May Classes Waiting for You!

April 26, 2014    

Spring is finally here, events season is underway, and May classes are waiting for you at Artisan’s Asylum! Now’s the perfect time to finally pick up that skill or take that class you’ve been thinking about in welding, woodworking, glass, or electronics. You might even be able to sneak into one of those classes you’ve been sitting on the waiting list for for months!

If you’re curious but don’t know where to start, come visit us this weekend for the Cambridge Science Festival or next weekend for Somerville Open Studios! (See previous post for details.)

Get excited about making, and sign up for a class now!
The following are just a few offerings with seats still available starting in the next two weeks:


Full list of May and June classes currently available for registration listed below.
For the latest updates, check out the Upcoming Classes page on our website.

Assorted & Multimedia

  • Build your own Nerf Gun 101: Basic Pistol, 2-4pm Saturday, May 24 — Learn how to make a homemade nerf gun!  Perfect for the novice builder, we will teach you not just how to assemble your very own foam-dart-shooting pistol, but how it works so you can design your own. Taught by Judah Sher, industrial designer and rapid prototyping professional.

Bicycle Building & Maintenance

  • Bicycle Maintenance I, 7-9pm Thursdays, May 1-22 (also available 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 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.
  • Bicycle Maintenance II, 7-9pm Wednesdays, May 7-28 — If you want to get deeper into the workings of your bicycle, this is the class for you! Learn skills like rear hub overhaul, truing your wheels, headset overhaul, and front derailleur adjustments. Completion of Bicycle Maintenance I required for registration. Taught by Seven.

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

  • NEW! FREE Design Consulting Office Hours, 5-8pm Mondays –  Come pick the brain of Judah Sher, industrial design & mechanical engineering consultant for all your design for fabrication questions! Drop-in.
  • NEW! Introduction to AutoCAD, 7:30-10pm Thursdays, May 1 – 22 — Need a digital modeling tool for your 2D fabrication or 3D design needs? Want to create a design to cut on the Artisan’s Asylum CNC router, CNC plasma cutter, or (soon to be available) laser cutter? Try AutoCAD! In this introductory class, learn how to use this flexible tool for precise 2d drafting and annotation, mechanical drawings for part definition, and solid modeling, and create drawings to define the parts you model. Taught by Paul Carson, Asylum member, engineer, and self-taught bicycle designer. Made possible by our sponsor Autodesk.
  • Introduction to 3D Modeling7:15-9:45pm Tuesdays, April 29 – June 3 — 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 to develop and test ideas and guide part production. Taught by Gui Cavalcanti, professional roboticist, founder of Artisan’s Asylum, mechanical lead of Project Hexapod, and guest lecturer at his alma mater, Olin College of Engineering. Made possible by our sponsors Solidworks & CADD Edge.
  • Making CNC Cutting Files: Intro to CamBam, 12-2pm Sunday, April 27 — 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 how to create basic cutting operations such as profiling, pocketing, and engraving using this popular free CAM software.
  • Organic Modeling Basics: Sculptris and Blender, 2-4pm Sunday, May 11 — Learn how to make interesting organic forms using the sculpting tools inside free and open source 3D modeling software. Judah Sher will show you some basic techniques that can be used to quickly model all sorts of shapes, from animal heads to jewelry. You can even use these techniques to warp and change other 3D shapes, such as objects downloaded from thingiverse.com. Finally, you will learn how to export your files so that they’re ready to be made on a 3D printer!
  • From Shapes to Parts: Using 123D Make, 12-2pm Sunday, May 18 — Ever wanted to do more with your 3D model then simply print it out on a 3D printer? In this short taster class Judah Sher will show you how to use 123D Make to turn almost any shape into puzzles of interlocking parts, folded paper sculptures, and more! The results can be printed on a standard ink-based printer, or cut on a laser cutter or CNC router like the Blackfoot in the wood shop. Taught by Judah Sher, industrial designer and rapid prototyping professional.
  • Art to Part Intensive: Laser Cutter, 7:30-9:30pm Tuesdays, June 10-24 — Learn how to design for a laser cutter!  This three-session class will take you from idea to ready-to-cut design files using free, easy-to-use software anyone can learn.  Students will learn how to use Sculptris, 123D Make, and some parts of Blender.  Their finished designs will be laser cut out of acrylic after the class finishes. Taught by Judah Sher, industrial designer and rapid prototyping professional.
  • Tool Training: 3D Printer11am-1pm alternate Sundays in April & May — 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 Rob Masek, Artisan’s Asylum Facilities Manager.
  • Tool Training: CNC Woodcutting Router3-6pm alternate Sundays in March & April, also available in May & June — 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, industrial designer and rapid prototyping professional.
  • Tool Training: CNC Plasma Cutter11am-1pm alternate Sundays in March & April – 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 Rob Masek, Artisan’s Asylum Facilities Manager.

