Fall Classes Posted!

DATE:  August 11, 2013     CATEGORIES:  Current Classes

We’re thrilled to announce the next season of classes at Artisan’s Asylum! September is looking to be one of the most packed months we’ve ever seen, with old favorites returning in leatherworking and 2D and 3D modeling software, and exciting new offerings in electronics, glass, and jewelry! There’s also a new series of free workshops in business skills for artists. See below for our full offerings in everything from Bike Maintenance to Woodworking!

A few things to keep in mind before the summer runs out:

Assorted Other & Multimedia

  • RETURNED! Introduction to Leatherworking, 4-6pm Sundays, September 8 – October 6 — Do you want to make pretty things out of leather? Not sure where to start? This class will provide you with all the tools and know-how you need to start designing, cutting, sewing, stamping, carving, and dying leather. Taught by Dmitri Litin, Asylum staff member and professional leather fabricator.

Bicycle Building & Maintenance

  • Bicycle Maintenance I, 7-9pm Wednesdays, October 2-23 — 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, September 425 — 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.
  • Wheelbuilding, 7-9pm Thursdays, September 5-26 — Build your very own hand-built bicycle wheel! You will learn to lace, center, true and tension your own rear wheel. Taught by Seven.
  • Build Your Own Bike Frame, 10am-1pm Saturdays, November 2 – December 21 — 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 lugged construction. Taught by Paul Carson, Asylum member, engineer, and self-taught bicycle designer.

Business & Marketing

  • NEW! Business Skills for Artists FREE Workshop Series: #1 Perils & Profit: How to Sell your Art and Product Online, 7-9pm Friday, September 13 — Join special guest Brian Johnson to discuss the variety of forms available for online sales, from eBay to building a dedicated e-commerce website. Other topics will include keeping yourself safe from fraud, how to research what your art or products are worth, and the hidden fees and ‘gotchas’ that can arise in the process of selling online. First of a 5-part series organized by Jesa Damora of FunnelCake Marketing and Karen Christians of Cleverwerx.
  • 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

  • Introduction to 3D Modeling, 7-9:30pm Thursdays, September 12 – October 17 — 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 contestant on the Discovery Channel’s new design/build show, The Big Brain Theory.
  • From Shapes to Parts: Using 123D Make, 1:30-3:30pm Sunday, September 8 — 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.
  • Making CNC Cutting Files: Intro to CamBam, 1:30-3:30pm Sunday, September 15 — 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, 1:30-3:30pm Sunday, September 29 — 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!
  • Tool Training: CNC Plasma Cutter, 7-10pm alternate 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, 4:30-7:30pm — 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.
  • 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.

Design & Engineering

  • Mechanical Design for Makers, 7-9:30pm Tuesdays, September 10 – October 29 — Have you ever wanted to make a thing, but had no idea how to design it? Take Mechanical Design for Makers, where you’ll learn the fundamentals of mechanical design by competing in a series of light-hearted, increasingly more difficult design/build exercises over the course of 2 months! 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.

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 Arduino, 7:30-9:30pm Mondays, September 9 – October 7 — 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.
  • Introduction to Raspberry Pi, 7:30-9:30pm Wednesdays, September 11 – October 2 — 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.
  • NEW! Hands-on Electronics: An Introduction, 7-10pm Thursdays, September 12 – October 3 — Have you been interested in learning to work with electronics, but haven’t known where to start?  This class is the place.  It will be a hands-on, practical crash course that will provide you with the skills to do simple electronic projects.  You will walk away knowing the basics of circuit theory, how to prototype circuits on a breadboard, how to troubleshoot them, and how to solder them together.  Taught by Spark, electrical engineer and aspiring mad scientist, and member of Project Hexapod.

