Update to Flame-Working demo: Wednesday evening. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

Due to unexpected events over the long weekend, I have had to move the Flame-working demos to Wednesday evening. Please RSVP IF you plan to attend: nanotopia@me.com

Want to check out what Flame-Working is all about? Wednesday evening, May 23rd  7pm demonstrations will be held in mandrel-wound glass bead making. Afterward, visitors are invited to try making a bead (or 2, depending on popularity). Beads made this evening can be picked up the following Open Studio (which takes place Thursday, May 24th).

flame working
Flame-working

Evening demonstrations introduce the basics of mandrel-wound glass bead making by the process of flameworking (lampworking) shaping glass at a bench-mounted, surface-mix oxygen/propane torch. Safety is discussed, various tools used for shaping, sculpting, and how to clean up your beads after they’ve annealed.

Annealing temperatures are explained and covered.

Special Summer Open Studio

24/7 Open Studio time Members have access to the studio facilities 24/7 June thru August* membership is $175/mo and includes access to studio tools, and equipment (contact us in advance if you require any equipment orientation).

Subscribe to membership online or via eTransfer (eTransfer to nanotopia@me.com) For this Summer’s special deal 1st & last is required up front. 

Email the studio for further details, or come by Thursday, May 17 or 24 – meet & greet, sign an agreement and receive a key fob.


Materials and consumables are not included in Open Studio time – you need to supply your own saw blades, solder, drill bits, wax, metal, enamel powders, stones, etc. Assistance/guidance is not included, however you need to know what you are doing and how to properly/safely operate equipment, tools, and torches. If you are unfamiliar with some of the industrial/dangerous (chop off fingers, burn off your scalp equipment we suggest taking a beginning workshop or 4wk course). Orientations on how to operate our kilns needs to be booked in advance of kiln use please.

Local Suppliers: Gesswein and sells metal working supplies. Imperial Products (now called Umicore)supplies sterling silver, and gold in sheet form, wire, solder, tubing, etc. For casting your wax models there are a number of casting companies in Toronto: HL located at 59 Adelaide East, just west of Church street. Ready Mounts Casting– on Victoria close to Dundas Square, Procast– located in the 21 Dundas building, 7th floor.

nanopod is a non-smoking environment. Please refrain from wearing heavy perfumes, hair spray, soaps and smoking under the awning/in front of the studio.

BYOHP= Bring your own head phones! At nanopod- music is life. That said, if you don’t like electronic, ambient, classical, and the generally bizarre, please bring your own tunes/headphones 🙂

 

Late Summer & early Fall Metal + Glass dates are up!

Learn how to form, fabricate, solder, set-stones in our
4 wk Metal + Glass course, etch, cast and more!

Metal + Glass 4-week course Starts up August 13th or September 10th • 8 evenings. Monday & Wednesday 6:30-9:30pm $285/pp (*after registering please email over your start date)

evening #1: First evening: working with copper: safety, drilling, sawing. Adding textures.evening #2: Making a ring band out of silver (stamp, hammer finish, roller print, etc.)

evening #3: Working with wax create pieces w/the lost wax technique- to be cast in Sterling silver or bronze.

evening #4: Finishing wax projects, invest models for casting in Glass and Metal (separately) Waxes for metal casting are weighed and calculated (sterling runs $2.50/grm unless lab fee has been purchased).

evening #5: Cast moulds in sterling silver or bronze! Remove glass pieces from moulds.

evening #6: Enameling copper projects, forming, how to make your own basic findings.

evening #7: Bezel settings cabochon stones or fossils or crystals, or an enamelled or Fused glass piece.

evening #8: Finish up projects

No experience necessary!

