These are a few of out instructors here at Artisan’s Asylum. Mostly members of our space and community, our classes are led by local artisans, makers, enthusiasts and explorers who are passionate about their craft.
For our current class offering and class registration information, check out our current classes page.
Alicia O’Dell has been making jewelry for 20 years, learning how to make her first pair of earrings as a teenager. This moment ignited a creative passion to create and learn that has never left her! She has studied and taught metalwork and jewelry design in Seattle, Chicago, Somerville and alongside metalsmiths and artists in South America and Africa while serving in the Peace Corps. Most recently she completed a 2-month apprenticeship in Portugal with a 4th generation metalsmith. Alicia has been a member at the Artisan’s Asylum for 2 years, and loves the opportunity to share and give back to this community.
Here at Artisan’s Asylum, Member / Instructor Andrew Anselmo is always busy on a variety of projects: consulting work, volunteering his time to run our free weekly ciruit hacking night, steward our meeting room resource as well as developing and teaching classes. On top of all that, he creates origami (paper and metal), and inspires other makers with advice to “start small.” His latest class creation is Wearable Interactive Electronics, and he continues to co-teach the Hands on Basic Electronics class. Our community recognizes him by his friendly welcomes, outgoing personality, nurture of the Electronics & Robots area, and ongoing ingenious initiatives to support the logistical apparatuses of the Asylum. Check out his work here: http://clipboardengineering.com/
Formally educated in painting, Barbara discovered vitreous enamel in a public high school teaching context in 1980. Through her work as a visual arts educator, she found a way to connect with her students from all different backgrounds and developed a unique and experiential curriculum that stood out. Post-retirement, she continues to express her love for color through her own work with paint in traditional watercolor and enameled jewelry. Here at Artisan’s Asylum she achieves her personal and professional goals: she regularly holds a watercolor painting class as well as a Glass Enamel on Copper Weekend Workshop and can often be seen honing her metalsmithing in the Jewelry Shop at Artisan’s.
Ever since Artisan’s Asylum was located on Joy Street, Bronwen has carried her passions with her in devoting her time to help build the Asylum. She started off volunteering, using the shop tools to build the wood shop tables, sewing tables, partitions, and other parts of the space. Artisan’s Asylum started growing in membership and size, and soon enough Bronwen started exploring creative avenues in the fabric arts, woodworking, and painting world. Her latest class creations are Carve Your Own Rubber Stamp and Sewing from a Pattern: Make a Skirt. Bronwen, otherwise known as Bron by the community, can be found deskie-ing, making, and being a powerful, inspiring asset to the community of makers and the Artisan’s Asylum.
Ecco is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She’s a local artist with a passion for steel, specializing in creating wearable metal accessories (like the horns in her picture, or a set of wings for her back) and designing static and kinetic sculptures of absurdly large cool-looking insects. Ecco teaches Sculptural Metalworking.
I’m proud to say I’ve been with the Asylum since the beginning. I love to share in the evolution of the Artisan’s Asylum: it’s culture, the people and the projects that just keep getting better. I’ve been teaching students to TIG weld continuously throughout the years. It’s a thrill for me to witness a welder’s first steps, and remember all-too-well that it’s not easy. We have fun learning together, often students will ask questions I need to ponder or research, and teaching helps me to clarify my thoughts and my purpose. On an ideal day I make steel sculptures of cute robots. I also try to keep up with all the amazing projects happening all around me. On Saturnights from April Fools to Halloween I lead the fine bicycle chopper gang known throughout the galaxy as SCUL, our motto is ‘be a superhero version of yourself.’
A2 Member and instructor, Tam Black, is known in the community as a versatile individual who has many skills in her tool belt. With formal training in industrial design and sculpture, Tam now works as a manufacturing design consultant and produces video content for online education resources. Tam describes herself as someone who was originally interested in using A2’s facilities to improve her skills in CAD modeling, 3D printing, and prototyping, when she “took a left turn into the woodshop and didn’t come out for two years.” With the experiences gained in the many shops, Tam spends her time at A2 creating extensive class content and curriculum for Artisan’s. Her current classes include the following: 3D Printing Workshop: Post Processing 3D Prints, Introduction to Mold and Cast Making and Prototyping 1,2,3D. In the future, she wishes to continue developing solutions that address accessibility in the broader community, while also doing what she can as a member and instructor.
Ted Sirota is an engineer, entrepreneur, and educator with a passion for product design. He owns and operates Sirota Design, LLC, and teaches several types of fabrication and digital design. Ted has been involved in two successful kickstarter campaigns, and has introduced multiple patented products into the world. He is passionate about product design, manufacturing, coding, hacking, and all around inventing. He loves creating useful objects and teaching others to do the same. Here at Artisan’s, Ted spends his time volunteering at the front desk, helping community members with their projects, improving the space in whatever way he can, and teaching. He currently teaches our Tool Training: CNC Plasma Cutter class and our Tool Training: Basics of Woodworking class. Aside from teaching, Ted has begun to work to improve our newly updated Digital Fabrication Lab.
Tom Vancor was born in Boston and raised in New Hampshire, studied Engineering and Sociology in New York, and now lives in Somerville. His past experience includes engineering work and drafting, programming, web design, serving on the board of directors at MakeIt Labs, a makerspace in southern NH, and project administration. He also has interests in 3D printing, furniture design, and is a qualified Sunday Painter. He is more of a cat person but thinks dogs are cool as well. Tom continues to expand his regional legend sphere here in Somerville as an artist and teacher: currently he helps introduce the basic operations of one of the Asylum’s fleet of CNC laser cutters, The Asylasaur, and works full-time as Facilities Manager at Artisan’s Asylum, striving each day to make the physical space better than the last!