New Summer Classes Posted!

DATE:  June 19, 2013     CATEGORIES:  Classes

If you’re making plans for your summer, Artisan’s Asylum has functional air conditioning and a ton of exciting classes coming up for you to try out! Check out the below for brand new offerings like the robot control systems class being offered by MathWorks and the return of old favorites like Carolyn Emberley’s introductory classes in Sewing and Woodworking. And as always, more sessions of those classes we can’t get enough of: welding, precision machining, Arduino, cnc tools and 3D modeling, screen printing, and the last EL wire class of the season.

And this is just the beginning. More July and August classes will be opening up this week, and some September classes are already available on our Current Class Offerings page. Check it out and learn something new this summer!

Bicycle Building & Maintenance

  • Bicycle Maintenance I, 7-9pm Thursdays, August 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.

Business & 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 Plasma Cutter, 7-10pm Mondays — Learn how to use the Asylum’s new computer-controlled, water-cooled plasma cutter to cut any shape you want out of a 4’x8′ sheet of metal! In this class, we’ll show you how to translate your hand sketches and CAD drawings into patterns cut out of any metal sheet up to an inch thick at rates of up to 200 inches per minute. Taught by Gui Cavalcanti.
  • 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. Training in generating 2D CAD files and tool paths available separately. Taught by Judah Sher (see above).
  • Tool Training: 3D Printer, Sundays, 4-6pm — This class trains students to operate the uPrint SE Plus 3D printer independently, whenever they need projects made. Training in generating 3D models in STL file format available separately, in the Introduction to 3D Modeling class. Taught by Peter Montgomery, student and rapid prototyping enthusiast.
  • NEW! HSMWorks for CNC Machining, 7-9:30pm Wednesdays, June 12-26 — Looking to use higher end CNC machining tools to create 2-D and 3-D forms and prototypes? Get familiar with the controls software you’ll need to take a solid model for a wood, plastic, or aluminum prototype and select tools, speeds and feeds, and machining operations and translate them into G-code. Necessary to use the Multicam Industrial CNC Router, for which tool training will finally be available in July. Taught by Doug Ruuska, recovering physicist, artist, designer and fabricator. SOLD OUT – Get on the waitlist to be notified when the next section opens up!
  • Introduction to 3D Modeling, 7-9:30pm Wednesdays, July 19 – August 14 — Come learn how to use Solidworks at Artisan’s Asylum to create 3D models of parts you can make in our shops! 3D modeling software is used worldwide in professional settings like engineering, product design, and more. Designing parts in 3D modeling environments allows you to develop an idea in full before you cut any material, and then either make parts automatically on computer-enabled tools or develop a set of drawings that allow you or other people to create your parts from plans. Taught by Gui Cavalcanti, professional roboticist, founder of Artisan’s Asylum, mechanical lead of Project Hexapod, and contestant on the Discovery Channel’s new design/build show, The Big Brain Theory. SOLD OUT – Get on the waitlist to be notified when the next section opens up!

Electronics & Robotics

  • 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.
  • Quick’n’Dirty EL Wire Workshop, 12:30-5:30pm Saturday, June 22 — 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. Taught by Ecco, professional illustrator, mixed-media artist and sculptor and longtime Asylum member and instructor.
  • Introduction to Arduino, 7:30-9:30pm Mondays, July 8 – August 5 — Learn how to program and use an Arduino! This easy-to-learn open source microcontroller board takes all sorts of sensor inputs, follows user-generated programs, and outputs data and power. Arduinos are commonly used in robotics, mechatronics, and all manners of electronics projects around the world. Taught by David Stokes, professional software developer with a long previous career as a technical artist in the video game industry, electronics enthusiast, and longtime Asylum member, instructor and volunteer.
  • NEW! Introduction to Robot Control Systems: Arduino + Simulink, 7:30-10pm Thursdays, August 1-29 — In this exciting new class, learn robot control systems software straight from the experts! Over 5 weeks, This project-based course will teach you how to design control systems with Simulink and deploy them onto a Rover 5 platform-based robot automated by the Arduino Mega 2560. Taught by employees of MathWorks (makers of Simulink) this course will highlight how simulation of systems can rapidly accelerate controller design. Sponsored by MathWorks, all proceeds from this class will go to benefit Artisan’s Asylum.

Fiber Arts

  • Introduction to Sewing, 7-9pm Thursdays, July 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! This 3-week basic intro class brings students quickly through 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.


