Tag Archives: halloween

Fall SciArt workshops in Toronto

Some of our workshops are offered annually! So, if you are interested in learning something entirely new,

now just might be the time. (scroll down for more!)

Bat Skeleton Articulation workshops 

Workshops are taking place at the T.E.S.T gallery space 906 Queen st West • Toronto 

Reserve your seats with a deposit of $135 (class fee $270)  

In this class, students will learn how to create an osteological preparation of a bat in the fashion of 19th century zoological displays. A cleaned bat skeleton (Pipistrellus abramus), a glass dome, branches, glue, tools, and all necessary materials will be provided for each student, but one should feel welcome to bring small feathers, stones, dried flowers, dead insects, natural elements, or any other materials s/he might wish to include in his/her composition. Students will leave the class with a visually striking, fully articulated, “lifelike” bat skeleton posed in a 10″ tall glass dome. The class will focus on teaching ancient methods of specimen preparation that link science with art: students will create compositions involving natural elements and, according to their taste, will compose a traditional Victorian environment or a modern display.

Thursday evening, Oct 12th start time 6:30pm


Saturday Afternoon, Oct 14th start time 12pm 


Sunday Afternoon, Oct 15th start time 12pm


Dia De Los Muertos Sugar Skull Making Workshops!

October 28 & 29th come and decorate sugar skulls for Halloween and our                      Day of the Dead ofrenda!  $20pp 13yrs on up! $10 per child 12 – 5yrs*

Adult Oct 28
Adult Oct 29

Everyone is welcome to join the fun! Learn how to make and decorate Mexican sugar skulls. Learn about Dia de los Muertos festivities and the Ofrenda. How to construct sugar skulls and animals will be demonstrated. Adding foils, paper flowers & icing flowers will be demonstrated. Participants will then decorate their sugar skulls using Royal icing, metallic foils and more!  Fun for the whole family!  Workshops start at 12pm Saturday and Sunday. Green chile/corn tamales, tacos, chips & various salsas, churros, horchata and more (so, don’t eat lunch beforehand!) * children 12 & under must be accompanied by an adult.

Child Oct 28
Child Oct 29




Everyone can participate and put something either traditional or symbolic on the altar. The altar is where people can express their feelings for those loved ones being honoured. Americans (and non-Catholics) are beginning to adopt this tradition and now altars are becoming popular in private homes as well as in public places.  In Mexico, the traditional family altar explodes with colour during Day of the Dead when many special items are set out as offerings to the returning spirits. The entire family will work together in the decoration; similar to families who decorate their Christmas tree together. Many families spend up to two month’s earnings on the food & decorations for their ofrendas.

Frida & Elvis sugar skulls made by Rio Valdez

Halloween may be on Oct. 31, but there’s another spooky date on the calendar directly after: “Dia de los Muertos.”  -from ibtimes.com

Now celebrated in countries around the world, Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” is a two-day holiday which originated in Mexico to remember deceased loved ones. It’s a Mexican national holiday and the country’s largest celebration of the year, but Dia de los Muertos extends well beyond to Guatemala, Brazil, Spain and Mexican-American communities in the United States.

The observance is Nov. 1 and 2, coinciding with the Catholic All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Typically, the two-day celebration is divided into separate days to honor deceased youth, Dia de los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents) or Dia de los Angelitos (Day of the Little Angels) on Nov. 1, and adults for Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 2. In some beliefs, it is a three-day holiday beginning on Oct. 31, All Hallows Eve, when some believe the souls of young children arise at midnight.

Not to be confused with Halloween, this holiday has a rich history and involves more than dressing up in costumes or trick-or-treating.

On Dia de los Muertos, families gather to celebrate those who have died as well as build altars in their homes, schools or other public places to pay homage to the deceased. Many honor the dead with gifts of sugar skulls, chocolate, marigolds (the Mexican flower of death), sweetbreads and trinkets. Families also typically visit graves to deliver the ofrendas, or “offerings,” and hold vigils with candles and photos.