Copper, wax, glass, and some sterling silver are supplied*.  A list of local suppliers is included.   Questions concerning this course? Please see our FAQ’s

What’s included:
Approx 4×5” piece of copper sheet, 2’ copper wire, sterling silver for 1 ring band, fine silver bezel wire to set 1 cabochon cut stone. Glass is included for casting/flame-working (whatever method is covered), silver solder to complete class projects, wax, bronze/brass for lost wax casting (20grams) & powdered vitreous enamel, 1 doz saw blades, 1 1mm drill bit, 1 half face particulate respirator, nitrile gloves, refractory materials for casting moulds.  Students are encouraged to supply their own cabochon cut stones, crystals, rocks, etc.

Additional materials not included: cabochon cut stone(s), sterling silver grain for lost wax castings, sterling silver sheet/plate for setting stones on/constructing other pieces.  Sterling silver casting grain may be purchased at $2.50gram.

The lab fees offer tools and materials for students to continue projects at home and start setting-up their own studio. Lab fee 2 (kit) Option 2 Please see below class descriptions for what is included in this option.
Lab fee 1 $125.00 (optional) what it includes:
adjustable jeweller’s bench pin, jeweller’s saw frame, 1 gross (144) jeweller’s saw blade assortment, 15 grams of sterling silver casting grain, 1 3×3” sterling silver plate
Lab fee 1

 

 



Metal + Glass Lab Fee 2: $357.00  

Lab fee 2

Set contains:
  • Jeweller’s Saw
  • Third Hand
  • Half Round Medium Cut File
  • Burnisher
  • 1 dozen Cut 0 Saw Blades
  • 1 gross (144) Saw blade assortment
  • AA Fine Tweezers
  • Shears
  • 1 set half-round Sanding Sticks
  • Ring Mandrel
  • Butane Torch
  • Dividers 4
  • Ring Clamp
  • Polishing Cloth
  • Needle File Handle
  • Locking Tweezers
  • Pin Vise
  • Soldering Board
  • Ball Pein Hammer
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Scribe
  • Wood Dapping Block & Punches
  • Sidecutters 5
  • Silver Solder
  • 3×3” sterling silver plate
  • 15 grams of sterling silver casting grain
  • 12″x12″ sheet of 24 Gauge Copper
  • 6pc File Set
  • Chain Nose Pliers
  • Bench Knife
All items come with a plastic tool box.

Sonatona Gemstones visiting Nanopod Studio Monday May 7

Super exciting news! Pop on over to the studio tomorrow evening Monday, May 7th  between 7pm – 8pm Sonatona gemstones will be in da Haus! Sonatona is bringing along a wide selection of cabochon cut stones for you to drool over.

Everyone is welcome!  Students and non-nano students.  Cash or credit accepted. 

DIY Steel Stamps & basic chasing/repoussé workshop

DIY Steel stamps & basic Chasing & Repoussé  Thursday evenings, May 10th & 17th**
$175 per person, ALL materials included. 

Make your own mark! Learn how to create stamping tools for decorative use, and chasing/repoussé tools traditionally used in making dimensional forms/decorations in copper, silver, gold for use in armour, architectural designs, and jewellery.
Students will spend the first evening designing and making their stamps and chasing/repoussé tools. The 2nd evening learning how to use these tools working with a cast iron pitch pot and German pitch. Demonstrations in how to transfer pitch to their pots, transfer designs/images to metal, and through hammering/chasing these images will appear as low relief in the metal. Copper will be used in this workshop. Note: students receive pitch bowl/pitch, copper for projects and a minimum of 12 stamping tools. Students leave the workshop with their copper practice pieces, stamps made from the first evening and the basic knowledge to continue forward. Hammers sold separately, but are available for use during class.

Repoussé is a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is ornamented or shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design in low relief. It is a form of toreutics.

There are few techniques that offer such diversity of expression while still being relatively economical. Chasing is the opposite of repoussé, and the two are used in conjunction to create a finished piece. It is also known as embossing.

While repoussé is used to work on the reverse of the metal to form a raised design on the front, chasing is used to refine the design on the front of the work by sinking the metal. The term chasing is derived from the noun “chase”, which refers to a groove, furrow, channel, or indentation. The adjectival form is “chased work”.

