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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 the greater Boston area. For the 8th 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 8th annual Ignite Craft Boston

2019 Speaker Lineup

Sheeri Cabral
Common Cod Fiber Guild

Printing Your Own Craft Tools
Catelyn Johnson, President
Fiber Arts Boston Resource & Innovation Center (FABRIC) and Instagram and

There are so many things you can make using a 3D printer. Print anything from knitting needles to a loom, and more!

Catelyn is a tech wizard, fiber artist, writer, Unity game dev, CAD designer, maker of things.

The Many Layers of Photoshop, Quilts and Meaning
Susan V. Polansky and on Instagram

A journey using Photoshop Elements editing and fabric collage techniques  to create a 30″ x 50″ art quilt detailing a complex street scene in India.

Susan uses textiles, thread and paint to create believable “atmospheres” – narrative realism that is a meld of fine art and quilting traditions. She has been working at this for more than 25 years, with her art exhibited nationally and published in magazines and books.

Lots of Little Bits of Glass (Seed Beads & Me)
Susan St. Maurice
Lexington Arts & Crafts Society
Deceptively simple and small, seed beads are powerhouses of color and texture. The meditative (and sometimes frustrating) process of hand-stitching tiny beads into tubes, webs and shapes continually sparks creativity. From incorporating stashes of antique and vintage beads to exploiting the latest eye candy from Japan and Czechia, from riffing on familiar stitches and traditional patterns to embracing hyperloops, kaleidocycles and more, the seed bead journey/fascination/obsession continues…

Seed beading continues to be interesting and challenging many decades after Susan’s first experiments on an 50’s-style Indian beading loom. Completing a career in computer programming and technical writing, she is phasing into a productive time of experimentation and creation. As a member of the LexArt Polymer & Beading Guild, Susan is privileged to belong to a talented and close-knit group of like-minded artists dedicated to continual artistic improvement and growth.

The Creative Process of Bespoke Boots
Sarah Madeleine T. Guerin
Saboteuse and on Instagram
Discover the process and material considerations that compose a pair of bespoke boots. From design to clicking to closing and making, the creation of a pair of singular boots by hand is quite similar to the processes of 200 years ago. These functional works of art are made to be worn and repairable for years, celebrating the preservation of knowledge of craft and tradition while combatting the evils of fast fashion.

Sarah creates luxury western-style boots from raw materials for one person at a time using age-old techniques acquired and honed over years of training and practice. With degrees in Architecture, Fine Arts, and Footwear from RISD and the London College of Fashion, she works from a replica 1800s cordwainer’s shop, tying history and tradition to contemporary practice. The aspiration is to walk out of the Ten Footer Studio in a comfortable work of exquisitely-crafted, wearable art.

What’s in Your Pants?
Aimee Ledwell and We Made a Thing! Facebook group
Last year I started making my own underwear. I found it surprisingly addictive, and as a person with a larger body, it’s great to have undergarments that fit well and comfortably. I now have a drawer full of the comfiest undies and bras, and you can do it too!

Aimee is a sewist with 30 years experience, and a formidable fabric library. She has a background as an art teacher, and it’s a rare day when no one in her family is wearing an Aimee-made garment.

The Art of Negotiation: Cross-Craft Collaborations
Bobbi Tornheim and Beryl Simon
Lexington Arts & Crafts Society
When arts cross boundaries, sparks fly and new ideas are born. A woodworker and metalworker describe the experience of combining their skills and media to create something new to both.

Bobbi Tornheim is a (mostly) wood turner who works with downed trees, yard clean-up trimmings, and wood shop trash. She claims that “she never met a piece of wood that she didn’t like”. Beryl Simon is a jewelry artist who usually works in silver, copper, and cloisonné enamels. Bobbi’s fun challenge to mix wood with metal has led them both in unexpected new directions.

Crafty Bicyclist Discovers Hi-Vis Design
Lenni Armstrong
Safe n’ Stylin’
Join Lenni as she takes you for a ride that begins with the quest to “be SEEN and be SAFE” in the streets of Somerville. Using tools like a vinyl cutter and a button making machine she works with reflective and fluorescent vinyl designs and applies them to clothing. Lenni will go through the design challenges and problem solving involved in this surprisingly complicated endeavor.

In her youth, Lenni made her own clothes as well as earrings and pocketbooks. Eventually she found her way to making earrings out of recycled aluminum cans, and warm hats from recycled fleece. As a one-woman company, she now designs and produces scientific animation and illustration. Lenni loves the opportunity to get off the computer and work with her hands to create real objects. 

So How Did I Get Here?
Barbara Poole
B. Felt
An artist’s path is not a straight line. It bends and turns into a so many different shapes it is a wonder we are all not pretzels.

Barbara lives in Lowell, MA at the Western Avenue lofts where she designs and creates all the work for the company B.Felt. She has a BFA From Tufts University and an MSAE from Mass College of Art and Design. She has been a painter, photographer, jeweler, trolley driver and is a mother and now grandmother.

The Beautiful Mysteries of Indigo Revealed! 
Cathy Wilkerson
The Indigo Squirrel
Indigo dye is one of the oldest dying methods known. When items come out of the vat, they are a crazy shade of chartreuse green…but then the magic happens. The dye must oxidize with air to turn beautiful blue right before your eyes! See and learn all about this process.

Cathy Wilkerson earned a BFA in Textile Design at RISD. A buyer and merchandiser in the home furnishings industry for almost three decades, Wilkerson has developed product with leading textiles manufacturers in Europe, India and the US. She is currently the southern New England territory manager for Norman Window Fashions. Wilkerson is also an indigo fanatic, and holds workshops on indigo dyeing and shibori techniques through her company, The Indigo Squirrel.

Immigration Windows – Quilted worldwide views
Alanna Nelson
Fiber Artist & Curious Connector and Twitter and Instagram and Immigration Windows Project
In April 2019, quilters from around the world debut their “Finestre Migranti” – “Immigration Windows” – at Verona Tessile Festival in Italy. Using the cathedral windows template designed by Annamaria Brenti and Silvanna Zenatello, each quilter brings their own impressions and stories of immigration worldwide. Alanna shows her contemplations and process on creating her Finestre Migranti quilt.

A digital marketer and fiber artist, Alanna creates connections between places, delights in detail and cherishes both yesterday and today.


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!


For Speakers:

If you would like to speak, please submit a proposal here by March 1st, 2019 (visuals not due until March 11th, 2019).  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.