New Fall Class Postings!

DATE:  September 20, 2013     CATEGORIES:  Current Classes

What an exciting set of classes we have coming up this season!

And if you’re looking to find something soon, we have just a few seats available in the remaining ten days of September in 3D modeling, sewing, welding, jewelry-making, and glassworking.

As always, tool training sessions are available for those self-starters who already know what you want to build, are accustomed to working on your own, and just want to learn how to use the tools you need safely. Also, if you haven’t before, I encourage you to follow this link to view our refund and cancellation policies.

And now, for our full list of upcoming classes:

Assorted Other & Multimedia

  • NEW, Visiting Instructor! Halloween Mask-Making Workshop, with Eric Bornstein, 6:30-8:30pm Wednesdays, October 2-30 — Unleash the creatures of the night! Be ready for this season’s costume party with a beautiful, durable, hand-made mask of your own design. The masks will be made from simple recyclable materials: papier mache, fabric, steel wire, cardboard, foam, and acrylic paints. Taught by Eric Bornstein of Behind the Mask Studio, professional mask-maker and visiting instructor.
  • Introduction to Leatherworking, 4-6pm Sundays, November 17 – December 15 — 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 30 – November 20 — 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.

Business & Marketing

  • NEW! Business Skills for Artists FREE Workshop Series: #2 – So You Want to Do a Kickstarter: Tales & Tips from the Trenches, 7-9pm Friday, October 4 — Learn the do’s, maybe’s, and definitely don’ts of raising money for your project, with glimpses into some epic tales told by their protagonists– from the overnight 2.3M success of the 3Doodler to how Amanda Palmer wound up helping to renovate an old firehouse for a couple of Boston artists. With a full panel made up of Kickstarter success stories. Talk is FREE to all. Second 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

  • 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! Also available October 27.
  • Making CNC Cutting Files: Intro to CamBam, 1:30-3:30pm Sunday, October 13 — 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.
  • HSMWorks for CNC Machining, 7:30-9:30pm Wednesdays, October 9-30— Looking to use higher end CNC machining tools to create 2-D and 3-D forms and prototypes? Get familiar with the controls software you’ll need to take a solid model for a wood, plastic, or aluminum prototype and select tools, speeds and feeds, and machining operations and translate them into G-code. Necessary to use the Multicam Industrial CNC Router, for which tool training will finally be available in July. Taught by Doug Ruuska, recovering physicist, artist, designer and fabricator.
  • Introduction to 3D Modeling, 7-9:30pm Wednesdays, November 6 – December 18 — 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.
  • 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.
  • Introduction to the Multicam Industrial CNC Router, 2-4pm Wednesdays, October 9-30 — Want to build big? Learn to use the industrial Multicam CNC router! Able to cut 2- and 3-dimensional shapes from full-size, inches-thick sheets of wood, plastics, and aluminum, this machine is the largest computer-controlled cutter currently in our shops. In this month-long intensive training, learn everything you need to know to operate the machine safely and independently. HSMWorks training a prerequisite. Taught by Doug Ruuska.

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.
  • RETURNED! Quick’n’Dirty EL Wire Workshop: Halloween Edition, Saturday, October 19, 12:30-5:30pm — 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, illustrator, sculptor, mixed-media artist and longtime Asylum instructor with a particular passion for the wearable and the kinetic.
  • Introduction to Arduino, 7:30-9:30pm Mondays, October 14 – November 11 — 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. Also available November 18 – December 16.
  • Introduction to Robot Control Systems: Arduino + Simulink, 7:30-10pm Thursdays, November 7 – December 12 — In this exciting new class, learn robot control systems software straight from the experts! Over 5 weeks, This project-based course will teach you how to design control systems with Simulink and deploy them onto a Rover 5 platform-based robot automated by the Arduino Mega 2560. Taught by employees of MathWorks (makers of MATLAB and Simulink) this course will highlight how simulation of systems can rapidly accelerate controller design. Sponsored by MathWorks, all proceeds from this class will go to benefit Artisan’s Asylum.