The techniques of repoussé and chasing use the plasticity of metal, forming shapes by degrees. There is no loss of metal in the process as it is stretched locally and the surface remains continuous. The process is relatively slow but a maximum of form is achieved, with one continuous surface of sheet metal of essentially the same thickness. Direct contact of the tools used is usually visible in the result, a condition not always apparent in other techniques, where all evidence of the working method is eliminated. An incredible example from antiquity is the late Eighteenth Dynasty mummy mask of Tutankhamun. The lapis lazuli and other stones were inlaid in chased areas after the height of the form was completed. The majority of the mask was formed using the technique of repoussé from what appears to be a single sheet of gold (the ceremonial beard, Nekhbet vulture, and Uraeus were attached separately).

2 spots available for Metal + Glass & Steel Stamp workshop

Steel stamps, Chasing & Repoussé tools & how to use them! Thursday evenings, April 12th thru 19th 6:30pm – 9:30pm
$175 per person, ALL materials included.

Make your own mark! Learn how to create stamping tools for decorative use, and chasing/repoussé tools traditionally used in making dimensional forms/decorations in copper, silver, gold for use in armour, architectural designs, and jewellery.
Students will spend the first evening designing and making their stamps and chasing/repoussé tools. The 2nd evening learning how to use these tools working with copper, a cast iron pitch pot and German pitch. Demonstrations in how to transfer pitch to their pots, transfer designs/images to metal, and through hammering/chasing these images will appear as low relief in the metal. Students will also have time to make a simple copper pendant using their decorative stamps made the 1st evening! Copper will be used in this workshop. Note: students receive a pitch bowl/pitch, copper for projects and a minimum of 12 stamping tools. Students leave the workshop with their copper practice pieces, stamps made from the first evening and the basic knowledge to continue forward. Hammers sold separately, but are available for use during class.

Further information can be found here.

 

Learn how to form, fabricate, solder, set-stones and more in our 4 wk Metal + Glass course.

4 week or 8 week course, choose your start-up time below.

metal + glass
Sterling silver lost wax cast forms, vitreous enamel, Kiln formed glass with sandblasted symbols, married metal dome ring sterling silver, brass and copper

Metal + Glass courses are offered evenings Monday & Wednesday.

Metal + Glass 8 week course. April 4th start. 6:30-9:30pm Wednesday evenings. Please see description below. 

8 wk

 

 

 


METAL + GLASS 4wk:  Monday & Wednesday evenings – Learn basic Goldsmithing.  6:30-9:30pm Monday, April 9th  $285pp 

evening #1: First evening: working with copper: safety, drilling, sawing. Adding textures.

evening #2: Making a ring band out of silver (stamp, hammer finish, roller print, etc.)

evening #3: Working with wax create pieces w/the lost wax technique- to be cast in Sterling silver or bronze.

evening #4: Finishing wax projects, invest models for casting in Glass and Metal (separately) Waxes for metal casting are weighed and calculated (sterling runs $2.50/grm unless lab fee has been purchased).

evening #5: Cast moulds in sterling silver or bronze! Remove glass pieces from moulds.

evening #6: Enameling copper projects, forming, how to make your own basic findings.

evening #7: Bezel settings cabochon stones or fossils or crystals, or an enamelled or Fused glass piece.

evening #8: Finish up projects

No experience necessary!

Copper, wax, glass, and some sterling silver are supplied*.  A list of local suppliers is included.   Questions concerning this course? Please see our FAQ’s

What’s included:
Approx 4×5” piece of copper sheet, 2’ copper wire, sterling silver for 1 ring band, fine silver bezel wire to set 1 cabochon cut stone. Glass is included for casting/flame-working (whatever method is covered), silver solder to complete class projects, wax, bronze/brass for lost wax casting (20grams) & powdered vitreous enamel, 1 doz saw blades, 1 1mm drill bit, 1 half face particulate respirator, nitrile gloves, refractory materials for casting moulds.  Students are encouraged to supply their own cabochon cut stones, crystals, rocks, etc.

