New Classes Posted!

DATE:  May 16, 2013     CATEGORIES:  Current Classes

It’s the season of Mother’s Days and Father’s Days, of weddings. It’s also the season where many of us start to get restless in our everyday routines, staring out of windows at the outdoors and imagining being somewhere else. Let your gifts this season be handmade, or give yourself or someone you love the gift of learning to do something completely new and different! You can make it happen with a class at Artisan’s Asylum. Find a last-minute gift or escape with a class this coming week, or see below for our full roster of classes for June.

Available this coming week!

Assorted ‘Messy’ & Multimedia

  • RETURNED! Introduction to Leather Carving, 7:30-9:30pm Wednesdays, June 5-26 — Learn the basics of leather carving and hone your skills on a small project, from design to completion. Students will select from among a series of projects that could involve extensive carving, such as a wallet or belt. We will go over the fundamental tools and techniques for leather carving and coloring, becoming comfortable with use of the head knife, awl, needles & thread, and dyes. Taught by Emily Lamkin, a professional artist and designer whose leatherworking focuses on masks and accessories.

Bicycle Building & Maintenance

  • Bicycle Maintenance I, 7-9pm Wednesdays, July 10-31 — 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, June 526 — 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.

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.

Design & Engineering

  • NEW! Mechanical Design for Makers, 7-9:30pm Tuesdays, July 9 – August 27 — 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.
  • Building Synthesizers: An Exploration of Electronics & Sound, 7:30-9:30pm Thursdays, May 23 – June 27 — Join us for an intense six-week introduction to electronics through an exploration of sound. In this hands-on series you will build a variety of sound-generating and -manipulating circuits, leaving with an understanding of the basics of analog and digital electronics, and the beginnings of your own modular synth system. Taught 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 8 — 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.
  • Soft Circuitry, 7-10pm Mondays, June 3-24 — Welcome to the 21st Century — an age where electronics are no longer relegated to the insides of boxes. In this exciting hands-on class, you will develop and execute a project that incorporates electronics into fabric! Gain skills in sewing, working with conductive materials, building electronic circuits, and programming microcontrollers, all while electrifying clothes, hangings, costume pieces, and more. Effects can be anything from something that lights up in an interesting pattern, to something that responds to environmental or interactive input. Taught by Jimmie Rodgers, hacker at large, multidisciplinary maker extraordinaire, and one of the first Asylum members and instructors.
  • Introduction to Arduino, 7:30-9:30pm Mondays, June 3 – July 1 — 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 Electronics, 7-10pm Tuesdays, June 4-25 — Want to learn electronics, but don’t know where to start?  This class will give you a working understanding of transistors (the core building block of all modern electronics) by starting with core physical principles like voltage, current, and charge, and ending with building your own amplifiers and simple digital logic circuits. Taught by Avi Uttamchandani, electrical and computer engineer and teacher, and returning Asylum instructor.


  • Hot Glass: 1-Day Introduction, 11am-5:30pm Sunday, June 2 — 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 for those with little or no experience. Students will be able bring home a bead, pendant, marble, or small sculpture, made that day! Taught by Joanne Soroka.
  • Hot Glass Afterhours, 6:30-9pm Friday, June 7 — Whether you’re looking to hand-make a gift for your friend or loved one or just want to spend an evening doing something completely new, Hot Glass Afterhours is for you! 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.


  • Metalcasting with Sand, Bone and Water, 10am-5pm Saturday, June 1 — Learn to cast with molten metal without all the expensive equipment! In this workshop, you’ll learn to cast 3-dimensional metal pieces using simple and versatile molding methods and organic materials: water, delft clay, and cuttlebone. Students will gain experience carving, molding, casting, and soldering. 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.
  • Bang Out A Bangle, 1-4:30pm Saturday, June 15 — In this fun, quick introduction to jewelry-making you’ll create one or more dangly, jangly bangles in the Asylum’s jewelry studio. In just a few hours, you’ll learn a little about texturing methods, forming, soldering, filing and finishing, and come out with a finished piece for yourself or a wonderful hand-made gift! This class is great for adults with little or no jewelry experience who want to try it in a short format. Taught by Sage Kochavi, professional jeweler, artist, and instructor and long-time Artisan’s Asylum member.
  • 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.
  • 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 Wednesdays, moving to Thursdays in June — 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, starting May 13 — 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, starting May 18 — 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

  • Metalworking Intensive, 7-10pm Wednesdays, June 5-26 — 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 July.
  • Introduction to TIG Welding, 7:30-9:30pm Mondays, June 3-24 — 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 July.
  • DIY Kinetic Sculpture: Tabletop Flying Machine, 2-4:30pm Saturday & Sunday, June 8-9 — 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.
  • Introduction to Brazing, 7-9:30pm Thursdays, June 13-27 — 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.

Screen Printing

  • Single-Color Screen Printing: A One-Day Introduction, 12-5pm Saturday, May 25 — 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. Also available in June.


  • Woodworking: Guided Projects, 7-9:30pm Mondays, Sessions May 13 & 20, June 3 & 10, and June 17 & 24 — Create your own woodworking class at Artisan’s Asylum! Pete Montague will be guiding students through independent projects in the Artisan’s Asylum woodshop. 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 — students are welcome to sign up for as many sessions as they like/need. Taught by Peter Montague, master woodworker and graduate of the North Bennett St. School, and longtime Asylum member and woodworking instructor.
  • Joinery 1: Hand Tools, 10am – 1pm Saturdays, June 1 & 8 — This is a class to train dedicated beginner woodworkers in the use and care of their hand tools. Students will learn to flatten, grind, hone, and maintain cutting edges on their own block plane, chisels, and card scraper. For absolute beginners and for those looking to take their personal tool inventory to the next level. Taught by Peter Montague, master woodworker and graduate of the North Bennett St. School, and longtime Asylum member and woodworking instructor.
  • 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: Intro to Furniture, 7-9:30 Wednesdays, June 5 – July 17 — 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, June 10-24 — 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.