Dia de los Muertos can be traced back to the Aztecs who celebrated with a festival for the goddess of the underworld, Mictecacihuatl, and the Catholic Spanish conquistadors’ All Saints’ and All Souls’ days. Scholars have noted the indigenous cultures of Mexico honor the Lady of the Dead, the modern La Catrina, which many recognize today as a skeleton woman wearing a fancy hat.

Glass Kiln forming workshop  Nov 3, 4 & 5, 11th  or Monday afternoons noon-5pm Oct 16th-Nov 6th & November 13-Dec 4th $300pp+(optional) lab fee  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. 1st Friday evening overview demonstrates the Vitrigraph kiln/flameworking cane/murrine.  Students will learn kiln forming towards making window pieces, bowls/plates, sculptural, wearable items and more! Students work with Bullseye glass, frit/powder, rod and stringer OR have the option (casting only) with gorgeous Gaffer crystal.
No experience with glass is required for this course.
Friday evening 6:30-9:30pm: Introduction/demonstration of vitrigraph kiln and flame working cane/murrini for use in kiln forming glass.
Saturday afternoon (noon to 6pm): Students have the opportunity of hand pulling cane/murrini at the torch. Students build models from clay, wax patterns, moulds using alginate and more, set-up the kiln for kiln forming/casting/pate de verre.
Sunday afternoon  (noon-5pm): Students learn how to work with refractory materials to hand-build moulds, mother moulds, weigh for glass. Models are steamed out of moulds and set-up in the kiln(s).
Saturday afternoon (noon to 5pm): Students return to de-invest their models, cold work their glass by hand.
Lab fee (optional): $100 covers Gaffer crystal colours*, metals, & expendables
Students are emailed concerning glass colour choice, otherwise everyone works with clear glass.


Please leave your start-up date choice in a  note when registering or email the studio.

flame working

Flame ON!Next workshop starts Tuesday evenings Nov  14th 6:30-9:30pm  $130pp includes materials- Class runs 3 evenings.
This workshop introduces students to the basics of mandrel-wound (soft) glass beadmaking by the process of flameworking (lampworking) shaping glass at a bench-mounted, surface-mix oxygen/propane torch. Safety is discussed, tools, terminology of glass, and process. Each student will have access to a torch and will melt and form glass using a variety of hand tools.This is the chance to experience working molten glass! While not a “product-oriented” workshop, there will be plenty of time for students to make a small, but satisfying batch of colourful beads, which are annealed overnight after each workshop, and cleaned before the start of the next class.  Class fee includes all materials
No experience necessary!btn_buynow_LG Ages 12 on up are welcome!

Halloween Taxidermy Toronto Classes

BIRD Taxidermy weekend $380CADpp (3 spaces left!)
Saturday and Sunday Oct 24th-25th, noon to 6pm both days. Class size limited to 8  – NO experience necessary!

In this intensive 2 day workshop, we will cover all the basics of beginners taxidermy, focusing specifically on small bird taxidermy. The basics of skull cleaning and wet specimen will also be discussed. Taxidermy is a process of deconstruction and reconstruction, and this class be divided as such, giving students the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the process at their own pace.

DAY 1 of the workshop will focus on deconstruction. After a review of basic bird anatomy, with a focus on skeletal structure, muscle groupings, and identifying feather growth patterns, students will use this knowledge to approach their specimen. After getting comfortable with the tools to be used, we will cover the skinning techniques unique to birds, learn how to work with delicate skin, how to repair holes if any are made, and how to clean wing and leg bones in preparation for assembly. Students will also learn the importance of thoroughly fleshing and degreasing/washing, with tips on how to ensure a skin is totally clean in order for preservatives to work effectively. The cleaned skins will be labeled with the student names and stored. Tracings, measurements, and patterns will be made from the carcass in preparation for day 2. Students can choose to take their carcass home for dissection or creating a wet specimen (instructions will be provided).