Additional materials not included: cabochon cut stone(s), sterling silver grain for lost wax castings, sterling silver sheet/plate for setting stones on/constructing other pieces.  Sterling silver casting grain may be purchased at $2.50gram.

The lab fees offer tools and materials for students to continue projects at home and start setting-up their own studio. Lab fee 2 (kit) Option 2 Please see below class descriptions for what is included in this option.
Lab fee 1 $125.00 (optional) what it includes:
adjustable jeweller’s bench pin, jeweller’s saw frame, 1 gross (144) jeweller’s saw blade assortment, 15 grams of sterling silver casting grain, 1 3×3” sterling silver plate
Lab fee 1

 

 

**Please read our FAQs & policies 

SciArt Summer camp!

Nanopod studio’s super special SciArt Summer
camps are back this August 2018!

Nanopod: Hybrid Studio camps are about enjoying and nurturing young artists and crafters, making all kinds of science inspired art and building skills together. Kids will be in the studio and Bickford Park this summer creating and exploring new art/craft techniques and mediums through individual and group multi-media projects. Every Artist will take home amazing artwork, a Foldscope, learn how-to prepare and spread an insect, design a glass tile, work with copper, design images to go on T-shirts, create a personal journal for recording, planning and drawing throughout the week and more! 

Ages 8 – 12, Monday – Friday 10 AM – 3PM $425.00 + HST per child / 5 days, all inclusive.  You are also welcome to sign-up for individual days. Please email the studio for this option. $100/day

August 13th to 17th or 20th – 24th  

Monday: Microcosmic world!  Fold your own microscope and discover the wonders of the microscopic world! For this workshop we will be working with Foldscopes, portable origami-based microscopes made simply of paper and a lens. With its 140X magnification power, a Foldscope can be used to observe anything biological or non-biological that you can stick on a slide.

  • assemble a Foldscope
  • prepare microscope slides
  • use Foldscope in “camera lucida” configuration, project the image you are viewing onto paper, and draw and paint what you see!  Students will construct their own sketchbook/journal where they can record their findings.

Tuesday: Story tiles: Draw a picture/transfer it onto glass. Students will start this day by drawing pictures, a self-portrait, or whatever they imagine! Images are then replicated in glass. Working with pre-cut pieces of glass sheet, thin rods, and frit everyone makes a 6″x6″ tile. Tiles are fired over night.

Wednesday: Entomology 101. Working with moths or butterflies students learn how to make a simple spreading board, a hydration chamber, and how-to spread their specimen. Once dry students can then place their specimen in the supplied display case/frame. Look at insects with your Foldscope!

Thursday: Learn how to work with copper adding textures, stamping designs- make an insect pendant out of copper! Students learn how to work with jewellery hammers, files, stamping tools, and the jeweller’s saw. Cleaning and polishing their pieces is also covered. Everyone leaves with an awesome pendant!

Friday: Images on T-shirts, Sun images, and more! Today is full of art creation! T-shirts are provided, or bring your own! Students work with non-toxic dyes that react with the sun. Paint directly onto the fabric, or make a stencil. Create sun prints. Make a copper and macrame bracelet. Lunch is provided this afternoon.

Guest artist – teachers will be visiting Nanopod studio and sharing their special talents and knowledge. Kids will explore different materials and methods throughout the week. Working with paper, clay, metal, glass, BioArt, SciArt and upcycling materials!

We’ll have a great time and learn a lot!

On Friday we celebrate our week’s end with a healthy (gf, vegan) pizza lunch*

Every day will include fun creative time, outdoor time, games and a walk.

*Allergies are taken into consideration and discussed with parents in advance.

March updates

Due to a death in the family the studio schedule was significantly changed for March workshops/courses.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and sincerely thank everyone for their support, patience and understanding.

