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Ignite Craft Logo

Craft and Community in 5-Minute Talks

Information on how to reserve a (free) ticket to attend, submit a proposal to speak, help spread the word, volunteer on the night of the event, or sponsor the event!

Another night of great inspiration, cool company, and new stories from makers in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and environs. For the 7th year, Common Cod is sponsoring Ignite Craft Boston, where up to 20 creative souls will share their passion for their crafts with a like-minded, crafty audience.

Around the world, folks have been putting together Ignite events to show what they’re doing. The Ignite motto is “Enlighten us, but make it quick,” so each speaker has 20 photos or other visuals that automatically advance every 15 seconds, totaling 5 minutes. At Ignite Craft Boston, we’ll get to see all sorts of amazing, eye-opening DIY in only 90 minutes. Past talks can be seen on the Cod YouTube channel. Tickets are free, but seating is limited, and traditionally we pack the space, so watch this space to reserve your tickets as soon as they are available.

Join Us

Come join the Boston area crafting community for the 7th annual Ignite Craft Boston

  • Ignite Craft Boston, v. 7
  • Friday, January 13, 2017
  • MIT’s Stata Center (Bldg 32), Room 141
  • 32 Vassar Street
  • Cambridge, MA 02139
  • Doors open at 6:30PM, and presentations begin at 7:00PM.
  • The event is free; however, due to limited space at the venue, you must reserve a spot.


DRIVING DIRECTIONS TBA. The closest T stop is Kendall station on the Red Line (the red pin on the map). Street parking is decent in this neighborhood, but you can also park in the 139 Mass Ave MIT parking lot after 4:30PM.

Click image to enlarge

2017 Speaker Lineup

[Note: List is only partial, as of December 11, 2016. More speakers will be added before the new deadline of Friday, December 16, 2016. Order of talks is subject to change.]

Amanda Hooge
Treasurer, Common Cod Fiber Guild

I’ll be your MC for the evening, introducing the event, wrangling speakers, and running PowerPoint Karaoke!

Amanda Hooge taught herself to knit in 2004, while she was a 3L in law school. She has since run away screaming from the mere thought of the legal profession, but you can pry her yarn and needles (and coffee) from her cold, dead hands. Amanda has a strong background and passionate love for music and theatre, and is an active singer with several local choruses. She loves everything Alice in Wonderland.

Hexies: An Addictive Piece of History
Christina Inge
Founder, Thoughtlight

Once started, hexie-making can become an all-consuming passion (or at least a really good way to use up scraps). From aristocratic to Depression-era thrift, hexies are the foundational skill for English paper-piecing, a daily geometric adventure, and an easy portable project. And oh yeah, it costs next to nothing since you already have everything you need: small scraps, paper, and a printer.

Christina Inge has been knitting, sewing, and quilting since she was 8. By day, she runs Thoughtlight, a Boston digital agency she founded in 2014, and teaches technology. By night, by which we mean “many of her spare moments, regardless of time of day,” she designs quilting patterns and knits.

How to Overcome/Prevent a Nantucket Lightship Basket Addiction

Jennifer Ashley

Recovering Nantucket Basket Addict

Save yourself time, money, new acquaintances, museum visits, and history lessons by learning from my mistakes. By debunking the common myths of Nantucket basket making, you can be spared this addiction.

Jennifer Ashley is: The mother of eight children, one very large black dog, and a parakeet who can say “Clean your room!” The finisher of over 50+ baskets in the last 9 months. The owner of only 1 Nantucket basket.

Contemporary Paper Marbling

Cristina Hajosy

Hajosy Arts

Take a journey into contemporary paper marbling with me. Explore its Eastern roots, movement through European cultures, and arrival in the New World. See how I incorporate paper marbling in new ways for my books and mixed media collages.

Hajosy Arts is the home of Cristina Hajosy, a working artist & art educator based in Greater Boston. She has developed her skills in 20+ years of practice as a photographer, bookmaker, paper marbler, and mixed media artist.

Sous Vide Cooking

Gina Balzano

Community Coordinator, Common Cod Fiber Guild

Join me on a water bath cooking adventure. I will show the what, how to, and why of Sous Vide cooking.

Gina Balzano loves to cook and craft. You can often see her whipping up a new recipe and trying to finish a WIP.