IMG_3721DAY 2 of the workshop will be all about reconstruction. Students will custom build a body form, based on the anatomical tracings they made on day 1, using the traditional technique of wrapped body. We will cover how to create a stable armature for the finished bird when wiring the wings and legs. Students will also learn how to sew for taxidermy, with a focus on smooth and hidden stitches. We will also cover grooming, carding, and drying techniques based on the finished pose desired. After the bird is assembled, students will be able to mount their bird on a real skull or branch, and customize the mount as they desire. With the cleaned skulls as reference, we will also discuss a number of methods for bone cleaning and assembly, and how to prepare natural materials, such as plants and branches, for use in taxidermy.

Reference photos for finished standing, sitting, and flying poses will be provided for use and inspiration in class via tablet or smartphone, although students are encouraged to bring their own. Instructions for care and maintenance will be given, and students will be instructed on how to do final finishing work after the mount dries, such as sculpting eye rings and airbrushing.

The instructor will be providing demonstrations of each step, and allowing students plenty of individual attention and opportunities to ask questions. A supply and resource list can be emailed to students. We will also cover the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other applicable laws for working with birds and legally obtaining specimens. It is advised that students bring a bag or small box to transport their finished pieces.

The birds used in this class are humanely sourced, they are naturally deceased or a byproduct of the food industry.

Beginning Entomology – EVENING CLASS $70pp 

6:30pm-10pm, October 23rd – Class size limited to 12 

In this class, students will learn everything about basic butterfly preparation. We will discuss harvesting and drying specimen, rehydrating dried specimen, and in class we will practice handling techniques, spreading, mounting, the nuances of posing, display, and maintenance. An assortment of ethically sourced butterflies in various sizes, shapes, and colors will be provided. Students will learn how to put together and maintain their own rehydration chamber, things to check for during all stages of the process to ensure a clean and successful end product, and tips for gentle handling. Students will also build their very own spreading boards for use in class and beyond. We will also cover how to select museum quality materials for displays. Display cases for finished butterflies will be provided

As always, all specimen are ethically sourced. We will be reviewing the origins of the assorted butterflies used in class, how students can ethically and legally source specimen, and suggested, reputable suppliers. If there are any excess specimen left, they will be available for students to take home for practice and future use.

Students go home with their own prepared butterfly, a spreading board that can be used for future projects, an extra butterfly for practice, and the knowledge to create their own pieces in the future. It is recommended students bring a small bag or box to transport their pieces.




Divya Anantharaman is a taxidermist in residence at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in New York City. She is an artist whose taxidermy practice was sparked by a lifelong fascination with the intersection of natural mythology and science, and has always specialized in the arts related to leather, fur, and hide. With a combination of self and professional training, she has found her calling in creating sickly sweet and sparkly critters, specializing in small and unusual mammals and birds. Winner of a Best in Show trophy and Best in Category ribbon at the GSTA taxidermy show and competition, her work and classes have been profiled in numerous publications as varied as National Geographic, The NY Times, The Cut, Vice, BBC Science Radio, and on hit Discovery/Science Channel TV show Oddities. She has shown work in galleries across the U.S. and has traveled nationally and internationally to teach and lecture on both traditional and rogue taxidermy. She is also a member of the M.A.R.T. (Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists) and the G.S.T.A. (Garden State Taxidermists Association). You can find out more at www.friendsforevertaxidermy.com

Please note-

We use NO harsh or dangerous chemicals.

Everyone will be provided with gloves and sanitary equipment.

All animals are disease free.

Although there will not be a lot of blood or gore, a somewhat strong constitution and maturity are necessary. We will be seeing meat. In this manner, a good taxidermist prides themselves on working cleanly!

In consideration of other students, please do not dissect carcasses in class. (You are welcome to take the carcass and dissect on your own, instruction can be provided)

IMG_3723All animals are sourced humanely and according to the instructors code of ethics- nothing was killed for the sole purpose this class.

Please do not bring any raw dead animals with you to the class.

Minors under 18 are allowed in class with the supervision of a parent/guardian over 18. The parent/guardian does not need to participate or buy an extra ticket if they are only there to supervise.


Purchase your ticket soon, spaces fill fast!





FullSizeRender 17

*Please note: Because of the advance costs of bringing in a guest artist, tuition fees cannot be refunded or credited towards another class or workshop. Thank you for your understanding.