Fiber Arts

  • Machine Sewing 101, 11am-1pm Sundays, September 15-29 — 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! Glass 101: Pendants, 7-9:30pm Monday, September 9 — This fun and fast-paced class will introduce you to the basic techniques for working molten glass on a small scale. Walk away with a beautiful glass pendant you made yourself! Taught by Joanne Soroka, professional lampworker, artist, jewelery-maker, and teacher, and Michael Soroka, engineer, maker, and accomplished glass worker.
  • NEW! Glass 102: Beads, 7-9:30pm Monday, September 16 — 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.
  • NEW! Glass 201: Implosions, 7-9:30pm Monday, September 23 — This intensive, fast-paced class will delve into some of the more complex techniques for working molten glass on a small scale. Imploding glass is to collapse color violently inward with the goal of creating a three dimensional controlled flow of color. Create realistic flowers, marine tendrils, fireworks, and streaks of color in molten glass! Taught by Joanne and Michael Soroka.
  • Glass Shop Tool Training, 7-9:30pm Monday, September 30 — Learn the safety procedures and proper tool operation to use the small torches and the annealing oven for soda-lime glass with a coefficient of thermal expansion of 104 without supervision. Taught by Joanne and Michael Soroka.

Jewelry & Metalsmithing

  • NEW! Hot Craft Jewelry Shop Orientation, 1-5pm Sunday, September 15 — 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. (Also available October 13).
  • Jewelry I: Basic Metalsmithing, 6-9pm Tuesdays, September 17 – October 29 — Welcome to the world of jewelry making! In this introductory series, students will learn some of the metalsmithing techniques used in jewelry construction, including resin inlay, photo etching, cold connections, soldering, design and layout. At the end of five weeks, you’ll have made a ring and a personalized sketchbook with applique copper and brass-decorated cover! Taught by Karen Christians. (Short winter session November 12 – December 17)
  • Jewelry II: Silver Rings, Earrings or Pendants, 6-9pm Thursdays, September 19 – October 31 — 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. (Short winter session November 14 – December 19)
  • NEW! Jewelry: Directed Open Studio, 6-9pm Wednesdays, September 18 – October 30 — Taken some classes in jewelry-making and ready to start out on your own projects, but still uncomfortable working by yourself? Want an expert’s opinion to help when you reach a project snag? Join Karen for Directed Open Studios on Wednesday nights! With personalized attention, students will be guided into problem solving, tackling more complex design, soldering solutions and introduction to different tooling. (Short winter session November 13 – December 18)
  • Make a Stone-Set Ring! 10am-5pm Sunday, September 29 – 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. (Also available December 8.)
  • NEW! Making the Most of Your Flexible Shaft, 10am-5pm Sunday, October 27 — 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.
  • NEW! Mastering Jewelry Soldering: Part I, 10am-5pm Sunday, November 17 — Soldering is one of the most involved and difficult parts of jewelry fabrication. The first in a three-part series to get you designing and building complex fabrications with confidence, this one-day workshop offers an intensive introduction to soldering theory and practice. 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.

Metalworking & Welding

  • Introduction to TIG Welding, 7:30-9:30pm Mondays, September 9-30 — 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 October 7-28.
  • Metalworking Intensive, 7-10pm Wednesdays, September 4-25 — 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.
  • Introduction to Brazing, 7-9:30pm Tuesdays, September 10-24 — 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, mechanical engineer, bicycle framebuilder and metal fabricator.
  • Tool Training: MIG Welder, 7-9pm alternate Thursdays in September and Wednesdays in October — Looking for an introduction or refresher to using the MIG welder? This training will get you up and running and ready to take on your own projects.  Taught by Paul Carson, mechanical engineer, bicycle framebuilder and metal fabricator.
  • Tool Training: Oxy-Acetylene Welding, Cutting, & Heating, 7-10pm Thursday, August 22, Thursday, September 26, Wednesday, October 23 — 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, mechanical engineer, bicycle framebuilder and metal fabricator.

Screen Printing

  • Single-Color Screen Printing: A One-Day Introduction, 11am-4pm Saturday, September 21 — 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.


  • Intro to Woodworking: Build a Box, 7-10pm Thursdays, September 12 – October 10 — 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: Intro to Furniture, 7-9:30 Tuesdays, September 10 – October 15 — 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.
  • Introduction to Wood Lathe, 7-10pm Mondays, September 16-30 — 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.