Design & Engineering

  • Design Drawing for Makers, 7:45-9:45pm Tuesdays, May 6-27 — With all the focus on new digital design and modeling technologies, it’s easy to forget the value of hand drawing. Most designers still start their process with hand sketches – on paper you can quickly simplify complex spatial problems or evaluate iterations and variations of a product’s design. In this four-week course we will demystify drawing and break it down into its essential components to give students the skills to clearly communicate their 3D concepts in a 2D format. Taught by Andrew Edman, artist and fabricator who co-runs Plus Fabrication.

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.
  • Introduction to Raspberry Pi, 7:15-9:15pm Wednesdays, May 7-28 — 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.
  • Introduction to Arduino, 7:30-9:30pm Mondays, June 2 – 30 – 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.

Fiber Arts

  • FREE Fiber Arts Work Night, 6-9pm Wednesdays – Come hang out and play with fibers at Artisan’s Asylum! This one night of the week, come in and use our fiber arts equipment machines and space for FREE. Learn basic knit and crochet skills in traditional and unconventional fibers, exchange materials, get guidance from experienced quilters, costumers, and crafters, or just bring your own projects to work on in the company of like-minded makers!
  • Introduction to Sewing Machines, 7-9pm Mondays, May 12-26 — 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.

Glass/Lampworking

  • Glass 102: Beads, 6:45-9:15pm Monday, May 12 — This fun and fast-paced class will introduce you to the basic techniques for working molten glass on a small scale. This is all about making glass beads with molten glass on a mandrel! Taught by Joanne and Michael Soroka.

Jewelry & Metalsmithing

  • Glass Enamel on Copper Workshop, 11am-4pm Saturday, April 26 — Bring color to your jewelry, in just a few short hours! Create a beautiful pendant or miniature, while learning the delicate art of joining glass to copper. Taught by Barbara Marder, artist, jeweler, enamelist, lifetime arts educator, and longtime Artisan’s Asylum member.
  • Hot Craft Jewelry Shop Orientation1-5pm Sunday, May 11 — Learn everything you need to know to start out working in the Jewelry shop in one afternoon! Testing also required before students are cleared to use the space unsupervised. Taught by Karen Christians, professional jewelry maker, metal smith, tool designer, writer and educator, and leader of the jewelry studio at Artisan’s Asylum.
  • Making the Most of Your Flexible Shaft, 10am-5pm Sunday, June 1 — Learn the ins and outs of this powerful jeweler’s tool from the woman who wrote the book! In this packed one day workshop we will learn all about capabilities, tricks, techniques, and maintenance of the flex shaft, to make your jewelry sparkle. Learn to polish to perfection, drill pearls, score and bend metal, cut perfect bezels before soldering, and set tube settings in 60 seconds. 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 I: Introduction to Metalsmithing, 6-9pm Tuesdays, May 13 – June 10 – Come learn the arcane and secret techniques of making fine jewelry! In this introductory series, students will learn some of the metalsmithing tools and techniques used in jewelry construction, including cutting, texturing, cold connections, soldering, and finishing. At the end of five weeks, you’ll have made at least two pieces of your own design! Taught by Sage Kochavi, professional metalsmith, jeweler, artist, and instructor, and long-time Artisan’s Asylum member.
  • Jewelry II: Intermediate Metalsmithing, 6-9pm Thursdays, May 15 – June 19– 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, professional jewelry maker, metal smith, tool designer, writer and educator, and leader of the jewelry studio at Artisan’s Asylum.
  • Tool Training: Hot Craft Studio Jewelry Shop, Fridays – 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 — available by appointment, see below.

