Last Chance for April Classes!

DATE:  March 29, 2013     CATEGORIES:  Current Classes

Happy Friday, everyone!

For those of you yearning for the weekend, here’s a fun distraction to help while away the hours until closing time: check out all the exciting Artisan’s Asylum classes running this coming month! Learn to take care of that bike that you’re about to take out of storage to enjoy the nice weather, or get ready for summer projects by learning basic metal or wood fabrication skills. Need to make presents for upcoming birthdays, anniversaries, weddings? Learn to make a piece of jewelry, or to make anything you can imagine out of foam or the 3D printer. Then take it one step further and put an arduino or electrical circuit on it!

If there’s something you’re looking for that you don’t see below, it may be offered in a future month: check out our full Current Class Offerings page. If you’re just looking for a quick introduction to something, check out our Tool Training & Testing sessions.

And if you’re looking for something interesting TONIGHT, check out the Basic Soldering Skills class that the IEEE is partnering with us to offer for the first time!

Assorted ‘Messy’ & Multimedia

  • Introduction to Foam Fabrication, 7-9:30pm Tuesdays, April 16 – May 7 — The much-demanded foam class returns, new and improved! Learn the ins and outs of creating foam sculpture and prototypes, from hand-sized pieces to 15′ catfish. This class addresses carving, sanding, and finishing techniques, and is taught by Bob Field, professional foam fabricator of more than twenty years, owner of Foam Props, and a specialist in the 18-to-60-foot sculptural range.
  • Fiberglass & Foam: Introduction to Wet Layup Composites, 6-8pm Wednesdays, April 17 – May 8 — Ever wanted to learn how to make large, curved or organic structures like boat hulls, car bodies, or airplane wings? In this class, you’ll learn how to make your own composite parts from scratch by laying fiberglass cloth over shaped foam molds in order to make light, rigid structures. Taught by Ben Zelnick, professional mechanical & aerospace engineer and new member of the Asylum.

Bicycle Building & Maintenance

  • Bicycle Maintenance I, 7-9pm Mondays, April 1-22 — 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 the bad weather hits this fall commuter season! Taught by Seven Of Nine, regular Asylum instructor, SCUL pilot, graduate of the Broadway Bicycle School, and general bike builder/modifier extraordinaire. Also available in May.
  • NEW! Wheelbuilding, 6-8pm Sundays, March 31 – April 22 — Build your very own hand-built bicycle wheel! You will learn to lace, center, true and tension your own rear wheel. Taught by Seven Of Nine, regular Asylum instructor, SCUL pilot, graduate of the Broadway Bicycle School, and general bike builder/modifier extraordinaire.

Business & Marketing

  • NEW! Somerville Open Studios Marketing Talk #4: Exhibiting as a Function of Marketing, 4:30-6:30pm Saturday, April 6 — What makes people walk in the door of your studio? How do you stand out? What’s the best way of showing off what you’ve got to share? Explore the many ways of making it easy for people to access and engage with your work: culling, curating, lighting, explaining; layout, display decisions, organization. This FREE interactive talk is presented by Jesa Damora of FunnelCake Marketing.
  • Business Consulting for Artists & Makers: Office Hours, By Appointment — This is a FREE service offered to Artisan’s Asylum members. Dan Trajman holds open hours by appointment for anyone who would like consultation on business-related concerns: register now to reserve a slot!
  • Arts Marketing for Artists & Makers: Office Hours, 6-9pm Wednesdays — FREE consultations offered to all Boston area artists, makers, and craftspeople by Jesa Damora of FunnelCake Marketing. If you have a project you’d like to publicize or get off the ground; if you have creative goals that require resources, leverage, and nurturing; or if you just need to rant about (and maybe get some traction on) making an art life happen for yourself, this is the place to be. By appointment and drop-in.

Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing

  • Tool Training: CNC Woodcutting Router, Sundays, 3:30-6:30pm — 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, Sundays, 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, student and rapid prototyping enthusiast.