Fiber Arts

  • Machine Sewing 101, 11am-2pm Saturday & Sunday, September 21-22 — 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 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. Also available October 28.
  • Glass 100: Curiosity – Intro to Flameworking, 7-9:30pm Monday, October 7 — This fun and fast-paced class will introduce you to the basic techniques for working molten glass on a small scale. This class will introduce students to the range of things you can make with soda-lime glass and a small torch, running through pendants, beads, and small sculpture, and giving students time to explore the possibilities of the medium. Taught by Joanne and Michael Soroka.
  • Glass 202: Marbles, 7-9:30pm Monday, October 21 — This intensive, fast-paced class will delve into some of the more complex techniques for working molten glass on a small scale. You’ll learn how to make hot and cold joints with glass punties, and how to use these tools to make a perfect sphere of molten glass, with decorative designs. Taught by Joanne and Michael Soroka.

Jewelry & Metalsmithing

  • 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.)
  • Hot Craft Jewelry Shop Orientation, 1-5pm Sunday, October 13 — 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.
  • 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.
  • Jewelry I: Basic Metalsmithing, 6-9pm Tuesdays, November 12 – December 17 — 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.
  • Jewelry II: Silver Rings, Earrings or Pendants, 6-9pm Thursdays, November 14 – December 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.
  • Jewelry: Directed Open Studio, 6-9pm Wednesdays, November 13 – December 18 — 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.


  • Manual Machining & Layout, 1-3pm Sundays, September 29 – November 3 and  7:30-9:30pm Thursdays, September 26 – October 31 — This 6 week intensive class will have you machining aluminum alloy and carbon steel to exacting specifications. You’ll practice a variety of operations on a mill and lathe which will prepare you for creating parts for anything from robots to coffee grinders to bicycles with confidence. Taught by Danaan Metge, mechanical engineer, maker, prototyper, and Artisan’s Asylum member.
  • RETURNED! Precision Machining: Build a Model Engine, 7:30-9:30pm Tuesdays, October 8-29 — In this follow-up to our popular Manual Machining & Layout class, students will apply their basic machining and layout skills to build their own model steam engine. Students will work from plans, lay out part features on rough stock, create fixtures, machine parts and assemble a working engine — whether the interlocking moving parts work together will be the test of their precision machining skills! Taught by Christian Weagle, electrical engineer, machinist, and veteran Artisan’s Asylum instructor.
  • NEW! Introduction to the Matsuura VMC, 7-9:30pm Mondays, October 7-28 — Are you looking to build on your manual machining skills and learn how to run a CNC machining center? Do you have parts to machine that require a lot of tool changes or need a lot of milling machine power? Learn how to operate the Asylum’s Matsuura MC-500v vertical machining center. It has flood coolant, a 7 horsepower spindle, and the ability to take on your toughest milling jobs. Requires prior milling and CNC programming experience. Taught by Paul Carson, mechanical engineer, bicycle framebuilder and metal fabricator.
  • 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, 2:30-5pm alternate Saturdays — 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, 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, mechanical engineer, bicycle framebuilder and metal fabricator.

Metalworking & Welding

  • 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.
  • Sculptural Metalworking, 6:30-9:30pm Tuesdays, October 1-22 — Ecco’s popular metal sculpture class returns! This class is intended to be an introduction to sculptural metalworking techniques, featuring MIG welders, spot welders, and cold forming. Students will learn how to express themselves artistically through steel. Taught by Ecco, professional illustrator, mixed-media artist and sculptor and longtime Asylum member and instructor.
  • Metalworking Intensive, 7-10pm Thursdays, October 3-24 — 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 October 30 – November 20.
  • Introduction to TIG Welding, 7:30-9:30pm Mondays, October 7-28 — 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 November 4-25.
  • 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.

Screen Printing

  • Single-Color Screen Printing: A One-Day Introduction, 11am-4pm Saturday, October 12 — 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 November 9 & 16.


  • Woodworking: Intro to Furniture, 7-9:30 Tuesdays, October 22 – November 26 — 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.
  • Intro to Woodworking: Build a Box, 7-10pm Wednesdays, October 23 – November 20 — 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, November 4-18 — 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. Also available December 2-16.

We look forward, as always, to seeing you here at the Asylum sometime soon!