September Classes Now on Sale!

DATE:  August 4, 2012     CATEGORIES:  Current Classes

Hello everyone!

It seems strange to already be contemplating the next season, but it’s that time: our September classes have just been posted! As usual, look below for an exciting mix of new classes and the return of the well-beloved. We have a new puppet class, our first all-brazing class, and woodturning and mold-making are back! Start getting excited about the getting back in the swing of things, and build some making at the Asylum into your schedule now.

And in case you’re feeling impulsive, just a few tickets left for August classes — in the order of their start dates:
Hot Glass: Curiosity, TOMORROW!
Woodworking Intensive: Cabinets, STARTS TOMORROW!
I’ve Lost my Marbles: Lampworking Workshop, STARTS THURSDAY!
CNC Art to Part, Sunday, August 12, 11:30am-2:30pm
Intermediate Lampworking: Glass, and All that Sparkles, Saturday & Sunday, August 18 & 19th
Tool Training: Oxy-Acetylene Welding, Cutting, Brazing, & Heating, Saturday, August 18, 1-4pm

Now, for our first round of fall classes for 2012:


  • New Instructor! Introduction to Mold-Making & Casting, Tuesdays, September 4-25 — Mold-making and casting is a process that has been used by artists and industry for hundreds of years to replicate objects from life or to transform an object into a different material. In this four-week exploration, students will learn how to make one-part and multi-part molds to replicate everyday objects, their own sculpture, or even their body parts in rubber, plastic, foam, wax, alginate, and plaster. Taught by Kat Ely, glass, metal, wood and resin artist, and co-owner of a design and fabrication business that uses mold-making and casting to produce plastic and rubber prototypes.
  • NEW! Dynamic Faces for Stop-Motion Animation, Wednesdays, September 5-26 — This class will focus specifically on how to create sculpted heads and faces with dynamic and replaceable parts. This opens up a world of possibilities for your animation like lip-synching speech and displaying emotions. Students will make multiple heads in this class, exploring what makes a face “readable” emotionally, the specific mouth shapes required to approximate speech, and covering both simple and complex ways of achieving both. Taught by Alexandre Staples, returning Asylum instructor, and graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston with a focus in Stop Motion Animation.

Bicycle Maintenance

  • Bicycle Maintenance I, Wednesday, September 5 and Mondays, September 10-24 — 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.

Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing

  • NEW! CNC Programming: Intro to CamBam, Saturday, September 15, 1-5pm — Want to learn how to make your own files to run on the Asylum’s Blackfoot CNC router? In just a couple of hours Judah Sher will teach you the basics of profiling, pocketing, and engraving in this popular free CAM software. Judah’s an Asylum member and industrial designer who’s been designing, building, and selling his own CNC router over the past two years.


  • Breadboard to Circuitboard, Wednesdays, September 5-26 — Go from prototype to professional! This class will help you take a circuit that works on your breadboard and create a fancy, professional-quality circuitboard for it. Students will learn how to enter a circuit into a free schematic capture program, create a netlist file, import the netlist into a free layout program, produce Gerber files to send to a PCB production house, and produce a BOM (Bill of Materials) for professional board production.

Glass: Lampworking

  • Hot Glass: Curiosity, Sunday, August 9, 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.
  • Hot Glass: Introduction, Saturday & Sunday, September 22 & 23 — 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, professional lampworker, artist, jewelery-maker, and teacher.


  • NEW! Jewelry I: Basic Metalsmithing, Tuesdays September 25 – October 23, 6-9pm, and Thursdays September 27 – October 25, 1-4pm — Welcome to the world of jewelry making! In this introductory series, students will learn some of the metalsmithing techniques used in jewelry construction, including piercing, soldering, annealing, surface embellishment, bezel setting and introduction to the flex shaft. At the end of five weeks, you’ll have made a band ring, a ring with a stone, and a pierced pendant! 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.


  • Intro to TIG Welding, Mondays, 9/10-10/1, and Tuesdays, 9/11-10/2, 7:30-9:30pm — 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, September 5-26, 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! Introduction to Brazing, Sundays, September 9-23, 2-4:30pm — 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 and builder.
  • Manual Machining & Layout (Machining Like A Pro), Tuesdays, September 18 – October 23 , and Thursdays,  September 20 – October 25 — 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 at Boston Dynamics.


  • Intro to Woodworking: Build a Box, Wednesdays, September 5 – October 3 — 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.
  • Lathe: Introduction to Woodturning, Mondays, September  10 – October 1, 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).

Screen Printing

  • Single-Color Screen Printing: A One-Day Introduction, Wednesday, September 19, and Thursday, September 27 — 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.

Sewing & Fiber Arts

  • NEW! Sewing I: Basic Sewing, Mondays, September 10 – October 13 — Get a thorough introduction to basic sewing and garment construction skills and theory with this new, extended Basic Sewing class from professional clothing designer Zoya Derevyannich! Over the course of six weeks, students will become familiar with different machine stitches and their functions, the use of chalk, rulers, scissors, & pins, different hand seams and finishes, attaching buttons, hooks & eyes, and elastic, and how to follow basic patterns. At the end take home some throw pillows, a simple shirt/skirt, and a bathrobe. You can learn on our machines or bring your own! 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.
  • NEW! Sewing Skills: Fasteners, Sunday, September 23, 2-5pm — Students will come out of this packed 1-day workshop understanding the range of fastening options available to them, and with the skills to implement any of those options they choose! Covering multiple types of zippers, buttons and button holes, hooks and eyes, sew-on snaps and no-sew snaps, magnetic fasteners, buckles, grommets/eyelets, various ties/lacing, drawstrings, and velcro. Taught by Carolyn Emberley, lifelong maker and artist, and longtime Asylum member, volunteer, and sewing and woodworking instructor.

***Note: 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 whatsoever are offered for same-day cancellations.***

Hope to see you at the Asylum soon!