This year, while I remain optimistic, has been difficult with my father in-law being very ill, trips to Montreal to visit him, and his death March 13th. Losing a parent, no matter your age, is not easy. Gérard was a brilliant mind, witty, and extremely charming. Gérard was an actor, and a journalist for the CBC.

Bonne Fête nationale à tous les Québécois et Québécoises de cœur!

Voici un reportage diffusé le «Ce Soir» 17 juin 1977 dans lequel le journaliste Gérard Gravel retrace l’historique de la Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste.

Meanwhile, I plan to reopen the studio for demos, workshops, etc., starting Thursday, March 29th.

Thank you all again. Hope to see you next Thursday and in April!

8 week Metal + Glass Course starts up Wednesday, April 4th

Learn how to form, fabricate, solder, set-stones and more in our

Metal + Glass 8 week course. April 4th start. 6:30-9:30pm Wednesday evenings. 

8 wk

evening #1: First evening: working with copper: safety, drilling, sawing. Adding textures.

evening #2: Making a ring band out of silver (stamp, hammer finish, roller print, etc.)

evening #3: Working with wax create pieces w/the lost wax technique- to be cast in Sterling silver or bronze.

evening #4: Finishing wax projects, invest models for casting in Glass and Metal (separately) Waxes for metal casting are weighed and calculated (sterling runs $2.50/grm unless lab fee has been purchased).

evening #5: Cast moulds in sterling silver or bronze! Remove glass pieces from moulds.

evening #6: Enameling copper projects, forming, how to make your own basic findings.

evening #7: Bezel settings cabochon stones or fossils or crystals, or an enamelled or Fused glass piece.

evening #8: Finish up projects

No experience necessary!

Copper, wax, glass, and some sterling silver are supplied*.  A list of local suppliers is included.   Questions concerning this course? Please see our FAQ’s

What’s included:
Approx 4×5” piece of copper sheet, 2’ copper wire, sterling silver for 1 ring band, fine silver bezel wire to set 1 cabochon cut stone. Glass is included for casting/flame-working (whatever method is covered), silver solder to complete class projects, wax, bronze/brass for lost wax casting (20grams) & powdered vitreous enamel, 1 doz saw blades, 1 1mm drill bit, 1 half face particulate respirator, nitrile gloves, refractory materials for casting moulds.  Students are encouraged to supply their own cabochon cut stones, crystals, rocks, etc.

Additional materials not included: cabochon cut stone(s), sterling silver grain for lost wax castings, sterling silver sheet/plate for setting stones on/constructing other pieces.  Sterling silver casting grain may be purchased at $2.50gram.

The lab fees offer tools and materials for students to continue projects at home and start setting-up their own studio. Lab fee 2 (kit) Option 2 Please visit the Metal Workshops (bottom of page) for what is included in this option.
Lab fee 1 $125.00 (optional) what it includes:
adjustable jeweller’s bench pin, jeweller’s saw frame, 1 gross (144) jeweller’s saw blade assortment, 15 grams of sterling silver casting grain, 1 3×3” sterling silver plate
Lab fee 1

 

 

 

