ever tempted to try and build your own frame, but not sure where to start? This is the class for you! Over four weeks, students will build a custom-fit bicycle frame from steel tubes, using Fillet brazed, lugged, or TIG welded construction. Taught by Paul Carson, Asylum member, engineer, and self-taught bicycle designer.
  • Sculptural Metalworking, Sunday, July 22 – August 12 — Ecco’s popular metal sculpture class returns, improved and extended! This class is intended to be an introduction to sculptural metalworking techniques, featuring MIG welders, spot welders, and cold forming. Students will learn how to express themselves artistically through steel.
  • Manual Machining & Layout (Machining Like A Pro), Thursdays, July 12 – August 16 — 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.

Screen Printing

  • Single-Color Screen Printing: A One-Day Introduction Saturday, July 21– 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

  • NEW! Sewing: Basic Alterations, Mondays, July 9-30 — In this exciting new offering from professional clothing designer Zoya Derevyannich, students will work over six weeks to become comfortable making basic alterations to their own (or others’ clothings). Finally finish that pair of pants you’ve been meaning to shorten or that dress or shirt you’ve always wanted to take in! With over a dozen years of experience in men’s and women’s clothing alteration, Zoya is the owner of Zoya Designs, specializing in custom fashion design, alterations, and private collection.