Sweet, Sour & Spicy

Jodi Colella

Artist / Teacher,

Like its food, the Kingdom of Thailand is a country of intense sensuality and puzzling complexity. While a resident at Compeung in a rural village north of Chiang Mai, I lived in a primitive mudhouse built by its founder who had a vision ten years ago to create a peaceful space for artists to discover themselves. Within this world of wild bamboo groves, spirit houses, and some very exotic critters, I had the privilege to connect with a wise, compassionate people.

Jodi Colella works with a broad range of materials to create provocative, tactile works that often include public participation. She has exhibited at Danforth Art Museum; Fruitlands Museum; Wheaton College; Helen Day Art Center; World of Threads Toronto and Textile Museum Washington D.C., among others.
She has received numerous awards including the 2016 Fay Chandler Emerging Artist, 2016 Fellowship ComPeung Thailand, Pollack-Krasner Fellowship Vermont Studio Center, and Somerville Arts Council Fellowships 2015, 2012. Jodi has taught nationally at Society for Craft in Pittsburgh, SDA’s Confluence in Minneapolis plus many local venues. She lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts and most days can be found lost in her studio.

Straw into Gold

Karyn Stewart

I will do a live demo, using my spinning wheel, a handful of straw, and some magic to spin a small strand of actual gold-like yarn. I’ll tell you about how I met an old elf in a spinner’s store in Berkeley, California, aptly named Straw Into Gold. The elf’s name sounded a bit like Rumplestiltskin, but he spoke quickly while he taught me the magic.

Karyn Stewart has always been interested in handcrafts, and when she got into knitting, it seemed natural to buy quality yarn, but that was very expensive. Luckily, when she moved to CA in the 1990s, she found the store Straw Into Gold in Berkeley, where they got her started on spinning. She owns about a dozen different wheels. Lately, she makes fantasy scarves and dice bags for geeks at her husband’s game store, Pandemonium Books and Games, in Cambridge, MA.

Let’s Tangle!

Lori Champine

Certified Zentangle Teacher

Zentangle® is a meditative drawing process being practiced in many different countries across the world. Almost anyone can do it. Beyond the beautiful drawings, many who practice the art form also often report such benefits as reduced stress, improved focus, pain management, and confidence in their own creativity.

Lori Champine’s professional training is in Education (BS & MA). She has worked with young children, happily, for over 20 years. Her other love is the creative arts. She enjoys marrying these two passions, which allows her to create and to teach others. A few years ago, she became a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT).

PowerPoint Karaoke

Three Intrepid Volunteers

In PowerPoint Karaoke, participants are asked to improvise an Ignite talk based on a set of 5 random, crazy slides they’ve never seen before. It always entertaining!

Help out

This event is run by an all-volunteer non-profit. Here are some ways you can help out:

  • Submit a presentation proposal by December 9, 2016 extended: December 16, 2016 — or mention Ignite Craft Boston to folks you know who have interesting crafts to share with an audience of kindred spirits!
  • Promote Ignite Craft Boston in your social networks using the hashtag #icraft (e.g., your office, Twitter, Facebook).
  • Bring homemade (or storebought; we’ll never tell) items for the Guild bake sale, or volunteer to staff it! Sign up here to bake, buy, and or volunteer to staff the sale.
  • Volunteer to help at Ignite Craft Boston on January 13, 2017 (email
  • Attend Ignite, and bring friends! Free tickets here.
  • Donate to the Guild.

Submit a presentation

If you would like to speak, please submit a proposal here by December 9, 2016 extended: December 16, 2016 (visuals not due till December 23, 2016).  We will post descriptions of accepted presentations on this page as they are accepted. Here’s a tip sheet for preparing and submitting your talk and visuals.

All talks will be videotaped and posted on the Common Cod YouTube channel after the event. Feel free to watch some Ignite Craft Boston Video from previous years to get an idea about what these talks look like!

Here are some ideas for possible topics: knitting, crochet, LYSOs, weaving, spinning, sewing, quilting, felting/fulling, dyeing, painting, sculpture, print making, fine art, photography, book binding, paper arts, textiles, craft food/beer/cheese, ceramics, soap making, shepherding, farming, gardening, podcasting, blogging, other social media, designing, publishing, woodworking, 3D printing, jewelry, etc.

2016 Ignite Craft Boston information, including presentation descriptions and videos


With your help, we can throw bigger and better events and bring more famous speakers and instructors. Remember, the CCFG is a 501(c)3 organization and your contribution is fully tax-deductible. We welcome donations of any amount.