Electronics & Robotics

  • NEW, and FREE! Circuit Hacking Night, 6-8pm Wednesdays — Come play with electronics at Artisan’s Asylum! For newbies and experienced hackers alike, one night a week the electronics & robotics lab will be open to the public — there will be a free introductory soldering lesson, electronics kits on hand for sale for those who wish to make things, and experienced hackers and engineers around to answer all your questions. Feel free to bring your own projects to work on if you have them! Run by Jimmie Rodgers, professional hacker and instructor and Artisan’s Asylum electronics lab monitor.
  • NEW! Introduction to Raspberry Pi, 7:30-9:30pm Thursdays, April 18 – May 9 — The Raspberry Pi is one of the most groundbreaking pieces of electronics of the last year. This single board computer is inexpensive yet comes packed with ethernet, USB, a high powered graphics engine, digital I/O ports and enough CPU power to accomplish your projects. In this class, learn how the Raspberry Pi can bridge the gap between the Internet and the physical as the brains behind all your projects. Taught by Eric Friedrich, professional software engineer, maker, and member of the team that built the Radioshack-competition-winning Laser Harp.
  • Practical Electronics & Programming with Arduino, 7:30-9:30pm Mondays, April 22 – May 20 — This class is an introduction to physical computing (using a computer system to sense, react to, and effect the physical world) with the Arduino. Students will learn the basic electronics and programming skills required to have an Arduino turn lights on and off, sense the world in a variety of ways, and move different kinds of motors automatically. Taught by Joe Schlesinger, electrical & computer engineer, MakeIt Labs maker space founder, maker of “Hexy” the popular educational desktop hexapod robotics kit, and member of the Asylum.
  • Quick’n’Dirty EL Wire Workshop, 12:30-5:30pm Saturday, April 27 — EL wire is short for electroluminescent wire – meaning a flexible, durable, waterproof string of light! It’s a quick, cheap, and low-skill medium with a high visual impact. In this workshop you’ll gain the skills necessary to produce long-lasting, durable, eye-catching EL wire costume pieces or decorations, and you’ll go home with a project that will wow your friends and family (or your valentine). Taught by Ecco, professional illustrator, mixed-media artist and sculptor and longtime Asylum member and instructor. Also available in May.


  • Picture This: Photoetching, 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21 — Transfer your photographs and images to metal! In this weekend workshop, explore metal surface embellishment using current photocopy technology, heat transfer, and mordant etching. This is an excellent class for printmakers or photographers who wish to expand their artistic palette. Appropriate for all skill levels. Taught by Karen Christians.
  • Bang Out A Bangle, 1-4:30pm Saturday, April 27 — In this fun, quick introduction to jewelry-making you’ll create one or more dangly, jangly bangles in the Asylum’s jewelry studio. In just a few hours, you’ll learn a little about texturing methods, forming, soldering, filing and finishing, and come out with a finished piece for yourself or a wonderful hand-made gift! This class is great for adults with little or no jewelry experience who want to try it in a short format. Taught by Sage Kochavi, professional jeweler, artist, and instructor and long-time Artisan’s Asylum member.

Metalworking & Welding

  • Introduction to TIG Welding, 7:30-9:30pm Mondays, April 1-22 — 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. Also available in May.
  • Introduction to Brazing, 2-4:30pm Sundays, April 14-28 — Brazing is a uniquely useful metal joining process that allows for joining dissimilar metals and joining metals that could not otherwise be joined by welding. Learn about joint design, brazing technique, and practice joining dissimilar metals; join very thin steel (.010 thick!) to thick steel plates, and join thin walled steel tubes without welding. Even learn how to repair castings made from iron alloys with poor weldability! Taught by Paul Carson, Asylum member, engineer, and self-taught bicycle designer.
  • Sculptural Metalworking, 6:30-9pm Tuesdays, April 30 – May 28 — Ecco’s popular metal sculpture class returns! 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. Taught by Ecco, professional illustrator, mixed-media artist and sculptor and longtime Asylum member and instructor.
  • Tool Training: Oxy-Acetylene Welding, Cutting, & Heating, — 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 Paul Carson, professional engineer, metalworking enthusiast, and bike builder.

Screen Printing

  • Single-Color Screen Printing: A One-Day Introduction, 12-5pm Saturday, April 6 — Ever wanted to make your own custom t-shirt, tote bag, sticker, poster, or greeting card? In this one day intensive introduction to screen printing, you’ll learn all the basics and by the end of the evening 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. Also available in May.


  • NEW! Woodworking: Guided Projects, 7-9:30pm Mondays, April 1 – May 6 — Create your own woodworking class at Artisan’s Asylum! Pete Montague will be guiding students through independent projects in the Artisan’s Asylum woodshop. Students can get assistance with new projects, unfinished projects, one-on-one power and hand tool training, material recommendations, design advice, finishing tips, tool purchasing, vendors and more. All skill levels and all projects welcome! Registration is available for 2-week sessions — students are welcome to sign up for as many sessions as they like/need. Taught by Peter Montague, master woodworker and graduate of the North Bennett St. School, and longtime Asylum member and woodworking instructor.
  • Joinery 1: Hand Tools, 10am – 1pm, Saturday & Sunday April 20-27 — This is the first in a series of classes designed to teach the art of joinery. This 2-week session will teach sharpening and maintenance of the student’s own block plane, chisels, and card scraper, and is a required prerequisite for all following classes in the series. Taught by Peter Montague, master woodworker and graduate of the North Bennett St. School, and longtime Asylum member and woodworking instructor.
  • Woodworking: Build a Chair, 7-9:30 Wednesdays, April 24 – May 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 beginners and those looking to expand existing skills alike; tool training and testing available for complete newbies. (Class fee also includes one month’s unlimited membership to the Asylum.) Taught by Chris Fitzhugh, returning Asylum instructor, lifetime woodworker, and robotics entrepreneur.

We look forward to seeing you at the Asylum soon!

Refund Policy: 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 are offered for same-day cancellations.