Last Chance September Classes!

DATE:  September 2, 2013     CATEGORIES:  Current Classes

Happy Labor Day! It’s hard to believe it, but it’s September. Back-to-school ads, moving trucks everywhere, many of us preparing for some big change in home or work. While you may or may not be preparing for a new “semester”, you can make this your “back to school” season with a new class at Artisan’s Asylum.

Try something new this fall, whether it’s working with leather, glass, metal, wood, or electronics, learning to use a sewing machine, make a ring, or build your own bicycle wheel! Check out classes below with seats available in September. A full list of classes currently open for registration is available here.

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 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 Of Nine, regular Asylum instructor, SCUL pilot, graduate of the Broadway Bicycle School, and general bike builder/modifier extraordinaire.
  • 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.

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

  • 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. Taught by Judah Sher, industrial designer and rapid prototyping professional.
  • 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.

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.
  • 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 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.)


  • 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 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, 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.

We hope to see you working/playing at the Asylum soon!