  • NEW! Make a Stone-Set Ring! 12-5pm Sunday, June 23 – Create sterling silver rings with a beautiful stone in this fun and fast-paced workshop! In one afternoon you will learn the basics of piercing, soldering, filing and setting a stone. We will create band rings whose surface can be embellished by small files, a rolling mill and decorative stamps. You’ll use round wire to fabricate a second ring. Students will be shown how to solder a bezel in a classical process of stone setting. Taught by Karen Christians, professional jewelry maker, metal smith, tool designer, writer and educator, and leader of the jewelry studio at Artisan’s Asylum.
  • Jewelry II: Silver Rings, Earrings or Pendants, 6-9pm Tuesdays, July 2-30 — Build on the basics you learned in Jewelry I! Each week, students will have a demonstration of a new skill, covering stone setting, interior piercing, proper use of needle files, using the buffing machine, advanced soldering, and flex shaft accessories for polishing. Students will have the opportunity to put these skills into practice fabricating a set of rings, earrings, or pendants. Taught by Karen Christians.
  • Tool Training: Hot Craft Studio Jewelry Shop Thursdays, by Appointment — Students will learn the proper use and location of all the tools in the studio and to operate the acetylene gas tank, set up a soldering area, turn on and off the tank, use the polishing set up, the rolling mill, and the flex shaft. The perfect way to get trained up to operate independently in the Jewelry shop if you don’t have time for a long-form class. Testing necessary to be checked off to work on your own — see below for details. Taught by Karen Christians.


  • Tool Training: Manual Milling Machine, 7-9:30pm alternate Thursdays — One-session basic training on the Asylum’s Bridgeport Vertical Milling Machines. See registration for exact dates available. Taught by Danaan Metge, mechanical engineer, maker, prototyper, and Artisan’s Asylum member.
  • Tool Training: Manual Metalworking Lathe, 7:30-10pm alternate Mondays — Basic training on the Asylum’s Colchester/Clausing Metalworking Lathe. No additional testing necessary. See registration for exact dates available. Taught by Paul Carson, professional engineer, metalworking enthusiast, and bike builder.
  • Tool Training: CNC Mill, 2:30-5pm alternate Saturdays — Basic training on the Asylum’s Sharp Vertical Milling Machine with MillPwr CNC Servo Controller. Requires previous training on manual milling machine operations. No additional testing necessary. See registration for exact dates available. Taught by Paul Carson, professional engineer, metalworking enthusiast, and bike builder.
  • Manual Machining & Layout (Machining Like A Pro), 7:30-9:30pm Tuesdays, June 22 – July 23 and Wednesdays, June 12 – July 24 — 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. Taught by Christian Weagle, long-time Asylum machining instructor and professional roboticist. SOLD OUT – Get on the waitlist to be notified when the next section opens up!

Metalworking & Welding

  • Introduction to TIG Welding, 1 Seat Left! 7:30-9:30pm Mondays, July 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 August and September.
  • Metalworking Intensive, 2 Seats Left! 7-10pm Wednesdays, July 3-24 — 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 Paul Carson, Asylum member, engineer, and self-taught bicycle designer, and David Dowling, Asylum member, metal artist and fabricator. Also available in August and September.
  • Tool Training: Oxy-Acetylene Welding, Cutting, & Heating, 7-10pm Thursday, July 18 — 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.
  • DIY Kinetic Sculpture: Tabletop Flying Machine, 1-5pm Saturday & Sunday, July 27 & 28 — Motion is mesmerizing, especially when it’s art. In this weekend workshop, make a kinetic machine that mimics winged flight to grace your tabletop. Learn brazing and small metal working skills as well as basic mechanical concepts of rotary to linear motion. Taught by Ecco, professional illustrator, mixed-media artist and sculptor and longtime Asylum member and instructor.

Screen Printing

  • Single-Color Screen Printing: A One-Day Introduction, 11am-4pm Saturday, July 13 — 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.


  • NEW! Joinery 1: Shop Tools, 10am-1pm Saturdays, June 15 & 22 — In this class, students will be introduced to some of the advanced machine tools in the woodshop (mitre saw, table saw, planer, jointer) and to assembly and finishing techniques as they build their own hardwood mallet, used in joinery for chiseling and assembly work. For all skill levels! Taught by Peter Montague.
  • Woodworking: Guided Projects, 7-9:30pm Mondays, June 17 & 24 — Create your own woodworking class! In this guided independent project format, 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 — sign up for as many sessions as you need. Taught by Peter Montague, master woodworker and graduate of the North Bennett St. School, and longtime Asylum member and woodworking instructor.
  • Introduction to Wood Lathe, 7-10pm Mondays, July 15-29 — Woodturning is the art of curves and cylinders, smoothness and symmetry. This 3-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 techniques for turning wood on a spindle and a mandrel. And along the way you’ll make a few pieces to take home. Taught by Dan Landers, carpenter, electrician, electrical engineer, and wood buff.
  • Intro to Woodworking: Build a Box, 7-10pm Wednesdays, July 24 – August 21 — 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.