Machining

  • Tool Training: Manual Milling Machine, 7:15-9:15pm alternate Wednesdays — 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, 7:15-9:45pm alternate Mondays. Also available in May/June. — Basic training on the Asylum’s Colchester/Clausing Metalworking Lathe. No additional testing necessary. See registration for exact dates available. Taught by Paul Carson, mechanical engineer, bicycle framebuilder and metal fabricator.
  • Tool Training: CNC Mill, 7:15-9:45pm alternate Mondays. Also available in May/June. — 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, mechanical engineer, bicycle framebuilder and metal fabricator.

Metalworking & Welding

  • Tool Training: Metalworking Support Tools, 2-5pm alternate Saturdays in April & May — Basic training on jump shear, bending brake, the abrasive cutoff saw, horizontal & vertical band saws, angle grinders, belt sander, drill press, and spot welders. Both training and testing necessary for use. Taught by Chris Kearney.
  • Tool Training: CNC Plasma Cutter11am-1pm alternate Sundays in March & April – 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 Rob Masek, Artisan’s Asylum Facilities Manager.
  • Introduction to TIG Welding7:30-9:30pm Mondays, May 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, 7-10pm Wednesdays, May 7-28 – 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.
  • DIY Kinetic Sculpture: Tabletop Flying Machine, 1-5pm Saturday & Sunday, May 17 & 18 — 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, May 17, and June 7) — 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! Multi-Color Screen Printing: Paper, 7-10pm Thursdays, May 8-29 – Posters? Greeting Cards? Wedding Invites? Print them all in a kaleidoscope of colors! This class will teach you how to both create and work with existing artwork to print multi-color designs on paper. Learn how to master the alignment of screens for perfect prints, and ways to work with ink and additives to achieve any number of looks for your creations. Taught by Erik Heumiller, graphic designer, film editor, printer, and Asylum renter and volunteer.

Woodworking

  • Tool Training: Basic Woodworking Tools10:30am-1:30pm most Sundays in May — Just looking for an intro woodshop crash course or refresher? This class offers basic training in the most accessible woodworking saws and tools, teaching correct use of the hand drill, reciprocating saw, circular saw, jig saw, panel saw, scroll saw, drill press, and belt sander. Taught by Lena Sherbakov, mathematician and neuroscientist, maker and artist, and long-time Artisan’s Asylum member and volunteer. See registration page for exact dates available.
  • Tool Training: Rough to Smooth — Using the Miter Saw, Band Saw, Jointer & Planer, 7:30-9:30pm Wednesdays, 2-week sessions April 30 & May 7 (also available, May 28 & June 4, and June 18 & 25) – The first step in any woodworking project is dimensioning your stock. Lucky for you there are four tools specifically designed to take rough sawn lumber and process it into boards that are straight, flat, and true! In this 2-week class, learn the maintenance and safe operation of these tools, and the techniques for using them to dimension rough stock. Taught by Jason Rossitto, architectural designer, self-taught woodworker, longtime Artisan’s Asylum member and volunteer woodshop monitor.
  • Tool Training: Tablesaw Fundamentals4-6:30pm Sundays, 2-week sessions May 18 & 25, also available June 1 & 8 and June 22 & 29) — The table saw is the center of most woodshops. Almost all woodworking projects, from fine furniture to general construction, use a table saw. When used incorrectly, however, it is also one of the most dangerous tools in the shop. In this two part class, learn to use a table saw safely and accurately, and reinforce these techniques by constructing a small, simple project. Taught by Chris Haynes, furniture maker, professional shop manager, and former volunteer Artisan’s Asylum woodshop monitor.
  • Tool Training: CNC Woodcutting Router3-6pm alternate Sundays in May & June — 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, industrial designer and rapid prototyping professional.
  • Intro to Woodworking: Build a Box, 7-10pm Tuesdays, May 13 – June 10 and June 17 – July 15) – 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.
  • Woodworking: Build A Chair, 7-9:30 Thursdays, May 1 – June 5 (also available June 19 – July 24) — In this 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.

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