Casual Taxidermy with Teta Kixa (check out her Press video here)cropped-header1

Upcoming Toronto Dates:  

OCTOBER 10 & 11
NOVEMBER 14 & 15
DECEMBER 12 & 13

RESERVE YOUR SEAT TODAY  (Halloween costume sidekick!)

You will be guided through the steps of skinning, stuffing, posing, and pinning your specimen. At the end of the day, you will come away with a figure that is set to begin its curing process.

You will be provided with a kit that includes:

  • rubber gloves
  • a rat specimen
  • scalpel
  • bead eyes
  • stitching materials
  • pins,
  • and all supplies and the help required to create a finished taxidermic rat.

No special equipment or supplies are required of participants.
Although the process is less messy than you might think, it’s advisable to wear closed-toed shoes and clothing you won’t mind getting a bit dirty.
We will provide some supplies for posing, but you may want to bring props and accessories. (Note that an adult rat is about the size of a Barbie doll, but with a more realistic waistline. Keep this in mind when choosing furniture or props.)

Skinning and stuffing
Basic hide skinning techniques as related to rats.
During this time, we will go through sourcing, skinning, stuffing and stitching up your new rat.
Take a break, or continue working on your piece, it’s your choice.
Posing, Pinning and Final Touches
We will go through positioning and pinning, drying times and proper care of your new rat. You will have some time to work on posing.


Fall into Winter courses & workshops

Special Halloween, Day of the Dead inspired workshops @nanopod Studio

November 4th or 11th (Remembrance Day) – Celebrate Dia de los Muertos and create a Day of the Dead glass “sugar” skull! This workshop is a great introduction to pâte de verre, which uses granules of glass to create sculptural forms.
Students are provided with a plaster silica skull mold and pâte de verre methods and design options are demonstrated.

Each student personalizes their ‘sugar’ skull using colourful glass powders and fill their molds with a glass frit paste. Student pieces will then be kiln-dried and back-filled prior to a final firing.

Pieces will be fired after the workshop and available for pick-up a few days later. Turn your glass sugar skull into a light (discussion and demo in class). Your glass sugar skull will last forever with proper care.

Tuesday evening workshops run: 6:30-9:30pm  $110 pp, ALL materials included. 12 student max. Ages: 12 to adult welcome!
Oct 22

There’s 1 space available in the JUST METAL course starting up October 29th. Lost wax casting in Sterling silver and Bronze! More info found under FALL Courses & Workshops

Sunday, November 9th @ 10am – Victorian-style Mouse OR XS Rabbit Dioramas
2 special taxidermy workshops!









Gift certificates are back! It’s that time of year again and nanopod studio has the gift certificate that keeps on giving! 🙂

Gift certificates make great gifts, stocking stuffers and New Year resolutions!
Purchase a Ring Band workshop for $85, a full Metal + Glass course for $280, or customize your Gift with extra add-ons, maybe you’re looking to just purchase the gift of Studio Time? Your friends, family and loved ones aspiring to design and create their own jewelry, work with metal, work with glass- will thank you (maybe with an awesome handmade piece!).

Thanks for stopping by! If you are interested in other workshops and courses please look under the links in the menu above. 🙂

Halloween, Day of the Dead inspired workshops at nanopod studio

Special Halloween, Day of the Dead inspired workshops @nanopod Studio

Wednesday, October 22nd – Celebrate Dia de los Muertos and create a Day of the Dead glass “sugar” skull! This workshop is a great introduction to pâte de verre, which uses granules of glass to create sculptural forms. Students are provided with a plaster silica skull mold and pâte de verre methods and design options are demonstrated.
Each student personalizes their ‘sugar’ skull using glass powders and fill their molds with a frit paste. Student pieces will then be kiln-dried and back-filled prior to a final firing.

Pieces will be fired after the workshop and available for pick-up a few days later.

October 22nd, 6:30-9:30pm
$110 pp, ALL materials included. 12 student max. Ages: 12 to adult welcome!


October 22



nanopod: Hybrid Studio [nanotopia]

322 Harbord Street
Toronto, On. M6G 1H1
647.780.4478 Toronto