Kiln casting glass, Pate de Verre workshop

Glass Kiln forming workshop  April 7 thru 13th, $300pp+(optional) lab fee  12pm start.
This intensive class introduces fundamental concepts of creating glass objects in the kiln either through lost wax casting, Pate de Verre or a combination of the two.Learn the art of lost wax casting glass, and pate de verre.  From paper thin to thicker lost wax models, adding metal inclusions, and more. Students will learn how to make moulds from existing objects using Alginate, as well as model new ones from clay and wax. Hand built moulds and box moulds will be made with various refractory materials. Students will learn different firing and annealing schedules for casting & pate de verre. Hand cold-working without the need of expensive equipment! No experience necessary!  All materials are included. Students are required to bring in their own half-face respirator with particulate filters. Aprons are available for use at the studio, as are all tools and equipment necessary for sculpting, firing and cold working glass, however, students are welcome to bring in their own tools, etc., just make sure your items are marked. kiln casting workshop
 Size max 3 inches in any direction.
Day 1: Replication. Students will make simple alginate moulds from items they wish to cast in glass. Examples: plastic/vinyl toy/action figure, anatomical models or small branch, unusual vegetable/fruit, seed pod. Items could also be modelled from Sculpey clay and fired ahead of attending the workshop. Glass options are discussed. While the silicone/alginate moulds cure, students build a small bowl form out of clay (add texture/details) and from there build a refractory mould, once set-up the clay is removed and students are shown how to apply glass to the mould a la Pate de Verre. Colour samples (towards casting) are also made on this day.

lost wax cast chill peppers in glass

Day 2: Wax pouring and hand-built moulds. Students pour multiple waxes from their silicone/alginate moulds, refine their wax models (add or subtract). Models are then weighed and various glass options are revisited. Once glass choice is determined pouring gates are added to models and then a silica based refractory mould is built around the wax models. Once moulds set up the wax is then steamed out. Meanwhile, glass is weighed, and cleaned. -Items are cast & annealed over the week.

Pate de verre bowl

Day 3: De-mould kiln castings/cold working Students remove their kiln cast objects and start the cold working process. Various methods and equipment are discussed and demonstrated.
Day 4: Finish cleaning kiln cast objects.

What’s included:1.5 kg of glass, silicone/alginate materials necessary for mould building, Refractory materials, Wax, Nitrile glove, sn95 Particulate respirator, Cold-working consumables

Lab fee (optional): $100 covers Gaffer crystal colours*, Bullseye colours: sheet, billet, fine, medium or coarse frit, metals.. Students are emailed concerning glass colour choice, otherwise everyone works with clear glass and coloured frit (further info concerning this below).

Glass: we will be working with Bullseye glass (clear).
For the Pate de Verre project participants work with clear fine frit, and may add colour through painting onto the mould surface using glass Powders. The studio has a basic colour palette of Bullseye Glass Powders in red, orange, yellow, greens, and blues along with black and white.
For the kiln casting part of the course participants are working with Bullseye glass Crystal Clear Kilncasting Cullet. Or Gaffer crystal (please see below).
Projects: we will complete several projects
1- colour samples for cast items.
Working with Alginate or Hydrogel
1- Pate de Verre- thin walled ‘casting’, open-face mould.
1- Solid kiln cast form, discuss refractory materials, mother moulds, face coats. Venting/gating/sprueing up your wax model.
Note:
If you want to work with coloured Bullseye Glass Frits (fine, medium, course, etc for Pate de Verre and/or casting), Billets (casting only) or Gaffer Crystal (Not compatible with Bullseye, only used in solid casting part of course)> that is extra (the Lab fee) and would need to be ordered ahead of the class. This is not mandatory at all, though.
That said, if you are unfamiliar with Bullseye and/or Gaffer glass you of course would ask:  …What’s the difference, why would I choose to work with one over the other?
Bullseye glass is made from Soda Lime, and depending on colour various oxides, metals, pigments are added. Gaffer is created similarly however it has a low viscosity at normal casting temperatures and has virtually no tendency to devitrify -at all- at top casting temperatures, nor on its descent in temperature down to the annealing range. Furthermore, its very low viscosity, 
and low surface tension at 780-900°C. (1426-1650°F), leads to very good surface definition. This makes it especially suitable for jewelry scale pieces, as well as large work.
 
Bullseye Glass is offered in various forms: Sheet, billet/cullet, Frit, Rod, Stringer, Dichroic, Powder.
Gaffer casting crystal is offered in: Billet, chunky ‘frit’.
 
There will be items on display at the studio made from both Bullseye and Gaffer. 
 Links to view glass colours (Frit, Billet), and Gaffer crystal.